Ivanka Trump’s new book “Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules For Success” received scathing reviews. Critics say she misquotes major cultural figures, and that her anecdotes are unrelatable for the average American woman. Here’s Samantha Bee on her show “Full Frontal.”
Samantha Bee: It’s full of super relatable stories like the time Anna Wintour call Ivanka, then a senior in college, to offer her a job a Vogue and Ivanka turned it down to fulfill her dream of becoming a builder. That’s a story that Princess Aurora thought the average woman could learn something from.” (0:17)
Still, the book debuted at number four on The New York Times Best Sellers list today. Kristin Schwab wanders the stacks of New York city bookstores to see how the book is selling…or not.
SCHWAB 1: On the main floor of The Strand bookstore in Union Square sits tables of best sellers and new releases. But you won’t find Ivanka Trump’s new book there.
SCHWAB 1: So I’m looking for Ivanka Trump’s “Women Who Work.”
MCGUIRE 1: OK. Let’s see where it might be…
SCHWAB 2: Bookseller Michael McGuire is wearing a The Strand lanyard with the store’s catchphrase: 18 miles of books.
MCGUIRE 2: Alright. We should have one copy downstairs in the basement in business careers.
SCHWAB 3: Downstairs, in a back corner, sits a number of the Trump family’s non-fiction books. Staffer DeForrest Brown helps me navigate the stacks.
BROWN 1: We’re usually pretty loaded with Donald Trump books. They’ve been selling pretty well and I thought it was really interesting that a lot of people of that demographic are purchasing Trump books.
SCHWAB 4: By “that demographic,” he means left-leaning shoppers the store usually serves.
BROWN 2: I mean obviously I saw that you were getting this like, Trump book. But I didn’t like, judge you for it?
SCHWAB 5: After half an hour, we gave up. We never did find a copy of Ivanka’s book at The Strand.
Is the book as bad as critics say? Michelle Goldberg is a political columnist at Slate. She says, yes.
GOLDBERG 1: The book is [this painfully oblivious, almost insulting] manual for how to succeed in life and business if you have a ton of household help and a lot of resources.
SCHWAB 6: She says even if the book fails as a self-help guide, there’s something to be gleaned from it. “Women Who Work” tells us something about the father-daughter relationship between Donald and Ivanka.
GOLDBERG 2: Because Ivanka Trump is somewhat socially liberal, she was a democrat before her father ran for office, so there’s a sense I think that like, she must be secretly appalled at what her father is doing. And I think that when you read this book, you see that that’s really not true. That she really is her father’s daughter.
SCHWAB 7: A few blocks away from The Strand is a Barnes and Noble. There, the book has been given a much higher profile. On the best sellers and must-reads table right in front of the entrance sits a fat stack of “Women Who Work.” That stack of book is a reminder that in popular culture for something to succeed, it doesn’t have to be good.
Kristin Schwab, Columbia Radio News.