Ivanka Trump faces backlash over 'Women Who Work' book

Trump wrote the book prior to her father winning the presidency.

May 4, 2017, 2:25 PM

— -- Ivanka Trump is facing backlash for her new book, with critics saying the book is out of touch with average women.

The book, “Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success,” relies on hundreds of quotes from leaders like Oprah Winfrey and Gandhi, as well as Trump’s own rules for balancing work and family.

Trump, 35, is now serving in an unpaid position as an assistant to the president in the administration of her father, Donald Trump. She wrote the book during the election and said she turned in the manuscript prior to her father's defeat of Hillary Clinton last November.

PHOTO: A woman walks past a shelf displaying Ivanka Trump's book "Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success" at a Barnes and Noble bookstore in New York, May 2, 2017.
A woman walks past a shelf displaying Ivanka Trump's book "Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success" at a Barnes and Noble bookstore in New York, May 2, 2017.
Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

One admission in the book has particularly drawn criticism.

“Honestly, I wasn’t treating myself to a massage or making much time for self-care,” wrote Trump, referring to her time on the campaign trail.

Trump is the mother of three young children with her husband, Jared Kushner, who also works in an unpaid White House position, as senior adviser.

The "Women Who Work" book title draws its name from a marketing campaign Trump began for her eponymous fashion brand. She left the brand and her role in the Trump Organization just before her father assumed office.

Trump, who did not take a formal role in the White House until late March, now has a West Wing office and what appears to be a broad portfolio in the administration. She traveled to a women’s summit in Germany last month at the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and has pledged to focus her efforts on women’s issues, including paid leave for new parents.

The New York Times' book critic, Jennifer Senior, called Trump's book "a strawberry milkshake of inspirational quotes" and wrote that the "why" of "Women Who Work" is that Trump is "extending the Trump brand."

HuffPost senior reporter Emily Peck called Trump's book a "grab-bag of generic work-life advice for upper-middle-class white women" in her review, and wrote, "perhaps more remarkable, is Trump’s inability to truly recognize how her own privileged upbringing was key to her success."

At least two female leaders have also critiqued Trump after being quoted in “Women Who Work."

Reshma Saujani, the founder and chief executive of Girls Who Code, tweeted Tuesday that she does not want to be in the book if Trump is “complicit,” referring to a “Saturday Night Live” skit that portrayed Trump as “complicit” in her father’s conservative administration.

Famed primate researcher Jane Goodall, who has been critical of the Trump administration's position on conservation, urged Trump to "stand with" supporters of the environment.

“I hope that Ms. Trump will stand with us to value and cherish our natural world,” Goodall said in a statement.

The book's publisher, Portfolio, a Penguin Random House imprint, described the book as Trump's "commitment to inspire and empower women."

“Portfolio is proud to be publishing WOMEN WHO WORK: Rewriting the Rules for Success by Ivanka Trump," Adrian Zackheim, Portfolio's president and publisher, told ABC News in a statement. "The book highlights the author’s continuing commitment to inspire and empower women to define success on their own terms and to create the lives they want to live.”

ABC News' political commentator Cokie Roberts, who has written multiple books about the role of women in the development of the United States and in previous administrations, said Trump is under heightened scrutiny because of her father's role.

"Ivanka Trump is obviously going to be criticized because of her father and that's going to happen to her throughout his presidency," Roberts said. "I suspect that the same book would have done just fine if he were not president."

Trump pledged not to promote the book, citing ethics concerns. She has publicized her book on social media, as have some of her family members.

Trump has pledged to donate all of her proceeds from the book to charity. She announced this week two of the charities to whom she plans to donate proceeds: the Girls & Boys Clubs of America and the National Urban League.

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