Her broad statements like "the feminist movement has become hostile to heterosexual relationships in general" and her tendency to react to callers in anger may offend, but if you can put aside her ratings-boosting fits of temper, you'll find some solid advice in 10 Stupid Things Couples Do to Mess Up Their Relationships
. While Dr. Laura Schlessinger excels at placing blame, her bluntness can be refreshing, and with chapter titles like "stupid priorities," "stupid egotism," and "stupid liaisons," you know right where she stands on issues like career commitment, perceived selfishness, and extramarital relationships.
Much of the book has been created from letters written by listeners of her show. These personal anecdotes are used to illustrate points and provide examples we can all relate to; given their tremendous variety, you're sure to find some that click with you. They make the book an easily absorbed read and provide a welcome break from Schlessinger's angry tirades on premarital sex, addiction, and the general "stupidity" of the human race. Behind her anger, you'll find suggestions on taking time to really listen to each other, ways to respect each other's needs without catering to selfishness, and a firm belief that relationships are nearly always worth saving. --Jill Lightner
From Publishers Weekly
Schlessinger once again pontificates on the values, behaviors and flaws that ruin lives and society. Dr. Laura is well-known for her caustic advice on her syndicated radio show and in previous Stupid Things books. Never a believer in the proverbial spoonful of sugar, she pummels readers with judgments and instructions for dating and marriage. With many quotations from listeners, Schlessinger gives a tongue-lashing to "stupid" secrets, egotism, pettiness, power, excuses, etc. She offers rational (if familiar) counsel to honor commitments, treat partners and relationships respectfully, communicate, accept differences and make some compromises, but she exhibits not a trace of empathy or humility. She never substantiates broad generalizations that "feminist propaganda" and "ultraliberal... norms" have yielded an "amoral" and "ego-loving society," neglecting to cite sources for vague "studies." She writes, "I get very angry when spouses call feeling guilty for wanting to get out of bad relationships," forgetting that, as a counselor, her feelings don't much matter. Frozen in some pre-Feminine Mystique time, she advocates chivalry, alleging, "it's getting more and more difficult for a man to find a woman he can respect." Although not a medical doctor or addiction counselor, Schlessinger rejects the concept of addiction as disease, blaming it on poor "character." People seeking a self-help alternative to touchy-feely or moral-relativist philosophies should avoid this harsh, self-indulgent tirade. (Oct.)Forecast: Schlessinger's high profile will spur interest. But outrage at her recent antigay campaign caused many advertisers to boycott her television show and will affect sales.
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