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You Have to Stand for Something or You'll Fall for Anything Hardcover – September 1, 1998
The Amazon Book Review
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Pablo Picasso once said, "There are only two types of women--goddesses and doormats." The ever-sassy Star Jones, watched by millions as cohost of The View, shares that opinion, and here in You Have to Stand... she aims to shake the living daylights out of the doormat in all of us. Unlike many autobiographical books these days, Jones's is truly absorbing reading. While she vividly recounts her lifetime of "rocking the boat," she imparts many nice, swift kicks in the pants.
Formerly a senior district attorney in Brooklyn, New York (where stabbing someone in the chest is a misdemeanor), and a Court TV commentator, Jones is known for her singular, take-no-baloney attitude. She caused a media ruckus during the William Kennedy Smith rape trial by saying that any woman who can't remember taking off a pair of control-top pantyhose "has a credibility problem." She says she doesn't want to know that President Clinton "has a hard-on in a little cubby next to the Oval Office." Her pro-choice stance, she says, "goes against how I was raised and what I was taught, and yet at the same time I recognize that my beliefs aren't everyone's. If abortion is antithetical to your beliefs, then by all means don't have an abortion. But don't tell me what I can and cannot believe."
Jones freely reveals what pisses her off in the hopes of instilling a similar stand-up-for-yourself attitude in her readers. She shares her fiesty opinions on such topics family and friends, God, television, politics, and racism. Not only does she rally against the closed-minded, but she makes a point of criticizing the wishy-washy as well, making this a roiling, rivetingly good book. --Erica Jorgensen
From Publishers Weekly
The flamboyant and outspoken Jones is well known to TV viewers for her past work as a legal commentator on Court TV and Today and for her current membership on the resident panel on The View. In this collection of autobiographical essays, Jones reveals her gifts as a storyteller, describing the strong influence of family and church on her childhood, ethical dilemmas she faced as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, a brush with death at the age of 22 and the responsibilities of the news media. Willing to share stories of her own mistakes and lessons she's learned the hard way, Jones is as much herself on these pages as she is on TV, her language articulate, bright, conversational and always direct ("these good people with their hearts in the right place were being threatened by these others with their heads up their butts"). A self-proclaimed "diva," Jones writes about clothes, glamour, friendship and romance, while managing to inject her opinions on abortion, affirmative action, racism and child-rearing. Crediting her family, especially her mother, Shirley, for her refreshing strength of character and self-confidence, Jones provides a powerful role model along with a very enjoyable read.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Her views of men are mixed and come from her own experiences with her father and other men who had disappointed her in the past. Her mother, "Shirley," is definitely her hero. I think her mother explains it beautifully: "You may have been born in the ghetto, but the ghetto's not born in you. " Star definitely has reached for the best in life and will not let anyone tell her she can not get whatever her heart desires.
This book is truly "the dictionary that defines" Star Jones. By the time you have finished this book you will know what she stands for and what she allows to slide. On the other hand, there are some issues where she presents both sides and leaves you to decide.
She has definitely overcome obstacles, for which we must applaud her. As she says: "The key is to learn from your mistakes and work to never repeat them." She has plan A as her ideal, but plan B will have to do if she cannot have the fairy tale version. This seems to be how she balances her intellectual and romantic sides.
There are places where I laughed out loud, especially the part where she described some of the cooks at their church socials. Something I had not thought of was an issue she discussed about television programming and especially an issue on "Friends."
She does not shy away from her religious beliefs and openly states: "I have a relationship with God, but I'm not just a Christian." She doesn't see the single most important aspect of her life as off-limits and knows that we each find God in our own way. She also explains how she knows God exists and gives him thanks for her position in life.
There are statements of truth (which I have taken the liberty of highlighting) within the stories about her life as a lawyer, her medical emergency, her deep friendships and her life on "The View." We soon learn that her family has had a great impact on her life and that friends and family are what her life is about. She is a friend first, a lawyer and a television personality second. She also loves Paris (a trait I admire as I too love Paris and Provence).
It is humorous to see her take the networks and talking heads to task. I think she is voicing what many people are intimidated to say. The people of America are tired of being told what to believe. "Just give me the facts and let me decide."
I don't know if she supports any causes because she doesn't discuss them. I am sure she probably does and doesn't want to use undue influence. She definitely does like to shop, which some of us can appreciate. I think women everywhere will be able to relate to her. She has a cute note to all the little girls in the world at the end of the book. I think that if you ever became her friend in real life, she would be a true one. Just beware: This woman is going to tell it like it is "Girlfriend," so get over it!" :)
I also like friends who are going to tell me the truth. Her frankness about reality is something I love about her and I think you will feel the same. This is a book about where she stands. I wish more people would stand up for what they believe in, and relish the fact, That we don't always agree. I guess the hardest part about being a grownup is figuring out where you stand, and then standing there!
~The Rebecca Review
The rest is basically a brag-fest. Her whole family has done nothing but praise her to the skies her entire life, so that's why she's brimming with supreme self-confidence. So why is she writing this book? Well, to tell you that you too can be a diva. Star gives fashion lessons (but for full-figured women only - and she hates that term but adores her 42DD's) - wear a chiffon duster over your clothes, and never ride in a white limo because they are tacky, a black Mercedes limo is the best, but if you have to, a Cadillac will do. A red SUV will also display you to the best advantage. Star's role model is Erica Kane from the soap opera All My Children, which says something about her priorities.
I do have one question. Star says she is disappointed one Christmas because her dad (who lives in NC) promised her a stereo. Her mom, seeing that no stereo is about to materialize, runs out in the middle of the night to purchase one for her with money that they don't really have. This would be about 1974 - before 24 hour Walmarts and KMarts. So where did she find this stereo in the middle of the night?
But most of the book is about how great and wonderful Star is, and if you ever do anything to hurt her or make her mad, she'll never forget it. And she doesn't care who doesn't like her because her step-daddy told her she is fine!
I think Star is leaving out a lot she doesn't want us to know.
Simplistic, at best; merely stupid.