What We Are Reading Today: No Stopping Us Now by Gail Collins

Updated 18 October 2019

What We Are Reading Today: No Stopping Us Now by Gail Collins

No Stopping Us Now is lively, fascinating, eye-opening look at women and aging in America, by New York Times columnist Gail Collins.

Collins was the editorial page editor of The New York Times from 2001 to Jan. 1, 2007. 

She was the first woman editorial page editor at the Times.

No Stopping Us Now “is a chronicle of the herky-jerky nature of older women’s journey to progress in the US over the years,” said Lesley Stahl in a review for the Times.

“It’s eye-opening, brimming with new information and, as you’d expect from Collins, a lot of fun,” added Stahl.

Stahl is a correspondent for 60 Minutes and the author of Becoming Grandma and Reporting Live.

Collins “has delivered a deeply researched, entertaining book about the ragged journey of this increasingly visible segment of America’s population, bringing a reporter’s eye to the facts and anecdotes, and never without humor,” said Stahl.

Collins was also a journalism instructor at Southern Connecticut State University.

Collins’ excavation of the past has produced a vault of nuggets and gems, added Stahl.


What We Are Reading Today: Porcelain by Suzanne L. Marchand

Updated 02 July 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Porcelain by Suzanne L. Marchand

Porcelain was invented in medieval China—but its secret recipe was first reproduced in Europe by an alchemist in the employ of the Saxon king Augustus the Strong. Saxony’s revered Meissen factory could not keep porcelain’s ingredients secret for long, however, and scores of Holy Roman princes quickly founded their own mercantile manufactories, soon to be rivaled by private entrepreneurs, eager to make not art but profits. As porcelain’s uses multiplied and its price plummeted, it lost much of its identity as aristocratic ornament, instead taking on a vast number of banal, yet even more culturally significant, roles. By the 19th and 20th centuries, it became essential to bourgeois dining, and also acquired new functions in insulator tubes, shell casings, and teeth.

Weaving together the experiences of entrepreneurs and artisans, state bureaucrats and female consumers, chemists and peddlers, Porcelain traces the remarkable story of “white gold” from its origins as a princely luxury item to its fate in Germany’s cataclysmic 20th century. For 300 years, porcelain firms have come and gone, but the industry itself, at least until very recently, has endured. After Augustus, porcelain became a quintessentially German commodity, integral to provincial pride, artisanal industrial production, and a familial sense of home.

Telling the story of porcelain’s transformation from coveted luxury to household necessity and flea market staple, Porcelain offers a fascinating alternative history of art, business, taste, and consumption in Central Europe.