A potent memoir of stalking with special resonance in the era of #MeToo.

CONSENT

A MEMOIR OF UNWANTED ATTENTION

The acclaimed writer and campus lecturer shares a secret, revealing a story of stalking lurking just beneath her success.

In her latest, Freitas (Consent on Campus: A Manifesto, 2018, etc.) exposes the psychological havoc caused by her stalker and navigates the complex terrain of structural sexism and double standards involved with trusting in authority, academia, and the Catholic church. Silenced first by self-doubt and later by confidentiality agreements, the author provides a harrowing narrative of the detachment and disconnection often felt by harassment survivors. In her painstaking account, imbued throughout with alternating senses of self-awareness and -doubt, Freitas reviews her choices as if constantly scanning for fault or responsibility even as she unfolds the layers of lies that protected an influential professor. Her smooth storytelling skills translate this nightmare to the page with emotionally wrought insights. “If I named this thing it would stick to me, sink into me, become me,” she writes. “Not only would it rot me from the inside but now the rot would be visible. It would cling to me, mark me, become my scarlet letter.” Whether caught in a monster’s trap or the victim of a foolish old man’s misguided and inappropriate affections, Freitas manages to refrain from judgment without shielding her discomfort with either option. She discusses life after a trauma as a victim and survivor while delivering an unforgettable analysis of a devastating ordeal. As she interrogates womanhood, professional success, and expectations about protection when such behavior is reported, the author’s attention to the institutional response in light of current trends makes this an urgently vital perspective. Her excavations of victim-blaming and institution-protection actions are stark, and her sharing of this long-silenced story adds to the current social reckoning with unequal power dynamics on college campuses and elsewhere. A groundbreaking resource for educators, administrators, students, and survivors, the book explores an issue many would prefer to ignore.

A potent memoir of stalking with special resonance in the era of #MeToo.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-45052-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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