Friday, December 20, 2013

Bachelor Girl: ...A Social History of Living Single

2002, 2003 Perennial edition
Betsy Israel
Bachelor Girl: 100 Years of Breaking the Rules-- A Social History of Living Single
Original price unknown, purchase price $7.50
Slightly worn paperback

I found this about equal to Blumberg's The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls (1997), with which it somewhat overlaps.  Despite the subtitle, we're actually looking at more like 150 years of single "girls."  And some of these singles are young, under 21, although she does discuss older "spinsters," of 30 or 40 or even 50.  She goes roughly chronologically, but sometimes with a few decades in one chapter.  The book didn't quite jell for me, although there was some interesting material.  And, yes, both Sheila Levine and Bridget Jones make appearances, as do some TV characters like Mary Richards and Ally McBeal.  Israel was single and 27 when the "marry a terrorist" study came out, although she wed soon after.  I wish she'd gone into more about the binary assumption of married and single-- as a divorced childless woman I identify as neither-- but I do appreciate that she includes lesbians to some degree.

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