Rebecca Traister New York Times Bestselling Author and Writer-at-Large for New York Magazine

About the Author

Rebecca Traister is an award-winning journalist and an astute cultural observer who has become a leading voice on feminism and women in politics. She is the author of three books, including The New York Times bestsellers, Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger and All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation. She is a writer-at-large for New York magazine and The Cut and has been called “the most brilliant voice on feminism in this country” (Anne Lamott).

Traister’s debut book, Big Girls Don’t Cry, was published on the heels of the 2008 election and helps make sense of a time in U.S. history that proved transformative for women and the nation. Although America did not elect its first female president, Traister explains how the campaign reopened topics such as gender, generational differences, feminism, and sexism and ignited conversations on the left and the right. In her second, highly acclaimed book, All the Single Ladies, Traister delves deeper into contemporary American life through the lens of unmarried women, looking at how historically low rates of marriage can be a catalyst for massive social change.

Good and Mad, Traister’s most recent book, was a New York Times bestseller and was selected as one of the best books of 2018 by NPR, The Washington Post, Elle, and more. With eloquence and fervor, Traister explores the transformative power of female anger and its ability to transcend into a political movement. In both her writing and keynote talks, Traister tracks the long history of female fury, from suffragettes protesting outside the White House to the current #MeToo movement, and explains how society’s condemnation of female emotion has led to women’s slow rise to political power in America.

Traister’s writing has been featured in numerous outlets, including The New York Times, Vogue, Glamour, and The Washington Post, among others, and she has made television appearances on CNN, PBS, The Late Show with Stephen ColbertThe Daily Show, and more. She lives in New York with her family.

Suggested Topics

  • Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women
  • All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation
  • Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger
  • The Power of Women’s Anger
  • The History of Unmarried Women

Raves and Reviews

Praise for Rebecca Traister
The New York Times Book Review

One of the most powerful voices in a new generation of American feminist writers.”
Walter Russell Mead, Foreign Affairs

The most brilliant voice on feminism in this country.”
Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird

A clear-eyed, whip-smart observer of the political scene.”
Daphne Merkin, author of The Fame Lunches

Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air

Clever, caustic, [and] wickedly funny.”

The heir to the tradition of Mary McCarthy and Joan Didion.”
Eric Alterman, author of The Cause

Provocative and insightful.”
Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Eligible

Praise for Good and Mad

“[A] rousing look at the political uses of this supposedly unfeminine emotion…written with energy and conviction…galvanizing reading.”
New York Times Book Review

Urgent, enlightened… well timed for this moment even as they transcend it, the kind of accounts often reviewed and discussed by women but that should certainly be read by men…realistic and compelling…Traister eloquently highlights the challenge of blaming not just forces and systems, but individuals.”
Washington Post

While the anger of men is seen as ‘stirring’ and ‘downright American,’ women’s is ‘the screech of nails on our national chalkboard,’ asserts journalist Traister in this invigorating look at the achievements of angry women from Carrie Nation to Beyoncé to the Parkland high school students. Through this lens she revisits the 2016 election, #blacklivesmatter and the #metoo movement (including her own Harvey Weinstein story) and cites a study showing you can tolerate pain longer – damn! – if you curse. Perfectly timed and inspiring.”
People (Book of the Week)

Traister specializes in writing about feminism and politics, and she knows the turf…especially astute in emphasizing the ways in which black women laid the cornerstones for women’s activism in this country…Feminism forces certain complexities into the stream of our daily lives, and Traister has a great gift for articulating them.”
Time Magazine

Cathartic…a celebration of a catalytic force that burns ever brighter today.”
O Magazine

From suffragettes to #MeToo, Traister’s book is a hopeful, maddening compendium of righteous feminine anger, and the good it can do when wielded efficiently—and collectively.”
Vanity Fair

An admirably rousing narrative.”

