Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Games Mother Never Taught You” as Want to Read:
Games Mother Never Taught You
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Games Mother Never Taught You

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  18 reviews
A management expert offers women guidance in acquiring and maintaining power in business, providing advice on the language, dress, attitudes, poses, and rules of success in a world traditionally dominated by men.
Paperback, 399 pages
Published April 24th 1989 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1977)
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 Games Mother Never Taught You, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Games Mother Never Taught You

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  105 ratings  ·  18 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Games Mother Never Taught You
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my career mentors mentioned this book, and I looked and sure enough the library had it, so I checked it out.

It came out in 1978. Reading it in 2015 means it was a mix of bizarre historical artifacts (push button phones as a sign of prestige! go look at the office bulletin board!), anthropology of business culture, and several chapters that were both enlightening to me (who has been working for over a decade) and things that I would recommend to women about to start college - specifically
Seaby Brown
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in 1983. It could not have come at a better time for me. I can tell that many of the nasty things that could befall a woman in the work environment that the author describes had befallen me. But from the moment I read the book, that all changed.

For example, the "corner office" and not waiting for permission. I moved my self and my things to an empty office that was next to the boss'es. He raised his eyebrows, but said nothing. From that moment on, people assumed I was higher ran
Margot Note
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I would include quotes in my review, but that would mean I would have to retype the book, because everything is brilliant. This book changed my life. I wish I had read it years ago.

Some reviewers have mentioned that it's outdated, as it was written in '77. Beyond references to typewriters, it's not as out of touch as we'd like to believe.

If anyone has suggestions for similar books, please let me know.

Anastasia Sillaway
Page 290: NO individual man can change the rules bc the mores of his tribe are all-conrolling. No individual woman can change the rules bc she is powerless against the entrenched establishment of male-crested business society. Besides, the minute she starts playing the genital -contact game she is a captured object as far as other participants and nonparticipants are concerned. "Fucking checkers"- a term actually in use by male players or would be players in this working game- is a public game s ...more
Tells you the rules of business very clearly and if you weren't either a football player in high school or in the military you don't know them. Sports metaphors and military mentality are the examples used to motivate people in the workforce. It's written for women, but men that weren't jocks or military need to read this too. For that matter, if you are a man who was military or sports crazy, you should read it so that you will better know how to interact with your team. Great for anyone workin ...more
Karen Chung
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
From the 70s and dated as regards some details, but spot on when it comes to spelling out male-female differences and inequalities, and how women can manage these to their advantage, particularly when climbing the corporate ladder.

In short, men, starting from a very young age, are trained in how to *compete*, while women are mainly taught how to *cooperate*. This book attempts to teach women how to *compete* on male turf and terms, and how to avoid entrapment due to certain universal, unalterab
Dec 21, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who have nothing to do during a seven hour shift at work.
The girl who had my desk before me left this book conspiculously underneath it. There was nothing to do for seven hours and thus I sucumbed to its alluring old book smell. I laughed, I cried, I learned valuable lessons about how to avoid sleeping with my boss. What else did I extract? Men are scum whose lives revolve around sex, sports, competition and alcohol.

Wait? Why does that make one scum? The central theme of this book is that men are secretly lazy and a vast conspiracy exists to prevent h
Lori Nolin
how to kick ass at work ;)
some parts are outdated, and at times it carries a somewhat antagonistic tone, but surprisingly timeless.
it was an interesting read. especially as the daughter of a stay-at-home mom, these indeed are "games your mother never taught you"
i sincerely hope the workplace is much better now. for now, i will frolick in school
Charlotte Dent
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I should have read this years ago. Dated, but some chapters are still relevent.
Irina Dumitrescu
Jun 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
The book is a little dated, but some of Harragan's observations are timeless. Harragan notes that women have been working in business for ages, but usually in clerical roles or jobs relying on a specific skill set (including professional jobs, like engineering or lab work). Instead, she provides a guide for women planning to make it as business executives, as management. While I suspect some things have changed in the forty or so years since this book was published -- most men in business no lon ...more
Jul 13, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first impression was the book is a bit dated. Then I thought about it. It's not. The feminist anger is dated, but the attitudes and realities of women in the work place are not dated.
So far, I've read the analogies of the hierarchical corporate structure to the military and to sports teams. The analogies hold. I've had to learn some of these lessons the hard way. You want to know the unwritten rules of corporate life? They're written down here.
Jul 24, 2012 rated it liked it
I read this many years ago, and i think some terms would be dated now. - A male reviewer here seems to have found book bashing men, but did not see that as focus of book. It explained the corporate world and just made me aware of *typical dynamics; which would have taken too long to was helpful and a quick read
Unit of Raine
Some parts are dated, but overall the strategy of perception and power in the business world is unchanged. Once she described various situations, I was able to recognize similar in my daily job. Very interesting.
Mar 09, 2009 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This book has an angry/victim tone to it. It's hard to read in that you have to get past the anger to get something useful from it.
Sep 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Some of the material is dated but an interesting read.
rated it really liked it
Mar 27, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Apr 23, 2019
Deborah Christian
rated it it was amazing
Jul 17, 2011
Shoisob Mahamud
rated it it was amazing
Feb 05, 2017
rated it liked it
Sep 23, 2014
rated it really liked it
Jul 12, 2011
Brenda Knepper
rated it it was amazing
Aug 20, 2015
Rodney Wallace
rated it it was amazing
Jun 02, 2012
Muhammad Usman
rated it really liked it
Feb 22, 2016
Bassim Kassim
rated it it was amazing
Mar 13, 2017
Liz B
rated it it was amazing
Jan 27, 2017
Catherine Edmundson
rated it liked it
Oct 25, 2012
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
outdated but encouraging
Paul Brown
rated it it was ok
Feb 04, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • How to Cook Everything: The Basics: Simple Recipes Anyone Can Cook
  • The Monkey's Raincoat (Elvis Cole, #1)
  • An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace
  • Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave
  • Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House
  • Bright Orange for the Shroud (Travis McGee #6)
  • From Russia With Love (James Bond, #5)
  • Storm of Locusts (The Sixth World, #2)
  • AgeProof: How to Live Longer Without Breaking a Hip, Running Out of Money, or Forgetting Where You Put It--The 8 Secrets
  • Strong Looks Better Naked
  • The Water Dancer
  • The Apprentice: Trump, Mueller and the Subversion of American Democracy
  • Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files: Storm Front, Volume 1: The Gathering Storm
  • The House that Cleans Itself: Creative Solutions for a Clean and Orderly House in Less Time Than You Can Imagine
  • Watch Me Disappear
  • Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, #3)
  • Dopo lo spettacolo
  • The Christmas Chronicles
See similar books…

News & Interviews

Karen M. McManus, the bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying, Two Can Keep a Secret, and One of Us Is Next, doesn’t shy away from secrets and...
53 likes · 3 comments