MISMATCH: The Growing Gulf Between Women and Men

Andrew Hacker, Author . Scribner $25 (240p) ISBN 978-0-684-86252-1

Hacker's Two Nations focused on the growing racial divide in America. Here, he explores how men and women in America have also grown apart. He builds his argument from a wide range of statistics: divorce rates, age at marriage, male-female income ratios, homosexuality rates, sex ratios of college grads, numbers of people never married and so forth. Women, with more education and better earnings opportunities than in the past, have been marrying later than they used to. More confident and more demanding in their relationships with men, they're increasingly unwilling to "limit their ambitions to make life more congenial for men." Men, he says, have responded with their own sort of "liberation" movement, abandoning responsibility for supporting wives and children, and leaving them for younger, more compliant women. Hacker has a gift for analyzing apt statistics (e.g., inferring the scale of male impotence fear from the over seven million men using Viagra only a year after its introduction), and he matter-of-factly addresses taboos, stating, for example, that men rape because they hate and fear women and that "white men harbor a primal fear that black men may surpass them in virility," responding to those fears with "periodic lynchings" in older days, while now "the surrogate for lynching is imprisonment." Hacker wisely refrains from pointing fingers at guilty parties and offers no solutions, although some readers will surely want to use his statistics to buttress their own arguments. It's more of a "buyer beware" book, witty at times and searingly direct. Agent, Robin Straus. (Mar.)

Forecast: Mismatch's subject—a perennially popular one—and Hacker's name recognition could ignite sales.

Reviewed on: 01/27/2003
Release date: 03/01/2003
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-684-86253-8
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4391-3139-8
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