Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Book Review: Breaking Down the Walls by Norma Yaeger

 I've been sent another book to review. Breaking Down the Walls by Norma Yaeger. You know, I know the stories of the 60s and 70s. I recognize that glass ceiling. I do think it important that we understand how hard our mothers and grandmothers fought for the right to function in a man's world. Heck, for the right to wear pants and stand on the floor of the stock exchange.

The book, as a bonus, gives a laywoman's explanation of stocks, bonds, the stock market, amongst other topics. It is a good primer in that respect. She balanced financial information every woman should know with her riveting life story. A very good read. Well written.

History is important for us to understand. Especially, understanding sociological issues, and the evolution of our world, and understanding the business world. She also explains the importance of dressing for success, something lost in our Casual Friday world. When you are managing people's money and their lives, it is good advice.

Norma was virtually a single parent of three, with a husband having a hard time earning a good living. We know the things that cause a marriage to go on the rocks: lack of communication, financial issues, and family (in-laws and outlaws). Norma took charge, found a goal, got the education for it, and achieved great things.

Her story is timeless and universal. A single mom coping, those are my heroes. I've done it, but I had a good job teaching. My heroes are those who struggle and keep on.
This book tells of times when the kids are hungry. Times when Norma took charge and the good advice her mentors provided her. It reminds of me the Dr. Phil proclamation, "Ya gotta teach 'em how to treat ya!"

From the publisher:
In 1962, Norma became one of the first women permitted on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange. As a licensed trader, she was truly a pioneer, facing challenges that many of us now take for granted. Not only did she became incredibly successful, but she blazed a path to equality in an industry that had never before welcomed women into its ranks. 

 This is a true story of the “American Dream” that has rarely been told—one that includes aggressiveness and ethics, competition and compassion, power and perception. It is the personal account of one woman’s experience at the forefront of the women’s movement, before that movement even had a name. 

 With a balanced emphasis on the investment industry, history, politics, social challenges, and her personal story, Breaking Down the Walls, is a great read for a diverse audience.
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@Barrie Summy


Sarah Laurence said...

Hooray for women like Norma and you! I reviewed a novel today about the glass ceiling. It's sad to think it still exists after decades of progress.

DeniseinVA said...

Great book review, I will be reading this.

Barrie said...

Go, Norma! Go, Jennifer! I love a story about a hero (heroine!) who perseveres and wins. How very impressive that she was one of the first women on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange. Thanks for reviewing, Jennifer!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Now this book has something to say.

Rose said...

When I read the first paragraph of your review and I discovered that the author worked on the Stock Exchange, I thought this isn't something I would be interested in reading. But the more I read, the more interested I became. Even if financial topics aren't my cup of tea, Norma's struggles and success in the workplace and at home sound like a great read!

lindaakacraftygardener said...

This does sound like a good book to read. Thanks for the recommendation.
When started teaching in the late 60's we were expected to wear dresses or skirts. I remember when the pant suit became fashionable and we were all worried about wearing one to school ... so we all decided to wear one on the same day and figured nothing would be said if all the women staff were dressed the same.