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Warner draws her research from a group of 20- to 40-year-old, upper-middle-class, college-educated women living in the East Coast corridor. In other words, mirror images of Warner herself. Her limited scope has caused controversy and criticism, as have some of her more sweeping statements. (For example, Warner blames second-wave feminism--rather than corporate culture--for the many limitations women still experience as they try to balance the work-family dynamic.) Other favorite targets include the mainstream media, detached fathers, and controlling, "hyperactive" mothers who create impossible standards for themselves, their children, and the community of other parents around them. Warner begins and ends the book with a compelling argument for the need for more societal support of mothers--quality-of-life government "entitlements" such as those found in France. It's these big-picture issues that will provide the solution, she says, even if most mothers don't want to discuss them because they consider the topic "tacky, strident-sounding, not the point." In these sections on governmental policy, and also when she steps back, encouraging women to be kinder to each other, the author's warmth comes across easily on the page. Pilloried by some readers and supported by others, Warner should at least be applauded for opening up the Pandora's Box of American motherhood for a new generation. And if readers are of two minds about the issues raised Perfect Madness, as Warner sometimes seems to be herself, it's a fitting reaction to a topic with few easy answers. --Jennifer Buckendorff END --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I have spend the last year reading about the women condition. Why because I have found it so hard to understand my wife. I love her very much. Read morePublished 5 months ago by alkane
I really enjoyed this book, bought in conjunction with The Price of Privelege. A great read for any modern mother.Published 6 months ago by jpltpl
Of course I don't agree with every word in this book, but it sure has given me pause on many of its pages. That's what a good book does ... it makes you think.Published 14 months ago by Lanette Ciresi
I was hoping for some good anecdotes, science or SOMETHING, but really it was just a lot of whining. Read morePublished 20 months ago by KGK421
I was expecting some kind of insight instead got all those background/history reports of women's role in society. Read morePublished on January 24, 2012 by G. Chang
Once in a while I encounter an American (younger than 70) saying things that few younger Americans are capable of seeing or reacting to anymore. Read morePublished on March 17, 2010 by we-should-have-lunch-sometimes!
I am a lawyer turned stay-at-home mom and all of the points in this book resonated with me. It was as if Ms. Warner were reading my mind. Read morePublished on May 4, 2009 by ellen meyers
After reading the "Perfect Madness. Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety" I was honestly wondering why any woman would ever chose to have a child. Read morePublished on April 30, 2009 by Lilac Lily
I don't doubt that mothers in the US often get a raw deal. No mandatory paid maternity leave, check. Antiquated expectations of new mothers in the workforce, check. Read morePublished on January 6, 2009 by LD