As you would expect, a book on self-esteem is likely to cover a lot of ground. After all, this is a huge topic, but Gloria Steinem manages to pare it down into seven insightful chapters, covering everything from unhappy childhoods, to the importance of un-learning and relearning, to our bodies, romance, and more spiritual and universal issues such as connecting to nature and animals to help self-esteem.
Filled with references to interesting studies and individual stories to demonstrate points, the book is vintage Steinem. Some of the studies, however, began to feel familiar. I read Steinem's Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions a few years ago, and I'm sure that some of this material was covered in the earlier book. On the other hand, self-esteem issues in domineering patriarchal societies is likely to cause some overlap.
For me, the book's flaw is Steinem's claim that it's for men and women. Obviously, millions of men have self-esteem issues that keep them from living full, rich lives, however, the book seemed so focused on women's challenges that the men seemed to be forgotten. Sure, there were some stories about men's experiences and studies about boys and girls, however most are centered on women's experiences and obstacles, which is a shame. If there were more studies/stories and more discussion about men's challenges, the book would have lived up to the author's claim. Also, when you slap a picture of a smiling Gloria Steinem on the cover, browsers will assume this a feminist book, which makes me wonder if the publisher was seriously interested in reaching the male market at all.