MixedNew York Times Book ReviewThere is little that is new in Lara Bazelon’s brisk, engaging book ... Her message — working mothers are good for children, embracing ambition is good for mothers — is one that has its moment in book form at least once a decade or more. This is not a criticism. It is a lament ... While reading her well-reasoned arguments, I found myself vacillating between admiration, agreement, anguish and anger ... Why, nearly six decades after Betty Friedan argued that women could be fulfilled by roles other than \'housewife-mother,\' does it still need to be said? Can you imagine a book with the message that paid work is good for men and that they need not apologize for their success? ... Though filled with interviews with a deep and diverse variety of couples with children, at its heart Ambitious Like a Mother is the story of how Bazelon’s struggle with career and family has compared and contrasted with those of her own mother and grandmother ... She doesn’t advocate anything in particular, as hers is not a prescriptive book. While she touches on the familiar appeals for better child care options, federal guarantees of paid maternity leave, and talking frankly with your partner about division of labor before having children, her focus is more about the head space and emotional struggles of women ... Bazelon is reassuring, self-aware and direct ... It is tempting to conclude that Bazelon’s book represents its moment much as her predecessors did. But there is a looming elephant on nearly every page. It is being published in what may be the end of the pandemic, or may just be a lull between variants; either way, the workplace she writes about — and rails against — will likely no longer exist in the way she experienced it.
RaveThe New York Times Book Review\"... comprehensive and damning ... Glaser tells a singular story to illuminate a universal truth ... That Margaret and [baby] David find each other is not a spoiler ... The hows of the search, and what happens next, read like a novel, one likely to bring tears ... One powerful message of American Baby, though, is that the shadows of the past cannot be easily dismissed as mistakes of an unenlightened moment ... The stories of Margaret and David and the millions of others who lived through the Baby Scoop are vivid evidence that policy and culture change the trajectory of individual lives.