Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Review: Broad Influence by Jay Newton-Small


2016 will be one of the most historic years in politics: It marks the potential for the first female President of the United States, and the 100th anniversary of the first woman elected to Congress. Additionally, in 2016, single women will be one of the most pivotal voting groups heading into the general election, being courted by both Democrats and Republicans.

At the centennial of the first woman elected to Congress (which was three years before women legally earned the right to vote), their presence and influence in Washington has reached a tipping point that affects not only the inner workings of the Federal Government, but also directly influences how Americans live and work.

Never before have women been represented in such great numbers in the Supreme Court, both chambers of Congress, and in the West Wing. In Broad Influence , Jay Newton-Small, one of the nation's most deeply respected and sourced journalists takes readers through the corridors of Washington D.C., the offices and hallways of Capital Hill and everywhere else conversations and deals are happening to demonstrate how women are reaching across the aisles, coalescing, and affecting lasting change.

With deep, exclusive and behind-closed-doors reporting and interviews, including conversations with Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Mikulski, Kirsten Gillibrand, Valerie Jarrett, Sarah Palin, Kelly Ayotte, Cathy McMorris Rogers and dozens of other former and current senators, representatives, senior White House staffers, governors and cabinet members, Broad Influence is an insightful look at how women are transforming government, politics, and the workforce, and how they are using that power shift to effect change throughout America. 

Jay Newton-Small's parents met in Zambia, both U.N. professionals. Her mother spoke seven languages, graduated from Cambridge, Oxford and Columbia where she earned a degree in international law. The U.N. had a rule against U.N. couples marrying, but because her mother outranked her father at the time, and they wanted to keep her on, the rule was changed. And yet, her mother endured insults, being ignored, various sexual assaults, because she loved her work. 

This book is well researched and written by an obviously bright young woman. There are statistics and quotes to support her premise, but the book reads more like a novel. I recommend this book to all women who care about our role in the future of our country and indeed the world. She informs us of the role of women in other countries, Australia, England, Brazil and India. We must have critical mass in all sectors for us to be truly equal. Ms. Newton-Small encourages us with facts and opinions of the women shaping American today. Women are better at listening and striving for compromise. Women use words and logic instead of force and bravado.  I encourage you to read this book - whichever side of the aisle you support, or even if you reside in another country.  

1 comment:

  1. Great evaluation. I too am amazed at how well done this book is. Yesterday I recommended it to one of my book clubs. They seldom read nonfiction, but I still think they would enjoy the depth of the subject matter. Thanks again for recommending the book.