When I saw a chance or review Maria Shriver’s new book, The Shriver report : a woman’s nation pushes back from the brink : a study I jumped at the chance. I also seem to have set my expectations about what the book would be like. My disappointment with the work is based more on its failure to meet my expectations than any failure of the book or it’s many contributors. There was nothing in the book that I disagreed with. There was some information that was new to me. The Shriver Report is a good safe study of the state of affairs women face in the United States today.
That all could be part of my disappointment. I pay attention to current events and politics but I am not a student of feminism. I expected to learn much more. I expected well reasoned and well researched essays. There were several of those but they were far outnumbered by 2, 4, and 6 page essays. Forgive me for saying it but essays that short, especially when the ratio of word to illustration is considered, cannot possibly achieve the depth required to impart understanding. They seemed to simply be shouts of “Amen!” following the longer more detailed pieces.
It surprised me that there was nothing I disagreed with. I am a male approaching sixty years old and I was raised in a conservative rural section of the country. I may be a liberal but I expect that a study like this should come up with ideas that would at least make me uncomfortable. My lack of discomfort is why I think the report was too safe. With all the discussion of pay inequality there was no mention of the historical American quest for cheap labor. Unions were only mentioned in the past tense. Why? I have seen “Norma Rae” and “The Pajama Game”, women and unions do mix.
In spited of the fact the my inflated expectations were not totally met this is an interesting work. It gives a realistic view of the economic cliff that many families today teeter on and is worth the time to read.