Picks and Pans Review: A Mother's Place

updated 09/07/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/07/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Taking the Debate About Working Mothers Beyond Guilt and Blame
by Susan Chira

Working mothers who feel caught in the crossfire of the Mommy Wars will find Susan Chira an excellent ally. This New York Times editor and mother of two dissects and convincingly debunks the statistics, theories and cultural messages, both old and new, that suggest children are damaged if their mothers hold jobs. She argues that it's not the working that determines how kids turn out—it's the parenting. Chira also oozes empathy for moms who feel conflicted. "I used to quail inside whenever I met a mother who had chosen a different path from mine," she states. "In my heart, I felt challenged and questioned my own choice." Though Chira writes annoyingly as though she were the first woman ever to balance work and children, her book should help ensure she won't be the last. (HarperCollins, $25)

Bottom Line: A resounding vote for the working mom

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