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Price of Motherhood, The Why the Most Important Job in the World is Still the Least Valued,9780312655402

Price of Motherhood, The Why the Most Important Job in the World is Still the Least Valued

Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 11/23/2010
Publisher(s): Picador


THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER THAT CHANGED AMERICA'S VIEW OF MOTHERHOOD In the pathbreaking tradition of BacklashandThe Second Shift, this provocative book shows how mothers are systematically disadvantaged and made dependent by a society that exploits those who perform its most critical work. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and research in economics, history, child development, and law, Ann Crittenden proves definitively that although women have been liberated, mothers have not. Bold, galvanizing, and full of innovative solutions,The Price of Motherhoodwas listed by theChicago Tribuneas one of the Top Ten Feminist Literary Works since the publication of Betty Friedan'sFeminine Mystique. This "bracing call to arms" (Elle) offers a much-needed accounting of the price that mothers pay for performing the most important job in the world.

Author Biography

Ann Critten is the author of Killing the Sacred Cows: Bold Ideas for a New Economy. A former reporter for The New York Times and a Pulitzer Prize nominee, she has also been a financial writer for Newsweek, a visiting lecturer at M.I.T. and Yale, and an economics commentator on CBS News. Her articles have appeared in Fortune, The Nation, Foreign Affairs, McCalls, and Working Woman, among others. She lives with her husband and son in Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. viii
Introductionp. 1
Where We Are Nowp. 13
A Conspiracy of Silencep. 28
How Mothers' Work Was "Disappeared": The Invention of the Unproductive Housewifep. 45
The Truly Invisible Handp. 65
The Mommy Taxp. 87
The Dark Little Secret of Family Lifep. 110
What Is a Wife Worth?p. 131
Who Really Owns the Family Wage?p. 149
Who Pays for the Kids?p. 162
The Welfare State Versus a Caring Statep. 186
The Toughest Job You'll Ever Lovep. 202
An Accident Waiting to Happenp. 218
"It Was Her Choice"p. 233
Conclusion: How to Bring Children Up Without Putting Women Downp. 256
Notesp. 275
Acknowledgmentsp. 305
Indexp. 308
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


A newspaper reporter told me that his wife used to be his boss before she quit to raise their two children. She now makes one-fourth of his salary, working as a part-time consultant. "It was her choice," he says.

But mothers' choices are not made in a vacuum. They are made according to rules mothers didn't write. Married working mothers pay the highest taxes in the country on their earned income, which powerfully affects their choice of whether to work or not. And what many mothers really want is a good part-time job, yet there is no rich and vibrant part-time labor market in the United States.

To most women choice is all about bad options and difficult decisions: your child or your profession; taking on the domestic chores or marital strife; a good night's sleep or time with your child; food on the table or your baby's safety; your right arm or your left.

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