Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Get to Work: . . . And Get a Life, Before It's Too Late” as Want to Read:
Get to Work: . . . And Get a Life, Before It's Too Late
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Get to Work: . . . And Get a Life, Before It's Too Late

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  258 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Read Linda Hirshman's posts on the Penguin Blog.

Does changing a toddler ’s diapers count as a fulfilling job? Is the glass ceiling that keeps women from advancing in their careers actually located in the home? In Get to Work, a book that instantly ignited a firestorm of debate, Hirshman cogently argues that “opting out” of the workplace is a form of self-betrayal. Combinin
Paperback, 112 pages
Published May 29th 2007 by Penguin Books (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Get to Work, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Get to Work

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 17, 2007 Elyssa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who want to truly advance the feminist agenda
Shelves: feminism
Linda Hirshman is VERY direct and this will not sit well for all readers, especially if you don't agree with her premise. I found the book refreshing because I think the feminist movement is in need of radical transformation and the most effective arena to do so is in the world of work.

As a working mother, I felt affirmed by her message that women need to abdandon the illusions of "choice feminism" and claim their place in the work world, especially in leadership positions where we can make pol
Jun 27, 2007 Michele rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I agree wholeheartedly that if inequitable households are preventing a parent returning to work then that poor division of labour must be addressed.
However, I feel that the author's assertion that the only flourishing life can be found in the high powered workplace to be limited and lacking in imagination.She had no real perspective on how many people's lives operate. Very few of us are likely to be Mozart, Einstein, MLK, Condie etc.(Her list, not mine). The reality is that work serves the purp
Feb 01, 2008 Heather rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All Women!
Recommended to Heather by: Sara Holliday
Hirshman hypothesises about the pitfalls of "Choice Femism" or the "Opt-Out Revolution" in which women go to school, are trained to do great things and end up giving up their careers for the life of housework while their husbands continue to work. At first, it's hard to agree with her, because how can you argue with the value of a family, but then it got me thinking: Why is it assumed to be the woman's job to drop out to care for the children? That doesn't seem fair at all! No fair!!

Backed up wi
Sep 23, 2008 Christa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one!
Shelves: non-fiction, gender
This book was an awful example of the concepts that some neoliberal feminists can put forth. She is a complete capitalist/individualist and encourages all women to go into business and tears down culture and family life. She completely ignores the construct of gender and is super into the binary gender system. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.
Aug 15, 2008 Ingrid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: working mothers
Recommended to Ingrid by: Ellen Goodman's syndicated column.
I'll be brief: halfway through the book, I had to send the author fan mail. I felt like she'd said everything that had been in my mind and heart for the last 10 years. I polished it off in one sitting and bought copies for all the working mothers I know.
Apr 15, 2013 Gail rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In “Get to Work,” Linda Hirshman argues - in a tone that fluctuates between starkly sensible and harshly snarky - that stay-at-home motherhood “is not good for women and it’s not good for the society.” She goes further than Jessica Valenti (whose arguments I now realize largely recap Hirshman’s) in declaring that (1) “[c]hild care and housekeeping have satisfying moments but are not occupations likely to produce a flourishing life,” and (2) “[h]ighly educated women’s abandonment of the workplace ...more
Oct 31, 2007 Amy rated it really liked it
Infuriating and also insightful, everything a good book should be. It will either make you cheer or want to pull Hirshman's hair out, but very entertaining.
Sep 02, 2015 Rylie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I checked this out on a spur of the moment at my library, looking for some feminist literature that I haven’t already read yet. I liked the overall feel of the concept of the book, but I really made a mistake by judging this one by its cover. Linda Hirshman, fortunately, gets right to the point which allowed me to put the book down after the first few chapters because I was, unfortunately, disgusted. I guess it was my mistake for not reading the inside coverlet. This book does almost nothing but ...more
May 12, 2007 MM rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommend this one (I'm inclined towards manifestos and polemics anyway -- I like the genre and find the agon useful). Hirshman basically critiques what she calls "choice feminism" as illusory choice. That is, the line of reasoning among women that suggests, "whatever I choose is ok -- whether it's staying at home with the kids, trying to become elected President, or enslavement."

She points out that the women's rights movement of the mid-20th Century was great for starting to dismantle th
Cecilia Solis-sublette
This is an important book because this argument is not entertained enough in today's society. As women, it is considered very poor form to question a career woman's decision to give up that career for child-raising. Yes, salary is forgone. But so is career furtherance, retirement savings; independence is exchanged for dependence, in so many ways. And returning to the workforce isn't always so easy. The fact that it is, more and more, middle and upper class college educated women who leave career ...more
Aug 17, 2008 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did read this whole book, but not extraordinarily closely because I was reviewing it for--guess what?--work. It's definitely got a tone, and it definitely provides examples to support the claims, but you know what? It's all anecdote and outrage. Far too many examples come from the blogosphere, and (frankly) the worst kind of group blogging sites there could possibly be. You know those sites that choose an experience a bunch of people have and invite all the yahoos in the world to blog there? P ...more
Linda Hirshman is a heroine of our time, and you know it because liberals and conservatives both don't want to have anything to do with what she's asking them to consider - that we are all wrong, together, about how we view women in our culture. We've spent too many years patting ourselves on the back for winning the right to vote and have a few women in board rooms, as CEOs, and even representing us in government positions. But when we look at the vast numbers of men still outnumbering women in ...more
Aug 19, 2012 Ingrid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ! This is the guidebook for my life. Every time I feel discouraged at work, I re-read this book. You will be inspired to be independent, make your own money, have your own aspirations, be your own person, and soar as high as possible.

Working moms: You are not harming your kids by having a career. You are providing an excellent model for them!

Ladies, put down Redbook and pick up The New York Times. Feed your brains! Go after the corner office. Climb that ladder. The
Jul 01, 2008 Allison rated it really liked it
This short manifesto made me re-evaluate how I think. One of the points from the "strategic plan to get to work" that the book laid out seemed meant for me -
"Never know when you are out of milk."

I feel that my husband I have a pretty 50/50 relationship when it comes to household duties. Still I always feel some how that I am doing more around the house. This book helped me realize perhaps why I feel that way.

Overall a quick interesting read that I would recommend to anybody.

Jun 04, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Yes, yes, yes, and yes.
Sep 23, 2016 Lilly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure I agree with the premise, but an interesting side of feminism.
Gabrielle Trenbath
Jul 23, 2011 Gabrielle Trenbath rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review
This is a small book with big ideas. Linda R. Hirshman makes many excellent points but based around the Western notion of what constitutes “a good life” - using your talents and capabilities to the fullest and being rewarded for it.
Her reason against the relegation of talented and educated women to the domestic sphere is that it makes them dependant on men for money (those who make the most money wheel the most power) and it deprives society of skilled and gifted individuals.

I love how she chall
Aug 15, 2007 Stephanie rated it liked it
Hirshman makes a good argument that feminists are failing the movement by dropping out of the career world to stay home with their children. She provides a lot of anecdotal and blogosphere evidence that the female elite -- women who worked hard and excelled at Ivy League schools, got graduate degrees, and worked their way up the corporate ladder -- have a responsibility to advance the status of women in the workplace by sticking it out after they become mothers, and that their education and ambi ...more
Sep 04, 2016 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, library
You know, when I first read this book, I wasn't a big fan...but it has really grown on me over the years.

Today someone posted this story, and a second person replied asking about how childcare fits into "hours worked," and I got unintentionally snippy -

You're either not supposed to have them, or you're supposed to have an unemployed gold-digger* at home with them 24/7.

