NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 1963. First printing, with full number line present on copyright page. Octavo, 6 x 8.5 in. 410pp. Black cloth boards, gold spine lettering; in first-state dust jacket (see below for full explication). Scuffing and some light scratches to boards. Minor bump to rear bottom board corner. In a jacket clipped to both front flaps and repriced at "$6.95" at top center of the front flap. Spine panel moderately sunned, with several ~1/2" closed tears at top. Additional closed tears at base of rear panel and flap corners. Altogether a very good copy in an about very good jacket. Priced to reflect its modest flaws, though reasonably presentable all the same.
First printing of this monumental work, which nearly single-handedly ushered in second-wave feminism. Friedan argued that the dissatisfaction rampant among post-war American women was the direct result of the "feminine mystique," a limiting trope of passivity then prevalent in mainstream culture. Written in a persuasive and easily relatable manner, the book resonated with readers and quickly became a runaway hit, selling more than one million copies during its first year in print. Though not without its blind spots--Friedan concerns herself almost exclusively with the plight of white, middle-class women--the book's importance as a catalyst of social upheaval in the 1960s and 1970s cannot be overstated. As such, it remains widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most influential works of nonfiction.
N.B. The early print history of this title is somewhat confusing. We have seen correctly designated first printings in at least three binding variants: orange papered boards backed with black cloth, gray papered boards backed with blue cloth, and the full black cloth seen here; we are not aware that any priority distinction has been made among them. This copy in what is commonly referred to as the first state jacket, with shorter front panel quotes from Pearl S. Buck and Virgilia Peterson, and two longer quotes from same on rear (later state jackets had a single long Virgilia Peterson quote on front panel, and shorter quotes from seven other writers on rear). However, and somewhat confusingly, the jacket on this copy has been repriced at "$6.95," leading us to believe that this copy might be from an early run that was initially pulled and later put back into the market at a publisher-corrected price, or was perhaps reserved for export to Canada and thus repriced soon after production to reflect currency differences. At any rate, we are confident that this is indeed the correct first state jacket. (At the risk of making matters even more confusing, but in defense of our "first state" claim, it should also be noted that the first book club edition shared the two-front-quote blurb format of the first state trade jacket, but with the following differences: a book club statement at base of front flap, "Printed in U.S.A." and a book club code below "Jacket design by Anthony D'Esposito" on rear panel. Finally, as seen here, the first state jacket has a white registration line along the spine hinge of the rear panel, which the jackets on all of the book club editions we have seen seem to omit.)