9781580053884Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Be prepared for an ultra-feminist perspective in No Excuses: Nine Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power by Gloria Feldt. If you don’t mind her bashing conservative politics, the misogynist misnomers and her acerbic personal opinion, you’ll still find plenty of information on the innovative techniques and strategies that women can use to change the way they think about power.

I was looking for the book to discuss ways women can reset their perspective to become more assertive in the workplace and in their personal lives. This book does explain best strategies for women to break barriers, overcome boundaries and take their rightful place in male dominated society. But be prepared for a feminist history regarding why women are afraid of power and why the author clearly hates conservative (read: Republican) values as America’s “unwanted agenda.”

I expected the information in No Excuses to have a feminist slant, but it is so distracting in its political views that the tidbits and kernels of knowledge regarding women and power were overshadowed to the point where I felt I was reading her personal rant or a sophomoric blog. Again, putting this aside, the reader will take away that some women needn’t fight the system to get ahead, but rather can develop an internal confidence to empower themselves in corporate America. And for those who do not need advice on power, bully for you. The book may provide a reference or refresher, so there can be something for everyone in this book.

The theme of the discussion is that women often have power, but leave it unattended  – like bread crumbs on a tabletop. Women can take back their inherent power by changing their habits and paradigms by understanding the history of power, learning how to unblock and unlock power which will lessen fears regarding using it. Women should also set a plan for excellence, walk with new intention to be the best they can be and develop a sisterhood with other women that will pool resources for reaching goals.

I appreciate the information regarding anger energy and how it can be used in a limited way to get a person fired up for war, but in no way will it be the person’s legitimate driving force for long. I also agree that the media representation of women is not the most accurate and that women are finally understanding what applies to them realistically and what is only an idea of what a woman may be like (or look like, or act like, etc.).

The power tools offered in the later chapters were of great interest to me since they encourage us to know how to rule our own fate and how to turn fear into action. Everyone can use more help on using power to her advantage, regardless of how we come by this knowledge.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Seal Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.