THREE OUT OF FOUR WIVES: Widowhood in America by Alfred Allan & Barrie Berns Lewis

THREE OUT OF FOUR WIVES: Widowhood in America

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A combative book, sometimes tasteless and dubious -- in both fact and opinion -- to prepare the three out of four who will be widowed at 52, although the median age is later given as 59. Women's Lib has ignored them in its platforms and there's only one Widow-to-Widow Program, in Boston. Author Lewis does not believe in tranquilizers for grief; on the other hand he devotes a chapter to ""Psychedelic Drugs and the Bereaved"" which is based on one controlled experiment now going on in Maryland; he far prefers the superwidow image of ""Jackie O"" to Ethel Kennedy's. Social Security is a rip-off and pensions ""have more cute ways of cheating on widows than any philandering husband""; you can't count on ""the gifts""; as for your kids, ""the widow. . . must cross her legs against her children.""(!) Without them or a husband, she will probably have to masturbate until once having made her ""surrender to oneness,"" she gets interesting work and men (better she should marry someone younger -- so she needn't survive him). 325 widows have contributed excerpted confessional material and while it's not exactly tony, it's better than the author's vulgar gung-ho prose.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1975
Publisher: Macmillan