Books by Joyce Brothers

Released: April 13, 1994

Pop psychologist Brothers', (Widowed, 1990; The Successful Woman, 1988) easy-answer tactics for women suffering from low self- esteem are unlikely to help those who are in serious trouble. Brothers starts out by explaining that women change more easily than men, then drops the subject of changing men altogether and concentrates on making women into better helpmeets. The method relies heavily on what she calls a ``Psychological Tool Kit''—a facile string of lists of good qualities, bad qualities, and goals that women should write and revise regularly—as well as old-hat methods like positive reinforcement. Throughout, Brothers concentrates on molding women to meet society's expectations, while never suggesting that those expectations should be challenged. Her many ``successful'' examples include one woman whose aggressive temper earned her the animosity of the men who worked under her; she was taught to act more calmly. Another woman, depressed after losing her job, began to snap out of it after she saw how tangled her hair had become from weeks in bed, and she headed to the salon for a haircut and a facial. Brothers often includes herself in the material, and while her story of overcoming grief after her husband's death is touching and useful, her account of her use of positive reinforcement to convince him to make the morning coffee is roundabout and a little silly—she crows, ``I told him that if he ever left me for a younger woman, I planned to drop in on them every morning for coffee, because no one made coffee as good as his.'' Sexist advice more suited to old-fashioned women's magazines. (First serial to Parade) Read full book review >