A memoir that makes palpable the immense influence of an organization that has improved so many women’s lives.

MAKE TROUBLE

STANDING UP, SPEAKING OUT, AND FINDING THE COURAGE TO LEAD--MY LIFE STORY

The president of Planned Parenthood recounts her life as an activist.

For decades, Richards has been at the forefront of anti-war, civil rights, labor, and women’s issues; as she demonstrates, activism and the desire to work for the common good run in her family. Her father was a labor attorney and environmentalist, and her mother, Ann Richards, was a fierce fighter for women’s rights who became governor of Texas. As a high school girl new to Austin (she was born in Waco), she made and wore a black arm band supporting the moratorium to end the Vietnam War. After graduation, she headed east to Brown University. She supported striking janitors and librarians, took a semester off to intern for the Project on the Status and Education of Women in Washington, D.C., and became a union organizer in New Orleans. There, she met and married labor organizer Kirk Adams and formed a family that has supported labor across the country ever since. After some time in Southern California, she went back to Texas to work for her mother’s campaign for governor, and she formed the Texas Freedom Network to fight against right-wing textbook censorship. Then it was off to Washington again to serve on Nancy Pelosi’s staff. The author sprinkles short asides throughout the book that alternate between genuinely instructional and boring—e.g., well-worn tips on work-life balance. However, the guidelines for starting any organization are spot-on: direct, down-to-earth, and highly practical. In 2006, Richards and her family moved to New York City so she could assume the lead role at Planned Parenthood in 2006, and she has made the organization instrumental in a wide variety of women’s-rights causes. In the past year, she has spent considerable time battling for her organization amid the Trump administration’s efforts to cut funding.

A memoir that makes palpable the immense influence of an organization that has improved so many women’s lives.

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-8759-9

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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