Never Learn to Type

Never Learn to Type

A Woman at the United Nations

Margaret Anstee

2003 Wiley

Recommendation: Cover blurb

This autobiography of the first female to hold a position of Under-Secretary-General at the United Nations. The first member of her family to be educated beyond secondary school, she graduated from Cambridge and became a university lecturer for a while before joining the Foreign Office in 1948. Marriage brought an abrupt end to a promising career (as it did in those days) and she travelled abroad with her diplomat husband. Within a few years her marriage had failed and she became an administrative assistant for the U.N. in Manila where she happened to be at the time. Progressive promotions took her to U.N. HQ in New York where she progressed even further, until retiring in 1993. The book starts off really well, and it is easy to identify with her, (after all my parents never envisaged a child of theirs attending university), but as she rises through the ranks in the U.N. she becomes rather too full of herself. In the later chapters of the book, the reader begins to have sympathy for her husband in their short lived marriage! The concept of the title, however, was a stroke of genius on Margaret Anstee's part, for she could see that if she once learned to type, she would be condemned to "women's work" all her life.

October 2010

Janet May 16 2019 122 reads 0 comments 0 ratings Print

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