From Publishers Weekly
Frasier is one of the most talented readers of nonfiction audio books (it wasn't a simple matter to make a book like Mary Roach's Stiff both edifying and wry, but Frasier pulled it off wonderfully). Frasier delivers the text at a brisk clip, just quick enough to hold the audience's interest through Barash's repetitive text, but clearly enough to enunciate every word. Moreover, Frasier individualizes the voices of research respondents, 500 heterosexual women interviewed about competitive relationships with other women, putting a human face on Barash's conclusions. Barash has a gift for innuendo: the respondents come across as reluctant, shy, angry, bitter or matter-of-fact. Although these women appear only briefly, Frasier manages to convey more than the printed text might. It's an easier task to read a brilliant book than one like Barash, which lags at times. Kudos to Frasier's fine job with a book that is an important addition to women's and cultural studies but lacks narrative sparkle. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 12, 2005).
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Gender-issues expert Barash finds that women's solidarity with one another is mythical in this in-depth treatment of female rivalry, a subject she recognized in previous books but never before focused on in "a study that would show both the external pressures and the internal dynamics that led to envy, jealousy and competition." Insufficient options are the root cause of women's rivalry, she contends, arguing that society's limiting, narrowly defined roles for women create a situation in which there isn't enough to go around; hence, competition. Ironically, her study of 500 heterosexual women of varied ages, races, and backgrounds found that rivalry intensified as women moved from 1950s domesticity to the twenty-first-century's expanded options. Pressure to hide such rivalry has grown, too, and is a key to understanding women's urge to outdo each other conclusively, since the combination of concealment and competition is exhausting, especially for those who came of age during the passionate perihelion of -sisterhood-is-powerful ideology. Whitney ScottCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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