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If They Only Listened to Us

What Women Voters Want Politicians to Hear

by Melinda Henneberger


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   Not today

Soon after the 2004 presidential election, veteran reporter Melinda Henneberger set out across the country to listen to women of all ages and occupations express their strong opinions on the major issues of our time. Over eighteen months she spoke in depth and at length with more than two hundred women in twenty states, from Massachusetts to Arizona and Oregon to Texas. She discovered how unheard women feel, how ignored and disregarded by both major parties and by most politicians.

Listening to women all over the nation -- not only on what are traditionally thought of as "women's issues" but on issues of paramount importance to all Americans -- Henneberger shines a light on what women voters are thinking and how that translates into how and for whom they vote.

The issues that these women focused on were Iraq, abortion, the environment, globalization (and job loss), and corruption (and lack of trust) in the government and the entire electoral process. Again and again these women of all ages, social classes, and regions returned to the matter of authenticity. And they came back again and again to their commonly held feeling that neither party takes any genuine interest in their actual lives, that politicians across the board seem, as a young waitress in Sacramento put it, "to be talking about people who don't exist."

A patient, sensitive, experienced, intelligent listener, Henneberger reports how women feel about the nation's politics and politicians. Her findings will surprise you. Knowing the answers these women give will tell you a great deal about how the next presidential and other elections will be decided.

Publication Details

Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Publication Date:
Available in:
United States


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Melinda Henneberger (Author)

Melinda Henneberger is a former reporter for The New York Times and a former contributing editor for Newsweek magazine. She lives with her husband and their two children outside Washington, D.C.

More about Melinda Henneberger
If They Only Listened to Us
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