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Monday, June 20, 2011

Barbara Bailey Reviews Laura Mays Hoopes New Book

Breaking Through the Spiral Ceiling: An American Woman Becomes a DNA Scientist
Laura L Mays Hoopes Author's web site:
176 pages
# ISBN-10: 0557923204
# ISBN-13: 978-0557923205

Reviewed by Barbara Bailey, Oak Hills, CA for
Five stars

Laura Hoopes tells us her life story in Breaking Through the Spiral Ceiling that is similar to so many women of her time and still to many women today.

If you are expecting a flaming feminist report on the unfairness of women's treatment in academia, then you've come to the wrong place. Her story is not riddled with blame but a play-by-play interpretation of her quest as an intelligent and motivated young woman of the 1960s who fought to reach her goal of becoming a DNA scientist. She tells us about the snubs and betrayals, but we are not invited to see bitterness and anger. Instead, Hoopes invites us to take a look at what kind of person her journey has molded her into. And, the humor and gentleness in explaining complex biological concepts shows that Hoopes found her niche as a teacher and mentor to her students.

It's that insightfulness that makes this a charming read. Breaking Through the Spiral Ceiling should be required reading for every young woman to see that they are standing on the shoulders of women who fought the first battles of having a career, family, friendships, and love despite the trials they faced and came out with battle scars but still hopeful and still smiling.

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1 comment:

Lorelei said...

It's so hard to make it as a woman in science. And with a family, that just adds to the complexity.