A resounding polemic against political, cultural, and personal injustices in America…With articulate vitriol backed by in-depth research, Traister validates American women’s anger…. Traister has meticulously culled smart, timely, surprising quotations from women as well as men. The combined strength of these many individual voices and stories gives the book tremendous gravity…. A gripping call to action that portends greater liberty and justness for all.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A trenchant analysis… Traister argues forcefully that women are an ‘oppressed majority in the United States,’ kept subjugated partly by racial divisions among the group. Traister closes with a reminder to women not to lose sight of their anger—even when things improve slightly and ‘the urgency will fade… if you yourself are not experiencing’ injustice or look away from it.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Timely and absorbing, Traister’s fiery tome is bound to attract attention and discussion. Traister takes a deep dive into the current political climate to explore the contemporary and historical relationship women have with anger and the ramifications of expressing and suppressing feminine rage. Traister uses…startlingly obvious double standard[s] to explore how attaching negative connotations to women’s anger has always been used to silence and dismiss them.”
Booklist (starred review)

Good and Mad is Rebecca Traister’s ode to women’s rage—an extensively researched history and analysis of its political power. It is a thoughtful, granular examination: Traister considers how perception (and tolerance) of women’s anger shifts based on which women hold it (*cough* white women *cough*) and who they direct it toward; she points to the ways in which women are shamed for or gaslit out of their righteous emotion. And she proves, vigorously, why it’s so important for women to own and harness their rage—how any successful revolution depends on it.”

Women are angry, and Rebecca Traister is just the person to chart the topography of their rage, its causes, and its effects….A galvanizing, timely study of righteous rage.”

With Traister’s incisive prose and a topic that couldn’t be more timely, this book is sure to be a fiery read.”
Huffington Post

A deeply research treatise on female anger – its sources, its challenges, and its propulsive political power.”

Brilliant and bracing.”
The Nation

[Traister] writes with convincing clarity…a feel-good book.”


A bracing, elucidating look at how transformative it can be for women to harness our rage, and how important it is to use that anger, that energy, for revolution.”

Brilliant and impassioned and, yes, angry.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Good and Mad comes out at just the right time…the [Kavanaugh] hearing and its aftermath just proved the point Traister was making all along.”
Mother Jones

Traister’s reported manifesto on feminism after Trump…offers a forceful…inventory of the ways in which women’s anger in the public sphere is exaggerated, pathologized, and used to discredit them in a manner unimaginable for men.”

An exploration of the transformative power of female anger and its ability to transcend into a political movement…Read this.”

One of our country’s wisest writers on gender and politics.”
Portland Monthly

Every fifty years since the French Revolution there’s been an uprising on behalf of women’s rights—we’re in the middle of one right now—and each time around a fresh chorus of voices is heard, making the same righteous bid for social and political equality, only with more force and more eloquence than the time before. Among today’s strongest voices is the one that belongs to Rebecca Traister. Deeply felt and richly researched, her new book, Good and Mad, is one of the best accounts I have read of the cumulative anger women feel, coming up against their centuries-old subordination. Read it!”
—Vivian Gornick

Rebecca Traister has me convinced in this deftly and powerfully argued book that there will be no 21st century revolution, until women once again own the power of their rage. Righteous fury leaps off every page of this book, with example after example, from the present and the past, coaxing, chiding, and indeed reminding us, that the political uses of women’s anger have been good for America. As I read, my blood started pumping, my fist tightened and my spirit said, “hell yeah! We aren’t going down without a fight.” Women’s anger rightly placed and soundly focused can be good for America, once again. In fact, it is essential. Tell the truth: We’re all sick and tired of being sick and tired. It’s high time we got good and mad.”
—Dr. Brittney Cooper, author of Eloquent Rage

Praise for All the Single Ladies

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

Traister is a triple threat–essayist, journalist, and polemicist–bringing a seismic shift to light, hunting down its implications, and showing how it changes politics, and how policy needs to change to reflect it. Her book demands not just reading but discussion and debate.”
Boris Kachka, Vulture

For explicitly feminist writing, turn to Rebecca Traister’s canny, insightful “All the Single Ladies,” a book to match your taste for journalistic prose and your desire to read about a range of female life. Traister’s appraisal of unmarried women in “intellectual and public realms” — that is, their friendships, their solitude, their economic gains and shortfalls and their sexuality — rooted in both contemporary and historical research, will inspire you to seek out more stories. This is just the beginning.”
New York Times

