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The Motherhood Manifesto: What America's Moms Want - and What To Do About It Paperback – Bargain Price, March 28, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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From Publishers Weekly

A straightforward agenda by political activists Blades and Rowe-Finkbeiner advocates a seriously thought-out, workable scheme for empowering mothers at home and in the workplace. The book is snappily structured in chapters that correspond to the letters making up the word mother: M is for "Maternity/Paternity Leave"; O for "Open Flexible Work"; T for "TV You Choose and Other After-School Programs"; H for "Healthcare for All Kids"; E for "Excellent Child Care"; and R for "Realistic and Fair Wages." In order to drive home these demands, the authors sound some alarming facts and statistics: although nearly three-quarters of American mother have jobs outside of the home, they tend to earn 27% less than men, while single moms earn 34%–44% less. The national scandal of skyrocketing health care costs bankrupts families and pushes moms into marginalized jobs, while working mothers leave children home to unsupervised TV watching and substandard child care. The authors propose family-friendly flexible work schedules and offer compelling employer success stories. The U.S. military presents a model child care program, while a boost in the minimum wage would allow mothers a "living wage." "As mothers go, so goes the country," the authors warn, and they hammer home real ways of taking action. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Joan Blades is a co-founder of moveon.org and was chosen as one of Ms. Magazine’s “Women of the Year” in 2003 She was the cofounder with husband Wes Boyd of Berkeley Systems. She is the author of Mediate Your Divorce and co-wrote The Divorce Book. Blades lives in Northern California.

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner works as a consultant and researcher in the field of environmental policy and political strategy. She is the author of The F-Word: Feminism in Jeopardy and writes frequently about public policy, health and new feminism. Rowe-Finkbeiner lives in Washington.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books (March 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560258845
  • ASIN: B000T9RY0Q
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,331,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Amy Tiemann VINE VOICE on April 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a writer who feels like it's time to move beyond the so-called "Mommy Wars," I eagerly awaited the chance to read "The Motherhood Manifesto." I was not disappointed--this is truly the book that I have been hoping that someone would write. Blades and Rowe-Finkbeiner describe the substantial problems that familes face, and lay out proactive steps that mothers can take to work toward a just and equitable society for all of us. The book is extremely well researched. My impression after reading the first few chapters was to feel angry that there is so little U. S. public policy that truly supports parents, and also very sad that we have thus far settled for such a pathetic situation. Thinking parents, women and men: it is a matter of economic strategy as well as compassion to support familes with flexible work schedules, benefits, and fair wages. Joan Blades and Kristen Rowe-Finkbeiner have incredible credentials to launch a new movement. Read this book, [...] to find out what you can do to join their call to action.
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Format: Paperback
As the author of "The World Split Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America," (Penguin, 2001), I have long waited for a book that explains why women and mothers are not part of "identity politics; but an essentail ingredient of the public good. "The Motherhood Manifesto" offers the reader a clear, lucid, description of the discrimination that mothers face, and what we can do to rectify this injustice. It addresses what I have called The Care Crisis--the fact that mothers have entered the paid labor force during the last 40 years, but American society has found no answer to the vital questions: Who will take care of our nation's children,elderly, and our communities?

For those who want to restore democracy in the United States, here is the recipe for doing just that--creating a society in which caregiving and work each receive their due, but in a balanced and humane manner. Must reading for anyone who cares about the burdens working mothers and families face under our current antiquated system of assuming that each person and each family is wholly self-reliant.
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Format: Paperback
The minds behind MoveOn.org tend to get it right, and this book is no exception. Throught-provoking and insightful, and well worth a price tag of less than ten bucks!
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Format: Paperback
This book is very well researched, its claims are backed by trustworthy data from various sources, and it is well written.

The wonderful thing about this book is that besides laying out the problems faced by mothers and their families, it offers the path to the solutions of these problems. Not only mothers should read this, but anyone who is part of a family, which, I guess, includes pretty much all of us.
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Format: Paperback
Reading this book made me really, really, unbelievably sad...but then, all books of this nature tend to do that to me. I am of two minds on this one...part of me really liked it, but the rest of me loathed it. I do think that probably all women who are in their early twenties, at the start of their career track and considering "having it all" (the career, the husband and the kids) should read this, because there is a harsh reality that comes with being a mom (or dad) AND working full time...and the alternative of one parent staying home requires sacrifices that are just as great (unless you're lucky enough to have a spouse that actually does make enough to support this...and fewer and fewer do anymore). Reading something like this would have been a real eye opener for me ten years ago...and I probably would have made different choices than I did in having our children...I went into it blindly, thinking it would all work out because we decided to undertake parenting as a joint venture, but the reality is quite different than what one might think. Parenting is expensive and hard...but mostly the expense is hard to deal with (the rest has its rewards and is therefore easier to take).

The book stresses that families NEED two full time working parents to make ends meet and doesn't seem to take into account people who choose to do with less (like one car instead of two, second hand instead of new, ect...) to have one parent stay at home and the other work full time...but the reality is that for the way most people live and the wages they can realistically pull down, both do need to work just to make a basic living wage with no bells or whistles.
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This book is full of stories and statistics supporting the fact that multiple social policy changes need to be passed through Congress in order to demonstrate support of America's families.

I was already convinced that changes needed to occur prior to reading this book, but that feeling has been cemented after reading this book. America lags far, far behind the rest of the world when it comes to caring for its families. We need to catch up, and it will take a grassroots movement of moms, ... (show more)

This book is full of stories and statistics supporting the fact that multiple social policy changes need to be passed through Congress in order to demonstrate support of America's families.

I was already convinced that changes needed to occur prior to reading this book, but that feeling has been cemented after reading this book. America lags far, far behind the rest of the world when it comes to caring for its families. We need to catch up, and it will take a grassroots movement of moms, dads, and grandparents uniting together to show Congress that paid family leave, flexible work schedules, liveable wages, TV that we choose, better afterschool programs, and quality, affordable childcare are not optional. They are necessities in this day and age.
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