Unfinished Business

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To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Unfinished Business , please sign up. Pamela Marshall This book asks and answers some pretty mature questions about life, the universe and everything. There's nothing in the book that would preclude teens …more This book asks and answers some pretty mature questions about life, the universe and everything. There's nothing in the book that would preclude teens from reading it i.

That being said, if my teen wanted to read the book, I'd buy it for her. See 2 questions about Unfinished Business…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Sep 27, Jessica Woodbury rated it really liked it Shelves: bestarcs , arc , nonfiction. The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is because I wish it would've played around a bit with the typical self-help book style. It sticks to the formula. It should immediately eclipse all other books on the subject.

Everyone should read it. Male or female, kids or not. It has so much to say about what we need to change in our culture to help people lead more fulfilling lives The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is because I wish it would've played around a bit with the typical self-help book style. It has so much to say about what we need to change in our culture to help people lead more fulfilling lives as workers and caregivers.

It never applies to me or most single women, most poor women, etc. This book acknowledges that the discussion should include poor women, women of color, women in same-sex relationships, etc. Which is huge. The list of dilemmas for young childless couples to discuss is so good I want to give it to everyone. I just want to give this whole book to everyone. I made my decisions about my family and career thinking I was being smart and thoughtful but I was completely ignorant and naive. Many of us fall into this trap. This book at least starts us on the way out.

I literally cannot recommend it enough. Buy it immediately. I am not joking. View 1 comment. Nov 22, Suzanne rated it liked it. When I told a friend I was reading this book, she said "That's the kind of book where I just read the magazine article about it instead. I think she makes excellent arguments on how we need to value the When I told a friend I was reading this book, she said "That's the kind of book where I just read the magazine article about it instead.

I think she makes excellent arguments on how we need to value the work of caring more as a society. It's not just caring of our children, it's also care for aging parents. With most households needing two income-earning parents, many families now have to outsource the care of these two crucial age groups, and we're doing everyone a disservice with the low pay that carers earn.

She also makes some interesting points about language. For example, if one parent can focus full-time on care, then she recommends not calling them a stay-at-home Dad or Mom. Think about terms like "lead parent," or "anchor parent" but I draw the line at her suggestion of "full-time parent" as just because I'm at work doesn't mean I've suddenly stopped being a mother. Where I have the biggest divergence from Slaughter is on her exhortation for people to plan ahead for every potential challenge: "If you want a life in which you can experience the joys and rewards of both a successful career and a loving family, you must plan ahead.

As early as possible, you should try to anticipate the times in your future when you'll want to focus intensively on your job and the ones when you'll want to focus more on caregiving responsibilities. To the extent you can, tailor your professional choices accordingly. While I think it's great to have a broad conversation about how you view things talking about who would be looking after any children we had was certainly helpful when my husband and I were preparing to get married , I think that getting into a detailed hypothetical "will you defer your promotion so I can take mine?

You can't possibly know all the different factors that both of you will be weighing up in 5 - 10 years time, nor the type of support you may or may not have. What you believe earlier might have changed significantly later, yet Slaughter is encouraging you to make lots of decisions about the type of career to pursue now based on these discussions. Slaughter also seems to be excessively negative about all the things that "could" happen.

For example, towards the beginning of the book, she lays out what she calls are "half truths" about women and careers. One of them is "you can have it all if you marry the right person" and one of the reasons Slaughter says this is a half truth is that you might get divorced! You cannot realistically control or prepare for all eventualities. I fear that people reading this book would either feel overwhelmed and give up on building a career something Slaughter says she wants to avoid or that it would just add to their stress.

So, an important contribution to the conversation about work and our lives, but, for me, an uneven delivery. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book to review. View 2 comments. The BEST work-life balance book you will ever read! Everyone needs to read this! As much as I agree with women needing to be more assertive in the workplace, to advance their careers and step up to the table regardless of competing obligations, I still felt that these books did not address the realities and complexities of having a family and competing priorities for ALL PEOPLE.

Anne-Marie Slaughter hit the nail on the head when she writes about the inherent problem with "having it all. These are only half-truths. There are problems in our society that make work-life balance very difficult, if not impossible, and only by changing what we as a society value will we be able to see real change. As a society, we value competition over care.

It's why we ask people we've just met what they do for a living instead of what they are passionate about. Men are criticized if not downright emasculated when they take time out from work to take care of their family. We feel like we can't talk about family in the workplace - from being elusive regarding time off to take care of children - taking a sick day for a child's doctor visit - and speaking about family as the kiss of death in an interview.