A singularly triumphant work of women presented in beautiful formation… Keenly mindful of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status…[Traister] is both deliberate and conversant in her language of inclusion…As impressively well researched as All the Single Ladies is…it’s the personal narratives drawn from more than 100 interviews she conducted with all manner of women that make the book not just an informative read but also an entirely engaging one.”
Los Angeles Times

A well-researched, deeply informative examination of women’s bids for independence, spanning centuries…Traister provides a thoughtful culling of history to help bridge the gap between, on the one hand, glib depictions of single womanhood largely focused on sexual escapades and, on the other, grave warnings that female independence will unravel the very fabric of the country…[she] brings a welcome balance of critique and personal reflection to a conversation that is often characterized more by advocacy and moral policing than honest discovery…All The Single Ladies is arriving just in time. This is an informative and thought-provoking book for anyone – not just the single ladies – who wants to gain a great understanding of this pivotal moment in the history of the United States.”
New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)

Powerful and convincing…we’re better off reading Rebecca Traister on women, politics, and America than pretty much anyone else. [Traister is] one of the nation’s smartest and most provocative feminist voices.”
The Boston Globe

The enormous accomplishment of Traister’s book is to show that the ranks of women electing for nontraditional lives…have also improved the lots of women who make traditional choices, blowing open the institutions of marriage and parenthood…This rich portrait of our most quietly explosive social force makes it clear that the ladies still have plenty of work to do.”

A monumental study of the political, economic, social, and sexual consequences of the rise of unmarried women.”
New Republic

Lucid and well-researched…[Traister] vividly illustrates the collective power of single women in guiding legal, economic, and social progress and in ‘asserting themselves as citizens—full citizens—in ways that American men have for generations.’ A chapter on female friendships satisfyingly conveys the complexity of a significant, and often dismissed, relationship.”
The New Yorker

Personal and relatable…[Traister’s] assessment of single women’s sex lives is so balanced and ordinary-sounding that it becomes extraordinary in a world where Tinder is supposedly bringing a dating apocalypse…I’ll swipe right on that message any day.”
Washington Post

Though Traister is no longer one of us, she retains her memories and her empathy, as well as her feminist commitments…Drawing on, historical and contemporary sources, as well as her own reporting, she has produced a wide-ranging, insistently optimistic analysis of the role of single women in American society.”
Chicago Tribune

I can’t begin to count the number of conversations I’ve had in my adult life about my lack of enthusiasm to marry… Thankfully, with the publication of Rebecca Traister’s All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, I can stop explaining and buy her book for all the busybodies in my happily unmarried life. Traister blends history, reportage and personal memoir to propose that the notion of marriage in American life has been and will be written by unmarried women.”
The Guardian (US)

Traister’s illuminating history of women who haven’t put a ring on it, whether by choice or by chance, is smartly placed in a larger historical context and enriched by compelling personal narratives.”
Entertainment Weekly, Best Books of 2016 So Far select

Traister is one of the sharpest journalists writing about feminism today, and her look into the link between eras with large numbers of unmarried women and periods of drastic social change is absolutely riveting… It turns out the history of unmarried women in this country is a fascinating one, which Traister recounts in compulsively readable detail, combining facts with personal stories from single ladies across racial and financial spectrums. What’s left after she joyfully dismantles conservative arguments about the death of wifely servitude is hope: ‘Ring on it’ or not, the paths open to women today are varied and bright.”
Entertainment Weekly

It takes a gifted writer to conjure an addictive, fascinating read out of centures of dense facts and census data, but that’s exactly what journalist Traister does in this illuminating history of unmarried women. Using wide-ranging research as well as interviews, she delves into the different ways singlehood affects women of varying races, socioeconomic brackets, and sexual orientations–and explains how surges in the numbers of single women throughout history have coincided with social change.”
—Isabella Biedenharn, Entertainment Weekly

In this intelligent book, Traister looks at the many reasons for choosing a patch that would have been cultural and economic suicide 50 years ago. She wants single women to recognize themselves as a political force and to celebrate unmarried life for what it can be: an excellent option.”
People Magazine

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, [Traister] brings her trademark intelligence and wit to bear, interspersing her own experiences and observations with dozens of interviews with women all over the country, plus historical context, from so-called Boston marriages (the nineteenth-century name for women who lived together) and the Brontë sisters to Murphy Brown and Sex and the City.”
Elle Magazine

No husband, NP…In All The Single Ladies, an exhaustive examination of independent women and how they shaped the world we live (and date) in today, Rebecca Traister explodes the centuries-old notion that mirage is compulsory to living a happy, fulfilled life and reveals the inestimable power of being blissfully unattached.”

