"What Women Want" by Patricia Ireland. Dutton. 323 pages...

Book Briefs

June 23, 1996|By Janice D'Arcy | Janice D'Arcy,Sun Staff

"What Women Want" by Patricia Ireland. Dutton. 323 pages. $23.95.

Midway through her personal account of the women's rights movement, Patricia Ireland, president of the National Organization for Women, reveals she often fears she's preaching to the converted. That fear is well-founded.

Her book is full of the kind of sweeping generalizations that will turn the anything-but-die-hard-fans away. Those who get passed her simplistic arguments and liberal use of the exclamation point - techniques that make a reader feel more like a rally attendant than a confidant - will find occasional moments of insight. Her psychological transformation from Sixties airline stewardess to Eighties lawyer and Nineties activist is never as fascinating as it seems, but at times is interesting. And the book does shed light on the reasoning behind some of NOW's most internally debated stances, namely political endorsements, gay and lesbian rights advocacy and pro-choice activism.

Sadly though, those who stick with the book to the end in the hopes of finding an answer to her title question will find none. Apparently readers should already know - the converted do.

Pub Date: 06/23/96

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