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Pearls, Politics, and Power: How Women Can Win and Lead Hardcover – April 15, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing; First Edition, First Printing edition (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603580107
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603580106
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #409,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Having risen from the Vermont State House to the Lieutenant Governorship to become the first woman elected governor of Vermont (1985-1991), Kunin (Living a Political Life) is part of the new wave of women in the top ranks of government, and she's recruiting: "Women will not have all the answers, but they are sure to inject new talent, ideas, and optimism into a political system desperately in need of all three." Detailing her own experiences in the corridors of power-including her time as Ambassador to Switzerland under President Clinton-Kunin also calls on a long list of women in politics to discuss the problems they've overcome, the issues that have driven them and the reasons that gender does make a difference. As a guide, Kunin proves practical and candid, offering chapters on becoming a politician, "being the leader" and "working with the jerks," but she also disseminates with chapters on women presidents around the world and female leaders in a number of settings (business, military, education). If one gets the feeling of being set up, there's reason: the ninth chapter, "A Woman President of the United States?" indulges Kunin's enthusiastic support of Hillary Clinton for president. Otherwise, Kunin's book will help any woman looking to take a leadership role, with a list of issues and resources to explore.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In an election year that holds promise for the first female president, Kunin, former governor of Vermont and U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, offers a clarion call to women, noting that they “have been bystanders to history for too long.” She describes women not as a political monolith but certainly as citizens and voters who make a priority of children, family, education, health care, and the environment, among other issues. She argues that whatever their political ideology, women tend to be more collaborative and inclusive than men. Women typically contribute to the community by volunteering, and Kunin urges expansion to politics through elected or appointed office. Kunin recalls her own evolution from bystander to multiple office holder and includes interviews with other women in politics, from local offices to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for their perspective on how and why they got involved in politics. Interspersed throughout are short biographies of major historical figures, including Bella Abzug and Betty Friedan. Readers will enjoy the perspective in this banner year for women in politics. --Vanessa Bush

More About the Author

Madeleine M. Kunin was the first woman governor of Vermont, and served as the Deputy Secretary of Education and Ambassador to Switzerland under President Bill Clinton. She is the author of Living a Political Life and is currently a Marsh Scholar Professor-at-Large at the University of Vermont and lectures on history and women's studies. She also serves as president of the board of the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), a nongovernmental organization that she founded in 1991. She lives in Burlington, Vermont.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. C. Williams on October 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
Pearls, Politics and Power: How Women Can Win and Lead
By Madeleine Kunin/Book Review by Rob Williams
Chelsea Green; 2008; 233 pages

"Remember the ladies."
- Abigail Adams

"Well-behaved women rarely make history."
- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Vermonter Madeleine Kunin has led an extraordinary life.

Born in Zurich to a Jewish family, she moved to the United States as a girl, studied journalism in school, and developed an interest in literature, women's rights, and politics. She chose to enter Vermont politics in the 1970s, and in 1984, ran and won the office of Vermont governor, serving for 3 terms before declining to run for another term in 1990. Shortly after leaving the governor's office, Kunin found herself appointed Deputy Secretary of Education by the Clinton administration, a post she held from 1993-1997, when she became ambassador to her native Switzerland. All this, and she found time to raise four children, to boot.

And now, with the publication of <em>Pearls, Politics, and Power</em>, Kunin reflects on all of these experiences in a thoughtful book-length meditation about "how women can win and lead" in the public sphere.

The book is really two books in one. For much of the monograph, Kunin uses her own experiences in public life as a springboard to explore the struggles women face as political leaders, as well as considering women who have "made it" in the political world, from Hatshepsut, the first female pharaoh of Egypt, to Hillary Clinton, whose failed 2008 presidential bid offers lessons for anyone interested in a serious consideration of the relationship between women and politics. She then concludes with a final chapter entitled "Where Do We Go From Here?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Gardner on April 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
Easy,thought provoking, motivating read. Redefining what we ourselves perceive as leadership material is where we have to start. She is very inciteful and threaded her points together in a very step by step, reevaluate your boundaries and goals, in a down to earth kind of way. Further she showed us many that have before us. Leave the negative stereoptyping behind and work towards those goals. Many are! Breaking that barrier and reaching outside the gender sterotype box was the message thruout. Reemphasizing the understanding that we, as women, may differ from men but our maternal core values clearly bring something positive to the table. This mix is sorely needed in this day and age as also was clear in the book. Bring your inner strength with your moral compass pointing North and go for it! How great it is to be a woman in this age of growth with so much opportunity at your fingertips and so many wonderful women authors and politicians like Mrs. Kunin to help bring out our best! Stop focusing on the dress and the hair and GO FOR IT LADIES!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Linda Poppe on May 29, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gov. Kunin proves in this book that a woman in politics does not have to "storm the heavens" or crash through barriers - - but can (and she has) work up to as high a position politically as she may wish without ever giving up the endearing qualities that result in her being titled a true Lady, in every sense of the etiquette word.
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By Veronica on April 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the title and the book as well. I first started reading this book in the library while the little ones were playing on the computers. I decided to purchase it because it has an itneresting story-telling style and outlines why women can and should lead. It has many anecdotes from females who lead but do not fit the stereotype of the overbearing woman who loses her female side in the process.
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By anm8 on December 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. I wish it dug more into the "how-to" but that's a very difficult topic to write on since it's different for so many women. Great as a beginner book to an exploration into a deeper issue.
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