New Ivanka Trump book drawing backlash, harsh reviews

"It’s a sign of how perilous and debased American life has become that people are putting faith in Ivanka Trump," one reviewer wrote.

By Doug G. Ware
New Ivanka Trump book drawing backlash, harsh reviews
President Donald Trump speaks as daughter Ivanka looks on during a video conference in the Oval Office of the White House on April 24. The businesswoman and Trump assistant, 35, released a self-help book this week titled, "Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success." File Photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License Photo

May 4 (UPI) -- A book written by Ivanka Trump that was released this week is drawing all kinds of backlash -- from reviewers and even people she cites in the work as inspirational.

The self-help and professional advice book, Women Who Work: Redefining the Rules for Success, was released Tuesday by the publisher Portfolio/Penguin.


Some of the response, though, has not been positive.

The book contains a collection of inspirational quotes from various women who have been successful in women's rights causes -- and some of them have said publicly that one person who should heed their advice is Ivanka herself.

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"I understand that Ms. Trump has used one of my quotes in her forthcoming book," anthropologist Jane Goodall told NBC News. "I was not aware of this, and have not spoken with her, but I sincerely hope she will take the full import of my words to heart."


"She is in a position to do much good or terrible harm," she continued. "I hope that Ms. Trump will stand with us to value and cherish our natural world and protect this planet for future generations."

Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that advocates females in the information technology industry, echoed Goodall's sentiments. She has also been a staunch critic of President Donald Trump.

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"[Ivanka Trump] don't use my story in Women Who Work unless you are going to stop being #complicit," she tweeted.

Ivanka Trump, 35, a socialite, businesswoman and current White House presidential assistant, has previously said the book isn't supposed to be political -- and she has said she will donate the proceeds to charity.

"Ivanka has always believed that no one person or party has a monopoly on good ideas," her representatives told CNN Money. "When she was writing this book, she included quotes from many different thought leaders who've inspired Ivanka and helped inform her viewpoints over the years."

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Aside from the blowback Trump has received from some of her book subjects, the 243-page work itself has been the subject of some harsh reviews.


"For a while, it reads like the best valedictorian speech ever -- 'Pursue your passion! Make sure you, and not others, define success! Architect a life you love in order to fully realize your multidimensional self!' New York Times reviewer Jennifer Senior wrote in her assessment. "And because Ivanka alone can fix our problems, she opens her book with a pasture full of straw men, including the argument that our culture isn't having nuanced conversations about working mothers."

"It's a sign of how perilous and debased American life has become that people are putting faith in Ivanka Trump," reviewer Michelle Goldberg wrote for Slate.

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"As vapid as Women Who Work is -- and it is really vapid -- there is a subtle political current running through it," she adds. "Beneath the inspirational quotes from Oprah and the Dalai Lama and the you-go-girl cheerleading, the message of Women Who Work is that people get what they deserve."

Washington Post writer Robin Givhan called it "trite and tedious."

"So focused on exhorting readers to define success on their own terms, it manages to be both humorless and comically removed from the realities of life for the broad swath of women who work 9 to 5 or who struggle along with minimum-wage jobs," she wrote.


"This book is earnest. But that doesn't make it particularly thoughtful or impactful. The same might ultimately be said of its author."

On, more than half of the reviews -- 56 percent as of Thursday -- gave the book just one star (of five). Forty percent gave the book five stars.

"The old 'feminist' ways do NOT work in a male dominated field. I admire Ivanka Trump's intelligence, commitment to family and love of an honest days work!" one Amazon customer wrote. "I hope people won't let 'politics' get in the way of their reading a book that could improve their lives!"

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