Most helpful critical review
86 of 98 people found the following review helpful
Needs more discussion
on July 2, 2011
I enjoyed some aspects of this book, but question some of the premises. I will begin with what I got out of it, then move on to aspects that I believe bear more discussion, if not scrutiny.
First, some of the solutions were clever and very practical. "Cross-reading," that is, reading something you disagree with or is written from a viewpoint other than your own is terrific advice. I will try to pick up an occasional one of those. The book reads well, and I enjoyed her personal passages about her grandmother, mother and father. We'd all do well to think about the origins of our world view. Another major point we are in agreement over is that the media does not cover important issues adequately. The insipid and banal stories some mainstream news outlets serve up should make the editors blush.
The aspects I am not on board with follow: First, the breathless tone of some of the statements remind me of Wolf Blitzer jazzing you up with excitement with that piercing disaster-reporting tone. Usually after he has your ear, you realize he is talking about something quite mundane. Second, Bloom's statement about how only beautiful people get friends and get ahead in this society does not ring true to me. I just tossed the barely-used tube of lipstick I bought when I got married over thirty years ago. I don't wear makeup and am only dimly aware of current fashion. I have never lacked for friends or been passed over for a promotion. One should be clean and tidy, yes, but wear makeup and have plastic surgery? That is overstatement. Finally, I fail to see the harm in watching reality tv. It is not my cup of tea, but, like the weather, it gives afficionados something to discuss and therefore provides social lubrication. I am surprised some women still wear high heels after we worked so hard to get out of the compulsory mini-skirts of my youth. But Ms. Bloom, they are OPTIONAL today. And I fail to see a correlation between them and lack of thinking. There are equal numbers of thoughtful young women in heels and vapid creatures in flats.