Books by Sylvia Ann Hewlett

Released: Jan. 28, 2020

"Hewlett is hard-hitting and concise, concluding with practical steps to shut down sexual misconduct in the workforce."
A veteran economist and corporate leader makes a significant contribution to the continuing shameful story of sexual harassment in the workplace. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: April 1, 2001

"Interesting profiles, ho-hum analysis."
A by-now familiar study of accomplished, powerful women and their inability to combine high-octane careers with motherhood in the existing corporate culture. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: April 20, 1998

A powerful call for parents to organize and fight back against a society that pays lip service to family values, then abandons mothers and fathers to an economic and political swamp. Both active in the National Parenting Association (Hewlett was a founder), the noted African-American studies and religion scholar West (Harvard; Race Matters, 1993, etc.) and economist Hewlett (When the Bough Breaks, 1991) make an eloquent case that since the 1960s, "big business, government, and the wider culture have waged a silent war against parents." Beginning with reviews of their own childhoods—working class, with close family and community ties—Hewlett and West go on to point out how attitudes toward parents have changed since then. If the 1950s was a time of too-good-to-be-true Ozzies and Harriets, it was also an era of strong government and community support for families: The G.I. bill offered money for education and housing plus a subsidy for the families of veterans in school; jobs were plentiful and paid well; and workers were supported by strong labor unions. Beginning in the early 1970s, attitudes began to shift, with business and government taking a harder line toward workers and benefits. Tax breaks for families eroded; today, they claim, horses are more tax-deductible than children. Liberals come under fire for a commitment to "untrammeled individualism" that undermines the collective concern and self-sacrifice necessary for raising children. The authors also criticize the media (primarily television) and the child-welfare bureaucracy that finds it easier to take children away from their parents than to deal with the families— problems. West and Hewlett hope to spark a parents— movement that will lead to implementation of a "Parents' Bill of Rights," including such items as paid parenting leave, a "living wage," legal and moral support for fathers (for instance, in child custody disputes), and family health coverage. A potent presentation that may energize legislators and policymakers to end the "war" and reassess the needs of families. (Author tour) Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: June 17, 1991

A searing critique of the American family, our corporate leaders and public officials. American children, contends economist Hewlett (The Cruel Dilemmas of Development, 1980), are victims of private and public neglect. There are almost 13 million poor children in this country, Hewlett declares—a rise of 20% since 1979. Of these, 330,000 are homeless and 12 million are uninsured and medically neglected. Hewlett also cites increasing numbers of broken marriages, unwed teen-age mothers, and drug-addicted babies. Our barely literate high-school graduates, she says, cannot compete with their peers in Japan or Europe. Hewlett places much of the onus for the crisis on the breakdown of the family. With the therapists and feminists of the Sixties, she argues, came a ``me first'' philosophy that fostered divorce and neglected children. Government policies—local and national—have been equally detrimental. Restrictions on free legal abortions have resulted in the birth of unwanted children whose societal costs become a monumental burden to all. And housing welfare families in squalid welfare hotels at $2,000 a month is both unconscionable and counterproductive, she contends. Hewlett winds up her impassioned text with concrete suggestions for reform, ranging from changes in the divorce laws to staggered work hours that allow parents to spend more time with children. Much can be learned from her compelling, well-documented study. Read full book review >