2017-2018 CRP Selection

All the Single Ladies

The New York Times bestselling investigation into the sexual, economic, and emotional lives of women is “an informative and thought-provoking book for anyone—not just the single ladies—who want to gain a greater understanding of this pivotal moment in the history of the United States” (The New York Times Book Review).

In 2009, award-winning journalist Rebecca Traister started All the Single Ladies about the twenty-first century phenomenon of the American single woman. It was the year the proportion of American women who were married dropped below fifty percent; and the median age of first marriages, which had remained between twenty and twenty-two years old for nearly a century (1890–1980), had risen dramatically to twenty-seven.

But over the course of her vast research and more than a hundred interviews with academics and social scientists and prominent single women, Traister discovered a startling truth: the phenomenon of the single woman in America is not a new one. And historically, when women were given options beyond early heterosexual marriage, the results were massive social change—temperance, abolition, secondary education, and more. Today, only twenty percent of Americans are married by age twenty-nine, compared to nearly sixty percent in 1960.

“An informative and thought-provoking book for anyone—not just single ladies” (The New York Times Book Review), All the Single Ladies is a remarkable portrait of contemporary American life and how we got here, through the lens of the unmarried American woman. Covering class, race, sexual orientation, and filled with vivid anecdotes from fascinating contemporary and historical figures, “we’re better off reading Rebecca Traister on women, politics, and America than pretty much anyone else” (The Boston Globe).

Traister’s “exemplary framework of cultural inclusion, the personal candor and palpable desire to lift up each and every one of us, is what makes All the Single Ladies a singularly triumphant work of women presented in beautiful formation.” (The Los Angeles Times).

“A monumental study of the political, economic, social, and sexual consequences of the rise of unmarried women…” (The New Republic).

“Wonderfully inclusive, examining single women from all walks of life—working-, middle-, and upper-class women; women of color and white women; queer and straight ones…With All the Single Ladies she brings her trademark intelligence and wit to bear…” (Roxane Gay, Elle).

“Fascinating, entertaining, surprising—and heartening. A brilliant book that is also warm, funny and a pleasure to read.” (Katha Pollitt)

A “fast-paced, fascinating book…” (Library Journal starred review).

“Exploring all aspects of single life - social, economic, racial, and sexual - Traister’s comprehensive volume, sure to be vigorously discussed, is truly impressive in scope and depth while always managing to be eminently readable and thoughtful.” (Booklist starred review).

A “nuanced...funny...invigorating study of single women in America” (Publisher's Weekly).

all the single ladies

Page last modified January 12, 2018