Informative, occasionally shocking exploration of the state of women’s rights in the workplace.



Examination of the inequalities women still face in the workforce.

As president of the American Constitution Society and former director of the Washington office of the American Civil Liberties Union, Fredrickson understands the complex laws regarding fairness in labor practices. In this extensive analysis of gender equity and protection in the workplace, the author exposes the large proportion of workers, primarily women of color, who have slipped through the grid of legislative laws and who do not receive the same rights as other working women and, particularly, men. This large group consists of women working part-time or as independent contractors, domestic help taking care of children and/or the elderly, waitresses, hairstylists, office cleaners, receptionists and secretaries, and any others who fill many of the minimum-wage jobs in the United States. Fredrickson examines how current laws have undoubtedly helped many women but still allow this section of society to be excluded from basic practices such as child care and paid maternity. The author uses personal stories to demonstrate the widespread unfairness found in the workforce—e.g., women being fired for getting pregnant or requesting time off to take care of a sick child, those who have suffered sexual harassment, then are fired when they instigate lawsuits against the perpetrator. “We have definitely not reached the promised land,” writes the author. “More and more of our jobs lack benefits; fewer of us are part of a union; almost none of us have decent or affordable child care; many are denied sick days or family leave and are forced to sign away their remaining protections to get or keep a job.” Women comprise 63.9 percent of “breadwinners or co-breadwinners,” and Fredrickson effectively bares all the loopholes and fallacies in America’s policies toward this significant, but often underappreciated and underrepresented, piece of the national workforce.

Informative, occasionally shocking exploration of the state of women’s rights in the workplace.

Pub Date: May 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62097-010-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: The New Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.


“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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A forceful, necessarily provocative call to action for the preservation and protection of American Jewish freedom.


Known for her often contentious perspectives, New York Times opinion writer Weiss battles societal Jewish intolerance through lucid prose and a linear playbook of remedies.

While she was vividly aware of anti-Semitism throughout her life, the reality of the problem hit home when an active shooter stormed a Pittsburgh synagogue where her family regularly met for morning services and where she became a bat mitzvah years earlier. The massacre that ensued there further spurred her outrage and passionate activism. She writes that European Jews face a three-pronged threat in contemporary society, where physical, moral, and political fears of mounting violence are putting their general safety in jeopardy. She believes that Americans live in an era when “the lunatic fringe has gone mainstream” and Jews have been forced to become “a people apart.” With palpable frustration, she adroitly assesses the origins of anti-Semitism and how its prevalence is increasing through more discreet portals such as internet self-radicalization. Furthermore, the erosion of civility and tolerance and the demonization of minorities continue via the “casual racism” of political figures like Donald Trump. Following densely political discourses on Zionism and radical Islam, the author offers a list of bullet-point solutions focused on using behavioral and personal action items—individual accountability, active involvement, building community, loving neighbors, etc.—to help stem the tide of anti-Semitism. Weiss sounds a clarion call to Jewish readers who share her growing angst as well as non-Jewish Americans who wish to arm themselves with the knowledge and intellectual tools to combat marginalization and defuse and disavow trends of dehumanizing behavior. “Call it out,” she writes. “Especially when it’s hard.” At the core of the text is the author’s concern for the health and safety of American citizens, and she encourages anyone “who loves freedom and seeks to protect it” to join with her in vigorous activism.

A forceful, necessarily provocative call to action for the preservation and protection of American Jewish freedom.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-593-13605-8

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2019

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