All The Single Ladies is essential, careful, bold, and rigorous; it’s a warning and a celebration, and I loved it.”

[All The Single Ladies] has the potential to become a seminal text on female identity in the West…Traister expertly paints a modern portrait of American life and how we got here, with an intersectional approach that accounts for class, race, and sexual orientation. Even more impressive is how Traister pushes a feminist agenda without the book ever feeling like it has an agenda, or that it’s pointing the finger at the reader to make him or her feel guilty.”

A well-written and unabashedly feminist analysis of the history and current situation of single women in America.”

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)

[Traister is] a thoughtful journalist…This fast-paced, fascinating book will draw in fans of feminism, social sciences, and U.S. history, similar to Gail ­Collins’s When Everything Changed.”
Library Journal

Incorporating a lively slew of perspectives of single ladies past and present, Traister conducts a nuanced investigation into the sexual, economic, and emotional lives of women in America and the opportunities available when marriage is no longer “the measure of female existence.”…Traister is funny and fair in how she deals with the prevalent stereotypes and remaining stigmas attached to being an unmarried woman in society…an invigorating study of single women in America with refreshing insight into the real life of the so-called spinster.”
Publishers Weekly

Cogent and provocative…a persuasive case for why unmarried women have grown into a potent political and social force…Readers will also appreciate Traister’s willingness to recount, with candor and humor, experiences in her own life that fit into the larger national story. This is a fascinating book—and an important one.”
Bookmark/Politics & Prose Blog

Part social and cultural history, part anthropological and journalistic investigation, part memoir, and total investigation into the phenomenon and political power of single womanhood.”

Timely and important…a significant addition to the literature of sociology and women’s studies…Clearly this book belongs right up there with those by Gloria Steinem, Gail Collins, and other feminist writers who shine a light on contemporary life as few others can.”
New York Journal of Books

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“Dianne Feinstein’s Long Fight for Abortion and Gun Control”

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“Why Does Everyone Think You Have to Be Married to Be Happy?

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“The Abortion Stories We Didn’t Tell”

June 30, 2022

“America’s ‘Daughters’ Grow Up To Be Women It Can’t Handle”

November 13, 2020

“Wide Awake: The past four years have birthed a progressive movement so extraordinary it just might survive the forces that threaten its extinction”

October 26, 2020

“It Shouldn’t Have Come Down to Her Some will try to blame Ruth Bader Ginsburg for not stepping down sooner. They are missing the point.”

September 19, 2020

“‘We Saw This Problem Coming’ Lauren Underwood, the youngest Black woman to ever serve in Congress, on remote legislating during a pandemic.”

July 21, 2020

“Racism Doesn’t Blink The public performance of white supremacy is key to upholding it.”

June 12, 2020

“How Far-Right Media Is Weaponizing Coronavirus”

March 24, 2020

“‘You break it, you buy it’: GOP pays price for unpopular anti-abortion policies”

November 9, 2023

“Marriage panic: It won’t fix all of America’s problems.”

September 29, 2023

“Republicans trying ‘to roll back the enlightenment’ with culture wars, says journalist Rebecca Traister”

July 25, 2023

“Updating the ‘You Go Girl’ Book Collection”

August 17, 2020

The Hive

“Can Progressive Feminists Vote For Joe Biden?”

May 8, 2020

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“Rebecca Traister Is Happy to Be Mad”

October 8, 2018

Good And Mad Explores Women’s Anger At a Pivotal Moment”

October 1, 2018


Books by Rebecca Traister

Big Girls Don't Cry
All the Single Ladies
Good and Mad

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