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On Becoming Fearless...in Love, Work, and Life Paperback – April 9, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Huffington exhorts women to "break through to the other side of fear" and to be bold in all aspects of life. She tells listeners that in order to join a Cambridge debate club, she had to overcome her fear of having a heavy Greek accent. In a nutshell, that's both the tenor and flaw of this book. Huffington might have done better to work on overcoming her accent than the fear of it. To her credit, she reads her book slowly and carefully, and almost all of her words can be understood by even the casual listener. A larger problem is that the message of overcoming fears about beauty, competition in love and so forth probably comes across better in a written text. Not fitting into society's prescriptions does have real consequences, whether one is fearless or not. Nevertheless, women who finish Huffington's mantra might feel better about who they are, even if they are listening while having their bodies waxed.
Copyright© American Library Association. All rights reserved
Huffington, nationally syndicated columnist and one of the hundreds of candidates for California governor in the election that brought Arnold Schwarzenegger to office, offers a surprisingly refreshing look at the journey women take to fearlessness. Huffington observes the standard fears that plague women's lives: insecurities about their beauty and youth, getting and keeping a man's love, the need for approval of others, the demands of motherhood. She intersperses her own personal recollections with essays by women, well-known and obscure, on their own efforts to overcome fear. Among the women who contribute essays or commentary are Nora Ephron, Diane Keaton, documentary producer Kathy Eldon, producer Marcy Carsey, author Agapi Stassinopoulos, a psychiatry professor, and Huffington's office manager. Huffington cites The Rules and stats from women's magazines as well as Shakespeare and C. S. Lewis, the Koran and the Bible, in a wide-ranging look at the challenges women face in family, faith, careers, and personal fulfillment to explore the rewards of facing up to fears and working steadily toward fearlessness. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top Customer Reviews
Prior to reading this book, I held a belief that great people did not have to work with the same type of inner chatter - "the world's worst roommate," as Ms. Huffington so aptly puts it. Ms. Huffington has given me such a gift; to see that it is not some better, less fearful mind that makes her success a possibility, but rather her feisty excitement at moving through and past her fears!
If you are considering this book, I highly recommend it! If you like this style of writing, in which wisdom is collected and woven together through a series of stories and anecdotes, I also recommend that you check out Ariel and Shya Kane's most recent book, Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment. Like Ms. Huffington, the Kanes are skilled at using their wisdom and life experience to guide their readers past the limiting fears and ideas that naturally impede well being, so that life can be lived at its best: as a daring adventure!!!
Since I don't live in California, I didn't recognize Huffington's name from her gubernatorial race. I don't know her name or politics.
On Becoming Fearless seems to be a collection of random thoughts, interspersed with brief essays from celebrities and notables. Alas, publishers like names more than ideas and revere fame more than substance.
The chapter on aging seems at best irrelevant and at worst insensitive. Huffington begins by noting the Greek respect for elders. True, many cultures do revere elders (although I wonder how long that pattern will continue). But that's not relevant to most of us.
Don't look in the mirror, Huffington says. Accept yourself. But she acknowledges her use of detox processes (yuk) and the services of a very special esthetician (beyond reach and pocketbook of most aging women).
In another example, the chapter on money sings the familiar song of passion and abundance. While many people are held back by fear, a little healthy caution can save others from disastrous moves. Some people handle risk better than others. Some come up with realistic dreams while others build castles in the air.
Bottom Line: I was disappointed in my quest for a new book to recommend. If you want to read a really good book on fear, get Thom Rutledge's book, Embracing Fear. Or read one of Harriet Lerner's books.
What's really scary is that fluff and New Age-y books are so quick to attract publishers and ultimately readers.
But when I got to the chapter about Faith and God I was extremely upset. How could someone as open minded as Huffington be so judmental and discrimintory against athiests? I was shocked, her point being that an athiests life will never mean anything without belief in a higher being. The quotations are so upsetting and damning to athiests that she sounds so much like the evangalicals she detests than they do!! She is practicing the discrimnation she so passionatly fights against. I believe she is the one is who full of fear, the fear that maybe there is a possibility that God does not exist. This chapter completely negates the book and its message. I am so sorry she chose to write this book without really being fearless herself.
Huffington has never feared the consequences of her political convictions. "At the heart of my political transformation was my recognition that the task of overcoming poverty and social injustice is too monumental to be achieved without the power and scale that only government can provide. Along with this came the conviction that silence is not an option." Huffington has never allowed herself to be silenced. She addresses her adversaries with verve and mental acuity, and is known for her bulldog tenacity in facing conflict. It is no surprise to learn that she headed the debating society at Cambridge University.
In this book she lays out some gutsy principles to live by. Demystify money and don't let it rule your life. Don't be afraid of aging: "fifty really is the new thirty." Be fearless with the possibility of power; Arianna hasn't let men, like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 2003 race for governor of California, hold her back with the suggestion that she "drink more decaf."
Huffington has run for high office, made herself a known and to-be-reckoned-with face on our television screens, and has done so without sacrificing her femininity. She would perhaps say that stalking the corridors of political power and making demands of the system is at the very heart of femininity. Citing examples from the world of corporate America, Huffington shows us many exemplars of decisive, assertive women, and concludes, "If you want to succeed big, there is no substitute for simply sticking your neck out.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a really well written book that I have found insightful and helpful. I would have given five stars but most of Arianna's stories stem around famous or extremely successful... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Stormy evening
A great analysis of how women function and how they allow themselves to be paralyzed by fear as a result of a history of submission and repression. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kate
Reading this book was such an eye-opener. The stories behind the fearless women in this book are truly inspirational and motivating.Published 2 months ago by Krystal H
Stimulating read, it inspires self-reflection. Loved the shared life experiences, told in an easy to read and ingest manner.Thank you for sharing your giftPublished 3 months ago by lisa ann scheerer
Who doesn't love the Huff? I remember enjoying this but don't remember much beyond an anecdote about Arianna falling asleep at her desk. Read morePublished 4 months ago by abferro
Okay not great. I expected some inspirational advice but it was mostly common sense.Published 5 months ago by LC
Arianna Huffington wrote a really inspiring book. This book was helpful and inspired me. READ this book and you will see what I mean.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer