The simple machine, the lever, allows one to use a small force (“effort”) to overcome a larger force (often gravity) by amplifying the effort via the plank on the fulcrum. Anderson’s introduction defines leverage as “using the minimum effort to achieve the maximum force” (5). Leveraging is a way to gain power when one has little power, and Anderson’s agenda is to quell the misuse (my word) of leverage in perpetuating disadvantage and to enable more equality (he addresses sexism specifically). Leveraging includes readable chapters written from the view of philosophy, economics, political science, labor relations, public policy, family relations, international relations, history, and law, although each centers on the United States.

Anderson offers Shell’s (1999) three sorts of leverage—resource, bargaining, and investment leverage—but their definitions...

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