We grossly underpay workers in caregiving professions - from daycare to eldercare. Workplaces are still very inflexible when it comes to meeting the needs of it's workers. Employers tend to measure an employee's value by face time rather than quality of their work, i. Workers who request flex time or part time to meet family obligations are deemed less valuable, even though they are still qualified and engaged. Their IQ and skill does not depreciate because they have children. Even workplaces who offer time off for caregiving, tend to discriminate based on gender - fathers aren't expected to take as much time off, if any, for the birth of a new child.

So, how do we combat the problem with competition over care? Change the way we speak about caregiving, and what gender is responsible, and what we value. Stop treating fathers as superheroes for doing the same work a woman is expected to do. Respect everyone's life choices based on what works for them.

Start having conversations with your employer - especially men - about flexibility. Do not be ashamed that you have children or other care obligations. The more workers that start asking, the more employers will benefit from retention and higher quality performance. Start asking for changes in legislation. The United States is 1 out of 2 countries who still do not require paid family leave.

We need to have the legal right to ask for flex and part time work to meet family obligations. I discovered this book through an interview Slaughter did with More Magazine. In the meantime, we devalued what our mothers did. But without our mothers being caregivers , our fathers never would have been able to do what they did.

How on earth do we expect women to do both? That is the kind of message Americans, particularly, love Because we're not asking ourselves one important question: who provides care for this rock star at home? Who cares for his children, or his ailing parents? Who facilitates his moves from one city or country to the next?

The work of this book is to alert us to this oversight.


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Yet we dismiss the former as if it's a self-indulgent vacation. Up or out It also means that as a society we lose massive amounts of talent. And we still limit men, assuming they prioritize work over family. If we tell boys that they can break down centuries-old barriers and be pioneers of social change, suddenly they have a mission, an inspiration, and a new kind of role model to emulate—a new definition of a good man.

There is much more to this important book. Unfinished Business could be a policy primer for upcoming politicians and civic leaders. View all 6 comments. Apr 09, Ann rated it it was ok Shelves: women-s-issues. I was surprised to see the average rating of 3. Clearly I must have missed something that other readers picked up on. For me this was a disappointing read. I could not sympathize with Anne-Marie Slaughter's big epiphany moment.

She and her husband decided not to uproot their two preteen boys and so she commuted on a weekly basis. And then - o, I was surprised to see the average rating of 3. And then - o, surprise - she found out two things. One, it's really hard to keep a family together when one of the two parents is gone for most of the week. Two, it's a lot easier to have the flexibility you need to take care of family stuff in the academic environment than in a corporate or government service environment. This dual realization shocked her to such an extent that she wrote an article called "Why Women Still Can't Have It All", which became the most read article in the magazine in which it appeared.

All I can say is "Gee- ya think?! There is no research, no original data in the book. Essentially what happened is this : Ms. Slaughter wrote that article, it created much commentary, and on the strength of it, she became a sought-after speaker. The ones that were not inspired by those encounters seem to be inspired by her own experiences or those of her friends and acquaintances.

I can't help thinking that this is a very narrow and biased focus, a very self-referential way of seeking knowledge. Her experience with her own husband and children is a sample of 1, and after a couple of anecdotes the informative value of this sample is exhausted. I felt that the author was a bit heavy-handed in the slinging around of her credentials. Halfway through the book I felt like saying : "I got it! You were a law professor in a prestigious university. And then Dean of a School of International Affairs at another prestigious university!

And then you got a prestigious job for a Secretary of State! The author seems to be proud of her mentoring of younger colleagues, but when I read the list of questions that she suggested you ask people you work with, I found them intrusive. I would bristle if someone purporting to "mentor" me asked me questions about how my husband and I would prioritize our respective careers once the first baby came along.


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There is nothing wrong with a young couple discussing these questions - what rubbed me the wrong way is that a third party would get involved. So what is Anne-Marie Slaughter's idea and thesis? But did any woman really believe that she could have it all? Surely no one was naive enough to think that?

“Unfinished Business,” Dunne Deal

The current work environment needs to be changed to adapt to the needs of working mothers and fathers, of young millennials, of single mothers More telecommuting, more flexibility, paid maternity leave Oct 18, Shannon rated it really liked it Shelves: The article soon went viral, earning its fair share of praise and criticism.

There were points in Unfinished Business when I wanted more from her renewed efforts to include single mothers and women working low income jobs in the discussion, but there was improvement. Thankfully, she went on to discuss how caregiving covers a wide spectrum that includes eldercare and self-care, making a great point about flexibility leading to increased productivity. Even viewed purely from the performance standpoint as competitors, they will perform far better if they rest and recharge.

Care also has many faces. Caring for members of your community—your church, temple, mosque, YMCA, local food bank, Little League, Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization, and so many more—occupies a different but no less important part of the care spectrum as family responsibilities. I would have liked the topic to get a bit more broad, as it touched on some interesting territory before circling back to the traditional two-parent family, but many of her points were extremely valid. More at rivercityreading. View all 4 comments. Jun 19, Bethany rated it really liked it.

