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Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of the mouth of babes..., October 22, 2006
This review is from: The Cultural Devastation of American Women: The Strange and Frightening Decline of the American Female (and her dreadful timing) (Paperback)
In this book, Nancy Levant extends a compassionate rebuke to the American mother and career woman. Drawing upon her experience as a daycare professional, she offers insight into the thoughts, feelings, and diets of America's children in daycare - all of which have suffered because of the woman's repudiation of the traditional role of motherhood.

"Mommy says Daddy is an idiot."
"Dad says mommy should cook dinner for us."
"Dad is never home."
"Daddy says mommy is never home."
"When's mom coming?"
"When's dad coming?"
"Why are they always late?"
"Did mommy forget to get me?"
"If they don't come, can I stay with you?"

Repeatedly quoting her daycare children, Levant opens a window into the family life of the contemporary household, and the contemporary woman who makes it. The perspective provided is unique and rare, as it is one that is seen through the eyes of the child.

Humbly acknowledging her own failures as wife and parent, the author frankly speaks very directly to the women of America. She asserts women have largely rebelled against the traditional roles of mother and housewife, as these roles have been redefined by society and the media as repressive. While extolling the virtues of female liberation, she asserts, "The empowerment of women did come at a cost..."

Levant lambastes the modern "entitlement" attitude that is so prevalent today and that is heavily promoted by Hollywood and television entertainment news shows. It is this attitude, she believes, that has become a staple of the American female psyche, to the detriment of her family. "The difference between the upper and middle-class, is that the former spends other people's money to create wealth for themselves. We spend our money to mimic them."

Though this book will be a bitter pill for many women to swallow, its compassionate medicine is meant to heal women who are stressed to the breaking point by societal pressures. After outlining the problem, Levant extends a loving hand to these victimized women, and exhorts them to face reality.

"I think these women long for peace and safety... and are simply caught up in what may be the dumbest worldliness ever known... I believe that the self-inflicted burdens and mental pressures can be removed with truth."

In "The Cultural Devastation of American Women", Nancy Levant fingers a problem that this reader wasn't aware existed. The influence of mass media entertainment shows, which promote the notion that average, middle-class women can look and live like stars, has had a highly damaging effect on the family. And while men and fathers are to blame for society's ills as well, Levant makes her focus those who have primarily and historically been the nurturers of the children.

While reading the book, I found myself laughing even as I wanted to cry.

I laughed at the absurdity and irony of the excesses, and inconsistencies of the daycare mothers with which the author has had experiences. And I was filled with nostalgic sadness as I pondered, with the author, the loss of the great female role models, which have shaped society throughout history.

Every woman will likely see a little of herself within these pages. Indeed, the author begins with humility. "I am the person who could be despised because of this book. I am the person who has made every single mistake that there is to make... I am the worst of the worst."

An easy, compelling, and often humorous read, Nancy's book is one that I hope will be well-received and taken to heart. I hope all will enjoy it as much as this reader has.
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