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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not critical of any one approach - an eye opener, 16 Feb 2010
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This review is from: Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety (Paperback)
This is my first review, prompted by the previous reviewer who seems to have completely misunderstood this book. The author's argument is not that one type of mothering style is better or worse than another, but that the "choices" that women in America and similar socities are faced with are not genuine choices, freely made. Rather they are often a force of circumstances such as inadequate workplace flexibility, poor childcare provision and other social and societal pressures.

The historical thread of the book charts how expectations of mothers and motherhood have changed over time. The author states that, rather than being able to tackle social issues, mothers in recent years have been artifically divided into working and non-working camps, with many feeling pressured to provide the "perfect" childhood for their children, losing themselves completely in the process.

This is a fascinating and challenging book and a good read, which I'm not sure I can do justice to in a few paragraphs. What the author makes absolutely clear in the conclusion is that she isn't coming down in favour of one approach over another, rather she is arguing for society to change to give mothers (and fathers) genuine choices about how they care for their children.

I don't think the author needed to "tone down her feminist views" - it's her book, after all.
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Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety
Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety by Judith Warner (Paperback - 2 Mar 2006)
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