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Mothers on Trial
Mothers on Trial

Mothers on Trial

The Battle for Children and Custody


512 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB, Mobipocket, PDF

Trade Paper, $18.95 (US $18.95) (CA $20.95)

Publication Date: July 2011

ISBN 9781556529993

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Jul 2011)
Lawrence Hill Books


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The 25th anniversary of a groundbreaking work

Updated and revised with seven new chapters, a new introduction, and a new resources section, this landmark book is invaluable for women facing a custody battle. It was the first to break the myth that mothers receive preferential treatment over fathers in custody disputes. Although mothers generally retain custody when fathers choose not to fight for it, fathers who seek custody often win—not because the mother is unfit or the father has been the primary caregiver but because, as Phyllis Chesler argues, women are held to a much higher standard of parenting. Incorporating findings from years of research, hundreds of interviews, and international surveys about child-custody arrangements, Chesler argues for new guidelines to resolve custody disputes and to prevent the continued oppression of mothers in custody situations. This book provides a philosophical and psychological perspective as well as practical advice from one of the country’s leading matrimonial lawyers. Both an indictment of a discriminatory system and a call to action over motherhood under siege, Mothers on Trial is essential reading for anyone concerned either personally or professionally with custody rights and the well-being of the children involved.


“Heavily documenting her book with legal precedent, expert input, and studies, Chesler makes her case with all of her zeal intact. Fresh, [and] timely content” —Library Journal in its STARRED review of the revised, 2nd edition of Mothers on Trial

“An unblinking look at gender bias in child-custody battles.”—Kirkus Reviews on the revised, 2nd edition of Mothers on Trial

“Sure to inspire anger, understanding and action.” —Gloria Steinem on the 1st edition of Mothers on Trial

“Extremely subversive. . . . It should and will enrage, entice, incite and liberate.” —Kate Millett on the 1st edition of Mothers on Trial

“A stunning and exhaustive indictment of the treatment of mothers by the modern justice system. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal on the 1st edition of Mothers on Trial

“No brief review can do justice to the scope or style of her current book, a rich fabric of woven of compelling data from her interviews with warring parents, evocations of myth and poetry, and the transcribed voices of mothers on trial.” —Psychology Today on the 1st edition of Mothers on Trial

“An essential work.” —Erica Jong on the 1st edition of Mothers on Trial

Author Biography

Phyllis Chesler, author of eighteen books and thousands of articles and speeches, is also an emerita professor of psychology and women's studies at City University of New York, a psychotherapist, and an expert courtroom witness. She is cofounder of the Association for Women in Psychology and the National Women's Health Network, a charter member of the Women's Forum and the Veteran Feminists of America, and a founder and board member of the International Committee for the Women of the Wall. She lives in Manhattan.