Actual Rating: 4. Men, women, parents, aspiring parents, managers of parents, colleagues of parents, policy-makers, and people with living parents. And everyone else too. Anne-Marie Slaughter does an amazing job of unpacking the complexities of caregiving, gender identity, workplace expectations, and cultural attitudes toward working parents.

As a society we under-value caregiv Actual Rating: 4. As a society we under-value caregiving for children and elders, underestimate the potential productivity of working mothers as employees, disregard fathers as equally capable parents, and fail to provide adequate support and flexibility for childcare. This is detrimental to families, to women, to men, to careers, and actually to companies as well. Slaughter makes a strong case for how our thinking and policies both need to change, and suggests important questions that couples considering marriage and children should ask each other.

She also admits that her generation of feminists have wrongly looked down on women who take a step back from careers in order to care for children, and suggests that we think of career paths as a trajectory with ups and downs rather than a straight trajectory. I related a lot to this book and think there is a lot of value here. I appreciated chapters about how our ideas of masculinity need to change to accommodate men being capable caregivers and household managers.

She discusses a number of complex and sensitive issues and does it well, of course bringing policy into the conversation. She posits this as a bi-partisan issue which I think it is and one that we must grapple with as a society. Highly recommend! And seriously, I think people who want to have kids one day should read this, because we weren't prepared to navigate some of the complex issues that arise.

Dec 13, Mehrsa rated it it was amazing. I thought there was so much great advice in here. I am a working woman with children so I could relate with almost everything she said in here. She answers some of the very valid criticism of her Atlantic article--that she only focuses on privileged white women in the book. She includes more stories and more data. I re I thought there was so much great advice in here.

I really liked it and would highly recommend. Oct 23, K rated it really liked it Shelves: readablenonfiction , thought-provoking. I appreciated this book on women, work, and family, finding it more nuanced and realistic than Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Slaughter opens her book with a personal anecdote. In , she accepted a prestigious opportunity to work for Hillary Clinton in Washington, D. This job meant that she would be a commuting parent, living in Washington during the week and spending the weekends at home with her family based in Princeton.

Slaughter accepted the job with the ostensible support I appreciated this book on women, work, and family, finding it more nuanced and realistic than Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Slaughter accepted the job with the ostensible support of her husband and her two sons, aged 10 and 13 at the time; however, she began to feel that her children were paying a heavy price for her absence. Slaughter ultimately decided to leave the job, which raised a great many questions for her as a career-focused, achievement-oriented feminist. This book attempts to tackle those questions. Slaughter begins by analyzing what she calls "half-truths women hold dear" and offering more realistic versions of these "feminist mantras.

Slaughter also makes an interesting point about the dichotomy she labels "care vs. Women and men both suffer as a result; women are often relegated to caregiving roles that earn less respect, and men are often expected to step up at work at the expense of time with their families. For example, while men are often offered paternity leave on paper, they are viewed negatively by their companies if they take advantage of this offer.

And women who adopt more flexible roles at work so that they can meet caregiving responsibilities at home are often automatically viewed as no longer on the leadership track, despite the fact that they may have skills and abilities which could make them valued leaders at work at a later date when their family responsibilities become more manageable. Slaughter suggests a number of ideas for how men and women can rethink their various roles and their contribution to work-family issues. She also has a number of ideas for workplaces, some of which sounded more idealistic than practical to me lots of vacation time to avoid burnout!

Lots of flexibility about when, where, and how much you work! But it was interesting to imagine a world in which professional and caregiving responsibilities could be seamlessly integrated rather than in opposition to each other. While Slaughter's suggestions can be critiqued and may need a great deal of tweaking, they represent an interesting attempt to address conflicts that many of us are experiencing between our professional and caregiving roles.

Jan 14, Claudia Putnam rated it really liked it Shelves: personal-history , journalistic-synthetic-non-fiction. My thoughts exactly. Nothing in here that's new, esp in the wake of the famous Atlantic article, but the argument is both broadened and more refined. Slaughter what on earth is the feminist argument for keeping that name?

The structure of the book wanders from the personal to the social to the economic, and it tends to repeat. There are a lot of good ideas. What if parental leave were something everyone had to opt out of, instead of choosi My thoughts exactly. What if parental leave were something everyone had to opt out of, instead of choosing to take? What if instead of mothers and fathers, good workers and sketchy workers, we saw caregivers as something our economy also needed and stopped creating a dichotomy between competition and care For example, in Finland, getting an advanced degree in teaching, which you need, is highly competitive.

