Elaine Kendall

My Works

Peculiar Institutions


“The story of the (women’s) colleges is a uniquely fascinating chapter in the history of American education, and their accomplishments and their problems now present contemporary feminism with one of its most persistent dilemmas: Can a single-sex institution be justified and for how much longer?”

The Happy Mediocrity


“Dealing with the basics of American life--food, clothing, shelter, work, play and love--The Happy Mediocrity shows that some of the developments that seem so illogical, astonishing and disappointing are the direct and inevitable results of attitudes that have been part of America since its origins. We may have outgrown these attitudes, but we have never replaced them. Although the meaning of mediocrity has changed over the years, this book reveals the reasons behind our continuing to pretend it’s the golden mean described two centuries ago by Benjamin Franklin.”

The Upper Hand

(Little, Brown)

“Elaine Kendall borrows the time-tested methods of the women-watchers and applies them to men, with consistently surprising and often disturbing results...Most enlightening of all, what has the American man been telling us about himself in the literature of this country? Besides giving provocative and often controversial answers to legitimate questions, Kendall has performed a considerable service for the much-maligned American woman by diverting literary attention away from her, where it has been fixed for far too long, and turn it to the neglected and urgent problem of American men.”

Is Theater Necessary?

from Santa Barbara News-Press 4/03

click title link to read whole article

Selected Works

Book Review
1. Non-Fiction
Provocative social history--thoughtful, witty, and surprising.
Dealing with the basics of American life.
Time-tested methods of women-watchers applied to men.
4. Article
from Santa Barbara News-Press 4/03