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Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection

Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection

Hardback

By (author) Debora L Spar

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  • Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
  • Format: Hardback | 305 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 229mm x 30mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 17 September 2013
  • ISBN 10: 0374298750
  • ISBN 13: 9780374298753
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 245,070

Product description

Fifty years after the Equal Pay Act, why are women still living in a man's world?Debora L. Spar never thought of herself as a feminist. Raised after the tumult of the 1960s, she presumed the gender war was over. As one of the youngest female professors to be tenured at Harvard Business School and a mother of three, she swore to young women that they could have it all. "We thought we could just glide into the new era of equality, with babies, board seats, and husbands in tow," she writes. "We were wrong." Now she is the president of Barnard College, arguably the most important all-women's college in the United States. And in "Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection"--a fresh, wise, original book-- she asks why, a half century after the publication of Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique," do women still feel stuck. In this groundbreaking and compulsively readable book, Spar explores how American women's lives have--and have not--changed over the past fifty years. Armed with reams of new research, she details how women struggled for power and instead got stuck in an endless quest for perfection. The challenges confronting women are more complex than ever, and they are challenges that come inherently and inevitably from being female. Spar is acutely aware that it's time to change course. Both deeply personal and statistically rich, "Wonder Women "is Spar's story and the story of our culture. It is cultural history at its best, and a road map for the future.

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Author information

Debora L. Spar is the president of Barnard College, a women's undergraduate college affiliated with Columbia University. She received her doctorate in government from Harvard University and was the Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Spar is the author of numerous books, including "Ruling the Waves: Cycles of Invention, Chaos, and Wealth from the Compass to the Internet" and "The Baby Business: How Money, Science, and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception."

Review quote

"Spar uses her experiences of the feminist revolution of the 1960s as a scaffold for evaluating the situation of young women today . . . Spar addresses many issues facing working women--e.g., maintaining a fashionable appearance, sexual identity and aging in a world of shifting mores. For younger women who have accepted their entitlement to full equality with men, the conflicting demands of the roles expected of them, and their own 'quest for perfection, ' can be devastating. A wise, worthy companion to Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In."" --"Kirkus Reviews" "Debora L. Spar tackles--and dispels--the myth of perfection with intelligence and humor. "Wonder Women "is a terrific read." --Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of the bestselling "Lean In" "Debora L. Spar has written the right book at the right time. We need to make all women's lives less stressful and more rewarding. This brave, well-written book points the way. Spar reveals her most intimate history, yet stands back to see her whole generation--and mine--in perspective. "Wonder Women" will make many women feel deeply understood. And many men. It's a warm, humorous, and lusty book, and I think many readers will be grateful for it. I certainly am." --Erica Jong, author of "Fear of Flying" "Debora L. Spar has written a wonderful and wise meditation on women that draws on her own life experience and her deep intelligence as a scholar. She is a lively companion on an essential subject." --Fareed Zakaria, author of "The Post-American World" "Debora L. Spar has done the impossible: written a fresh, thoughtful, and engaging book on the role of women in today's society. In telling her own story she tells us where we've come from and where we must go next. A must-read for every woman on the move in life." --Tina Brown, founder and editor in chief of the Newsweek Daily Beast Company ""Wonder Women" is the book I'd give my daughter as a guide to navigating the challenges of being a wo