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The Motherhood Manifesto: What America's Moms Want - and What To Do About It Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books (April 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560258845
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560258841
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #838,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A straightforward agenda by political activists Blades and Rowe-Finkbeiner advocates a seriously thought-out, workable scheme for empowering mothers at home and in the workplace. The book is snappily structured in chapters that correspond to the letters making up the word mother: M is for "Maternity/Paternity Leave"; O for "Open Flexible Work"; T for "TV You Choose and Other After-School Programs"; H for "Healthcare for All Kids"; E for "Excellent Child Care"; and R for "Realistic and Fair Wages." In order to drive home these demands, the authors sound some alarming facts and statistics: although nearly three-quarters of American mother have jobs outside of the home, they tend to earn 27% less than men, while single moms earn 34%–44% less. The national scandal of skyrocketing health care costs bankrupts families and pushes moms into marginalized jobs, while working mothers leave children home to unsupervised TV watching and substandard child care. The authors propose family-friendly flexible work schedules and offer compelling employer success stories. The U.S. military presents a model child care program, while a boost in the minimum wage would allow mothers a "living wage." "As mothers go, so goes the country," the authors warn, and they hammer home real ways of taking action. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Joan Blades is a co-founder of moveon.org and was chosen as one of Ms. Magazine’s “Women of the Year” in 2003 She was the cofounder with husband Wes Boyd of Berkeley Systems. She is the author of Mediate Your Divorce and co-wrote The Divorce Book. Blades lives in Northern California.

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner works as a consultant and researcher in the field of environmental policy and political strategy. She is the author of The F-Word: Feminism in Jeopardy and writes frequently about public policy, health and new feminism. Rowe-Finkbeiner lives in Washington.

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Customer Reviews

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I have been an employer's bargain!
strongwoman
I was already convinced that changes needed to occur prior to reading this book, but that feeling has been cemented after reading this book.
nomer15
This book is very well researched, its claims are backed by trustworthy data from various sources, and it is well written.
C. Lima

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Amy Tiemann VINE VOICE on April 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a writer who feels like it's time to move beyond the so-called "Mommy Wars," I eagerly awaited the chance to read "The Motherhood Manifesto." I was not disappointed--this is truly the book that I have been hoping that someone would write. Blades and Rowe-Finkbeiner describe the substantial problems that familes face, and lay out proactive steps that mothers can take to work toward a just and equitable society for all of us. The book is extremely well researched. My impression after reading the first few chapters was to feel angry that there is so little U. S. public policy that truly supports parents, and also very sad that we have thus far settled for such a pathetic situation. Thinking parents, women and men: it is a matter of economic strategy as well as compassion to support familes with flexible work schedules, benefits, and fair wages. Joan Blades and Kristen Rowe-Finkbeiner have incredible credentials to launch a new movement. Read this book, [...] to find out what you can do to join their call to action.
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57 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Rosen on May 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
As the author of "The World Split Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America," (Penguin, 2001), I have long waited for a book that explains why women and mothers are not part of "identity politics; but an essentail ingredient of the public good. "The Motherhood Manifesto" offers the reader a clear, lucid, description of the discrimination that mothers face, and what we can do to rectify this injustice. It addresses what I have called The Care Crisis--the fact that mothers have entered the paid labor force during the last 40 years, but American society has found no answer to the vital questions: Who will take care of our nation's children,elderly, and our communities?

For those who want to restore democracy in the United States, here is the recipe for doing just that--creating a society in which caregiving and work each receive their due, but in a balanced and humane manner. Must reading for anyone who cares about the burdens working mothers and families face under our current antiquated system of assuming that each person and each family is wholly self-reliant.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By reviewer on May 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
The minds behind MoveOn.org tend to get it right, and this book is no exception. Throught-provoking and insightful, and well worth a price tag of less than ten bucks!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall its a GREAT book. But my question is this, is it about what people WANT or about what society NEEDS?

Wish the book had more on the issue of education. Recent news stories show that well over half of all Latino and black students drop out of school. Time magazine did a major story in recent months of the number of white students in middle America who are dropping out. Yet all research shows that better education, even a high school diploma will help keep a person out of poverty.

You can have all the childcare and after school programs you want but unless finishing school is made a priority society will continue to suffer. Even with state supported pre school programs we still have a huge drop out problem down the road come high school.

How many parents in this book who were/are struggling lack a high school education? How many could use continuing education in order to make a better living? How many parents with children in schools live in communities where families with children are the majority yet every new school bond issue is voted down?

On page 181 the authors write 'It is a reality of modern life that most mothers need to reenter the workforce before their children are in elementary school...' Where is the research that shows this? ABC 20/20 did an excellent piece a couple years ago that showed that for many working mothers, they were not making more money working but were in fact losing money what with the second car, childcare, clothes, second car etc.

How about we step back and look at the vast suburban landscape where the average family has two children yet the house the parents are buying is one-third or one hundred percent larger than the homes of the 1950's when families were larger.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Lima on June 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is very well researched, its claims are backed by trustworthy data from various sources, and it is well written.

The wonderful thing about this book is that besides laying out the problems faced by mothers and their families, it offers the path to the solutions of these problems. Not only mothers should read this, but anyone who is part of a family, which, I guess, includes pretty much all of us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amy Graham on June 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
Reading this book made me really, really, unbelievably sad...but then, all books of this nature tend to do that to me. I am of two minds on this one...part of me really liked it, but the rest of me loathed it. I do think that probably all women who are in their early twenties, at the start of their career track and considering "having it all" (the career, the husband and the kids) should read this, because there is a harsh reality that comes with being a mom (or dad) AND working full time...and the alternative of one parent staying home requires sacrifices that are just as great (unless you're lucky enough to have a spouse that actually does make enough to support this...and fewer and fewer do anymore). Reading something like this would have been a real eye opener for me ten years ago...and I probably would have made different choices than I did in having our children...I went into it blindly, thinking it would all work out because we decided to undertake parenting as a joint venture, but the reality is quite different than what one might think. Parenting is expensive and hard...but mostly the expense is hard to deal with (the rest has its rewards and is therefore easier to take).

The book stresses that families NEED two full time working parents to make ends meet and doesn't seem to take into account people who choose to do with less (like one car instead of two, second hand instead of new, ect...) to have one parent stay at home and the other work full time...but the reality is that for the way most people live and the wages they can realistically pull down, both do need to work just to make a basic living wage with no bells or whistles.
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