Monday, June 17, 2013

Man Down by Dan Abrams

Dan Abrams is a television legal analyst currently working for ABC’s Good Morning America. After reading a lighthearted article about how women are superior to men in a variety of professions, the lawyer in him was intrigued and sought proof. The result of his research was his first book, Man Down: Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better Cops, Drivers, Gamblers, Spies, World Leaders, Beer Tasters, Hedge Fund Managers, and Just About Everything Else.

Man Down is a fun and factual if somewhat fluffy read. Statistics from various studies are balanced by wry and often random comments from Abrams about life and pop culture. (I could have done without the many references to Jersey Shore in chapter 13.) Man Down is not a serious tome, but it does contain a lot of serious and fascinating information.
Each chapter starts with a quotation from notables ranging from President Grover Cleveland to Miss Piggy. (For example: “I hate women because they always know where things are.” – Voltaire.) Most chapters are 3-5 pages long, so this is a great book for picking up and setting down rather than reading in one intense sitting.
One chapter I found particularly interesting was “Women in Politics Are Less Corrupt.” In 2000, a team from the Williams College Center conducted a survey of corruption in 93 countries and concluded, “Countries which have greater representation of women in government or in market work have lower levels of corruption.” Coupled with the chapter “Women Are Better World Leaders” and the conclusions of a 2008 Pew Research Center survey, I feel like I have much food for thought when making decisions in future elections.
Man Down is not a rant against men. Abrams acknowledges that there are many areas where men are superior to women. But the overall conclusion from the many studies referenced in his book is this: women are more efficient, take fewer unnecessary results, and achieve equal or better results in many areas.
Author Abrams sounds like someone I’d like to share a drink with, and it is easy to read his breezy style. I recommend this book for anyone interested in cultural studies, women’s issues, and light-hearted reading covering thought-provoking matters. Man Down by Dan Abrams is available at the Galesburg Public Library.

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