Ivanka Trump's new book is bad. Also, water is wet.
Aside from the tangled, poisonous web of potential ethical violations she may have just crossed, with claims she could profit from her public profile as a White House advisor, alongside a government-funded website being accused of promoting the book, there's also just the small issue of it being a useless pile of fluff.
The public have unsurprisingly been decisive in their opinions of Women who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success; while it's currently landed an average of 1.2 stars on the site for popular US bookseller Barnes and Noble, Amazon has seen 43% of ratings going straight to five stars, with 54% giving it one star.
Critics, however, haven't held back in their takes on Trump's self-help guide for female entrepreneurs, with the book receiving a near-universal panning.
Here's a round-up of some of the most scathing reviews.
The New York Times - Jennifer Senior
"In this way, the book is not really offensive so much as witlessly derivative, endlessly recapitulating the wisdom of other, canonical self-help and business books — by Stephen Covey, Simon Sinek, Shawn Achor, Adam Grant. (Profiting handsomely off the hard work of others appears to be a signature Trumpian trait.)"
"Trump’s book... is a grab-bag of generic work-life advice for upper-middle-class white women who need to 'architect' (a verb that pops up a lot) their lives. But underneath that, and perhaps more remarkable, is Trump’s inability to truly recognize how her own privileged upbringing was key to her success."
Slate - Michelle Goldberg
"None of this is to say Ivanka hasn’t struggled over the last year and a half. 'During extremely high-capacity times, like during the campaign, I went into survival mode: I worked and I was with my family; I didn’t do much else,” she writes. “Honestly, I wasn’t treating myself to a massage or making much time for self-care.'"
"Nevertheless, she persisted. Now she may be the most powerful woman in the world, propping up the father who once publicly agreed with Howard Stern that she was a “piece of ass.” There’s a lesson in here somewhere. It’s not an empowering one."
NPR - Annalisa Quinn
Organized into sections with titles like "Dream Big" and "Make Your Mark," Women Who Work is a sea of blandities, an extension of that 2014 commercial seeded with ideas lifted ("curated," she calls it) from various well-known self-help authors. Reading it feels like eating scented cotton balls.
Mashable - Chris Taylor
That is a noble goal, and I am happy to report that with this book, Trump has helped to level at least one playing field: Here is proof that a female CEO can write a business book that is just as bad — just as padded with bromides and widely-known examples and self-promotion and unexamined privilege and jargon — as one written by an overconfident male CEO.
Business Insider UK - Kate Taylor
The book, which the first daughter and White House adviser wrote while her father was running for president, reads like a mashup of countless essays and articles written in the past decade aimed at female entrepreneurs.
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