UNFINISHED BUSINESS by Anne-Marie Slaughter
Available now from Penguin Random House Audio.
From the Publisher:
“NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND NPR • “An eye-opening call to action from someone who rethought the whole notion of ‘having it all,’ Unfinished Business could change how many of us approach our most important business: living.”—People
When Anne-Marie Slaughter accepted her dream job as the first female director of policy planning at the U.S. State Department in 2009, she was confident she could juggle the demands of her position in Washington, D.C., with the responsibilities of her family life in suburban New Jersey. Her husband and two young sons encouraged her to pursue the job; she had a tremendously supportive boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and she had been moving up on a high-profile career track since law school. But then life intervened. Parenting needs caused her to make a decision to leave the State Department and return to an academic career that gave her more time for her family.
The reactions to her choice to leave Washington because of her kids led her to question the feminist narrative she grew up with. Her subsequent article for The Atlantic, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” created a firestorm, sparked intense national debate, and became one of the most-read pieces in the magazine’s history.
Since that time, Anne-Marie Slaughter has pushed forward, breaking free of her long-standing assumptions about work, life, and family. Though many solutions have been proposed for how women can continue to break the glass ceiling or rise above the “motherhood penalty,” women at the top and the bottom of the income scale are further and further apart.
Now, in her refreshing and forthright voice, Anne-Marie Slaughter returns with her vision for what true equality between men and women really means, and how we can get there. She uncovers the missing piece of the puzzle, presenting a new focus that can reunite the women’s movement and provide a common banner under which both men and women can advance and thrive.
With moving personal stories, individual action plans, and a broad outline for change, Anne-Marie Slaughter reveals a future in which all of us can finally finish the business of equality for women and men, work and family.”
From the review in AudioFile Magazine:
“Anne-Marie Slaughter, professor at Princeton University and former director of policy planning at the U.S. State Department, looks at work, family, and the myth of having it all. The introduction and the coda are both read by the author and provide an authentic voice for the discussion that follows, a combination of Slaughter’s own experiences and her expertise in looking at policy issues to see where progress can be made. The remainder of the book is narrated by Karen White, whose no-nonsense tone and thoughtful pauses convey the same tone as Slaughter’s reading. White navigates Slaughter’s anecdotes and exposition in an immensely listenable way, changing her inflection to deliver pertinent points and delivering a great listening experience.”
My recording experience:
There was so much that resonated with me in this book. I love that Slaughter has some hopeful and practical ideas for change, and I do hope that by the time my daughters are parents, we will have found a better balance between caretaking and work. And for those who are not parents, Slaughter’s writing is pertinent to you as well, for in her definition of caretaking, she wisely includes the caretaking of our own parents as well as others in our variously organized families and, perhaps even more importantly, caretaking of the self.
Here’s a link to a sample.