Big Girls Don’t Cry book cover

Big Girls Don’t Cry

The Election that Changed Everything for American Women

The 2008 campaign for the presidency reopened some of the most fraught American conversations—about gender, race and generational difference, about sexism on the left and feminism on the right—difficult discussions that had been left unfinished but that are crucial to further perfecting our union.

Though the election didn’t give us our first woman president or vice president, the exhilarating campaign was nonetheless transformative for American women and for the nation. In Big Girls Don’t Cry, her electrifying, incisive and highly entertaining first book, Traister tells a terrific story and makes sense of a moment in American history that changed the country’s narrative in ways that no one anticipated. Throughout the book, Traister weaves in her own experience as a thirtysomething feminist sorting through all the events and media coverage—vacillating between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and questioning her own view of feminism, the women’s movement, race and the different generational perspectives of women working toward political parity.

  • Ernesta Drinker Ballard Book Prize

  • New York Times Notable Book of 2010

  • "seamlessly integrates reporting, analysis and personal narrative into a captivating and indispensable account.

  • "masterfully reminds us that we have just lived through a historic moment when a woman, no matter how flawed she was, 'came within spitting distance' of a nomination for president."

  • "Traister presents an excellent synthesis of a time in which what was once called the women's liberation movement found a thrilling new life."

    The New Yorker