If you get one, though, you get paid a lot. Whereas in America, we make it easy to become a teacher. And then, while it's not easy to BE a teacher, we don't pay them much. We operate, here, under the assumption that because anyone can become a teacher, social worker, mother, day- or eldercare provider, all care providers are created equal and should be paid the same.

We even assume that the rewards of such activities are innate and should not be compensated financially. We also assume that people who take time out of work to pursue caring for family members have somehow weakened their capacities in the work arena. And yet, as Slaughter points out, most business consulting organizations are predicting a shortage of workplace expertise in the next 25 years They didn't disappear in a puff of air.

They only went home for a couple of years to care for children and parents. They would probably like to come back once the crisis years are over. But no one is letting them.

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If they try to return, they are often consigned to roles that bore the snot out of them and do not tap their "workplace" expertise, while the shortage carries on. IE, there needs to be an anchor parent in the home This is currently hard for both men and powerful women to accept culturally but it will need to change if we are going to be realistic about advancing women. Equal isn't equal when it comes to the wellbeing of the kids.

Because someone has to put them first. Here are some other good points: Regarding men who say that they, too, cannot "have it all," because in order to have a big career they also must sacrifice time with their children, she notes: " The men who have chosen to make that trade-off over the decades have almost always been supported in that decision by wives or partners who have either been full-time or at least lead caregivers That means that a rising corporate executive, consultant, academic, surgeon, or lawyer has been able to devote himself to his career in the knowledge that a loving parent is caring for his children and doing everything possible to ensure that they flourish.

As much as he may wish he had more time to spend with them, or lament that his relationship with them is much more distant than he would like, he at least knows they are in good hands. Moreover, the entrenched social structure of women at home and men in the office reinforces his choice. He is doing what he is supposed to do: supporting his family by providing for them financially and allowing his wife to provide for them physically and emotionally.

Relatively rare is the husband who agrees to stay home or be the lead parent so that his wife can advance her career. He may support her completely in her career goals, but not to the point of giving up or significantly compromising his own. But someone must take care of the children, or aging parents, or a sick relative. If you don't want to do it applies equally to men, BTW , what is the point of becoming a parent?

Unfinished Business review – indifferent post-Horrible Bosses corporate comedy

It feels like sacrificing your loved ones' wellbeing for your own aspirations. It's insupportable. Slaughter advises young women to build an anticipation of setbacks into their career plans. Start with a "realistic assessment of your own capabilities; if you need eight hours of sleep, surviving on five hours a night is not a sustainable life proposition. If you are not the world's most organized human being, trying to a run an office and a household at the same time" is not likely to work.

My schedule was often so finely calibrated that a kid's ear infection could send a week's worth of appointments toppling into one another like dominoes But overall the satisfactions outweighed the stress, and still do. For many women, that something is the birth of a second child Alternatively, the woman herself moves steadily up the career ladder until the next job Ha, I thought. Just you wait. Futurist Sara Robinson found the same thing: knowledge workers have fewer than 8 hours a day of hard mental labor in them before they start making mistakes.

It's not just our closed borders.

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Due to the support for childcare and other care, it's actually easier to rise out of poverty in those countries and to become a contributing member of the middle class sooner. This is even true in Canada, which "has a higher percentage of foreign-born citizens than the United States does, yet Canadians are twice as likely to move up the social ladder as Americans are. And though multiple factors are correlated with social mobility--segregation, income inequality, schools, and family structure--the ability of families, supported by communities, to maintain a stable and caring environment for children, plays a very big part.

The American people need answers to these questions, answers which are not to be found in the report itself. Barr continued to spin and distort the report in a news conference held on the day the redacted report was issued to the public. Mueller is taking the position that it is not his responsibility to offer any further help. If the government was functioning normally, that might be a reasonable position to take. Trump is obstructing the inquiries into impeachment on a daily basis. Mueller is following rules as if everyone else is following the rules.

Anything less is a dereliction of duty. In previous inquiries like Watergate and Whitewater, the Special Counsel have given testimony and actively assisted Congress. Mueller is the quintessential play-by-the-book kind of guy. A marine who follows orders. The question is whether the times require a rule-following public functionary or a hero who grasps the gravity of the national crisis and has the courage to do something about it.

Trump is now launching an investigation of the investigators. Attorney General Barr has already made false claims under oath about spying on the Trump campaign. Trump has now authorized Barr to release classified information, arguably to discredit the investigators. He can wait until this happens, or he can stand up now for truth and justice. As an employee of the Department of Justice, Mueller may have a limited brief.

But in private life, as an American citizen, Mueller should surely be concerned by:. Other public officials have begun to recognize that we are living in dire times and have taken some steps to go beyond-the-rule-book.