From Publishers Weekly
In the past century, homemakers have become a dying breed. The domestic achievements of our mothers and grandmothers have been devalued and replaced by the easy options of fast food, hired help and prefabricated products of all kinds; meanwhile, the arts of cooking, needlework and gardening become the province of a dedicated few. Zimmerman (Breaking with Tradition: Women and Work) urges both men and women to honor and preserve the domestic achievements of our female ancestors. "In the small private act of stirring a pot of homemade soup or knitting a scarf for a loved one we preserve the rich heritage of the home and keep back the swelling tide of mediocrity and commodification that is fast replacing it-and, most important, nourish our own souls." Although Zimmerman asserts that revaluing "women's work" is a feminist act, her argument occasionally downplays the positive impact the feminist revolution has had on American women in the past four decades. In the end, Zimmerman advocates for a mild domestic revolution of her own: "I would like to see every person perform just one small domestic act." It's a startling request in its simplicity, and yet it highlights the very best that modern feminism has offered women: nowadays, for some women, to perform a small domestic act is a choice. Though the book's gender politics may raise a few hackles, the author offers a thoughtful and engaging defense of domesticity.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
is the author of Tailspin: Women at War in the Wake of Tailhook,
and coauthor of Breaking with Tradition: Women and Work, the New Facts of Life.
Most recently, Zimmerman and her husband and writing partner Gil Reavill published Raising Our Athletic Daughters: How Sports Can Build Self-Esteem and Save Girls' Lives.
Zimmerman lives with her family in Westchester County, New York.