* You aren't supposed to call them that until the divorce, of course, when they start getting uppity and wanting stuff like "th
May 03, 2014 Novem rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recommend this book even though I was slightly put off by the author's tone. I agree with many of the points made in this book: 1) Women who quit their jobs put themselves into a financially precarious position where they are dependent on a spouse who could leave or get laid off or die; 2) the idea that it's in line with feminism for women to "choose" to leave their jobs ignores some of the social, political, and institutional issues that may be influencing that choice; and 3) on average, wome ...more
Jan 26, 2010 Jen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was a bit disappointed in this book. The book was definitely thought provoking and the author made some great points. However, As someone who has recently been struggling with the balance of career and mommyhood, I was looking for more. The author was heavily focused on women being forced to stay home with their children (whether they realize it or not) because their husbands are not helpful at home or because its what their husbands want for the family. In my situation my husband is completel ...more
May 28, 2008 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Melanie by: Professor Strober
This book takes the left end of the spectrum, asserting that working is the morally right choice for intelligent, educated women. Although I don't entirely agree with everything Hirshman claims, I found the change of mindset refreshing. It will make you think about whether the choice to leave the workforce would be the same if the scales weren't so heavily weighted against women. It will make you think about the value of work beyond monetary rewards. It will make you think about the power balanc ...more
This book talks about how woman should be in the workplace because their skills are being wasted at the home. Hirshman talks about how well-educated woman fall into the trap of raising children and giving up their careers. Hirshman writes in a very blunt manner and this book has been received by the public with much controversy. Yet, although many of her opinions are very harsh, many of them are also very true. There is a huge double standard that exists still today between male and female profe ...more
This is a very thought-provoking examination of feminism and the trend of women "opting out" of the workforce to become stay-at-home mothers. Ultimately, Hirshman is too radical (when she suggests women "don't study art" in order to become employable; only have one child; and marry either younger or older men so that both parents' careers aren't at the same developmental stages at the same time.) However, her overall point is interesting and valid and very much worth considering.

For a more compr
you'd think i would have liked this more, since the premise is something that i advocate as a basic tenet of, like, living and stuff. but it seemed too much like preaching to the choir, and thin in terms of substantive research, logical argument, or useful advice. i can't imagine that this would help convince anyone who didn't already agree - if anything, its snarkiness would probably influence them in the opposite direction.

on the other hand, it was refreshing and sorta inspiring to read hirshm
Jan 21, 2008 Tia rated it it was ok
Shelves: feminism
This book was long on rhetoric but short on solutions. While I agree with some of her basic premises (women should work outside the home, they shouldn't get majors in things that are completely unmarketable, and they shouldn't do more than their fair share of work at home), the book was kind of boring and just not compelling. She also does more guilt tripping and "my feminism is better than your feminism" stuff than was needed.
Marisa Zimmerman
Nov 10, 2007 Marisa Zimmerman rated it liked it
Recommends it for: feminists, working mothers
Although this book is even too radical for my tastes, she does not waiver on her belief that too many educated women are staying at home. She finds many unique arguments to back up her belief and she gives working mothers some confidence and pride. She will offend everyone- liberals and conservatives alike- but she gives us a different point of view that's worth listening to.
Jan 12, 2010 Maggie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I was a feminist until I read this book. I was amazed how close minded I was to the movement and how much more work there is to be done. Quick and easy read jam packed with history of the feminist movement and an interesting look at where we are now.
Sep 02, 2008 Aimee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all women, especially mothers
Recommended to Aimee by: article in Atlantic Monthly
Shelves: favorites
Every mother, who also has a career, who wonders guiltily if she should be working, should READ THIS BOOK. It can put it all to rest, knowing that we are doing the best by ourselves, our intellect, and our children.
May 17, 2010 Barb rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hirshman makes a few good points that can be of value to women who are evaluating whether to stay in the work force after having kids, but overall the book is too much of a rant and manages to alienate just about every everyone.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much?
  • The Meaning of Wife: A Provocative Look at Women and Marriage in the Twenty-First Century
  • Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression
  • Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap--And What Women Can Do about It
  • In the Land of the Grasshopper Song: Two Women in the Klamath River Indian Country in 1908-09
  • A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique & American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s
  • From Eve to Dawn: A History of Women in the World, Vol. 1
  • The Woman at the Washington Zoo: Writings on Politics, Family, and Fate
  • I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage
  • Abortion & Life
  • The Second Shift
  • Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Love, Kids, and Life in a Half-Changed World
  • Tripping the Prom Queen: The Truth About Women and Rivalry
  • The Twisted Sisterhood: Unraveling the Dark Legacy of Female Friendships
  • The Boundaries of Her Body: A Shocking History of Women's Rights in America
  • Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness
  • Goodbye, I Love You
  • Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women

Share This Book

“[On how mothers are "doing the most important job" in the world by raising children]: If, in fact, it were the most important thing a human being could do, then why are no men doing it? They'd rather make war, make foreign policy, invent nuclear weapons, decode DNA, paint The Last Supper, put the dome on St. Peter's Cathedral; they'd prefer to do all those things that are much less important than raising babies?” 1 likes
More quotes…