cover image On Becoming Fearless: In Love, Work, and Life

On Becoming Fearless: In Love, Work, and Life

Arianna Huffington. Little Brown and Company, $21.99 (230pp) ISBN 978-0-316-16681-2

In her entry into the overstuffed semi-autobiographic inspirational self-help genre, Huffington's main message is more or less unassailable: ""Women have so much potential, yet we hold ourselves back. If my daughters, and women of all ages, are to take their rightful place in society, they must become fearless."" Huffington ruminates on the cultivation of fearlessness in all aspects of a woman's life: body image, love, motherhood, work, money, illness and aging, with contributions from other fearless females like Nora Ephron and Diane Keaton. Though the author's common-sense feminism is welcome in a sea of women's books dedicated solely to snagging a man, it can at times be overly simplistic; regarding the reason women stay in physically abusive relationships, Huffington states that ""if you understand women's deep fear of being alone, it's not a huge mystery."" But generalizations such as this are one of the pitfalls of picking a motif-""fearlessness""-and using it as a litmus test for any given situation. Still, Huffington's strident voice and populist sympathies make this an encouraging, if not particularly inspiring, call to arms against the forces that would keep women ""sacrificing our personal truth to go along, be approved of, or just plain be 'nice.'""