Perfect Women: Hidden Fears of Inadequacy and the Drive to Perform

Colette Dowling, Author
Colette Dowling, Author Summit Books $18.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-54747-9
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Dowling, who wrote the popular Cinderella Complex , has tackled a large subject in this study of why so many women today seem so driven to succeed in business, to excel in athletics, to dress to perfection, to be model mothers. In an adroit mixture of psychological case histories, stories from newspapers and magazines and her own experience as mother and daughter, she pursues the reasons for this striving. As often in popularly oriented books about women's difficulties, mother turns out to be the villain. Often insecure herself, she fails to give her daughter an appropriate sense of self-worth, and daughter spends the rest of her life in frantic over-compensation. Dowling puts this all together neatly, with a wealth of reference, and her book is useful as a quick guide to current personality theory. But the general effect is superficial; the reader longs for longer, more penetrating interviews, even if fewer bases were touched in the process. BOMC featured a lternate. (Oct.)
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