A timely, enlightening exploration of what American women truly want and need to live purposeful, fulfilling, happy lives.

THE H-SPOT

THE FEMINIST PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

A sound analysis of what really makes women happy.

Filipovic, a New York Times contributing opinion writer and Cosmopolitan.com columnist, undertakes an assertive, eye-opening investigation of women’s happiness. “The American pursuit of happiness,” she writes, “has morphed from a political promise made in the very declaration of our independent nation into a thoroughly capitalist endeavor, packaged and sold to individuals with the promise that if you just get this thing—if you just choose to pay for this thing—you’ll be fulfilled.” But as the author adeptly points out, happiness is not a thing—not something that comes in a can or from an exercise class or even from a romantic partner. Deep, long-lasting friendships, the right to be sexual in all its myriad forms, being a wife, mother, and/or a boss are just some of the numerous ways women are pursuing their individual paths to happiness. She addresses the food/fat/fashion dilemma that women have faced for decades (the “desire to shrink oneself fattens the American diet industry to the tune of $61 billion”), the increasingly incendiary issues of sexual and domestic violence, and the growing concerns of women regarding their right to make their reproductive choices. Filipovic also takes up the change of power in Washington, D.C., with the ascendance of a president who has bragged about sexual assault, and she discusses what this means for women in particular as he begins his administration and makes changes that could take feminism backward. Coming on the heels of the best chance so far to have a woman in the White House, the author’s research and analysis are spot-on, and she provides readers with plenty of useful information to drive deep and necessary discussions for years to come.

A timely, enlightening exploration of what American women truly want and need to live purposeful, fulfilling, happy lives.

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-56858-547-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Nation Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS

Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative which retrieves her first sixteen years from "the general darkness just beyond the great blinkers of childhood."

Her story is told in scenes, ineluctably moving scenes, from the time when she and her brother were sent by her fancy living parents to Stamps, Arkansas, and a grandmother who had the local Store. Displaced they were and "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat." But alternating with all the pain and terror (her rape at the age of eight when in St. Louis With her mother) and humiliation (a brief spell in the kitchen of a white woman who refused to remember her name) and fear (of a lynching—and the time they buried afflicted Uncle Willie under a blanket of vegetables) as well as all the unanswered and unanswerable questions, there are affirmative memories and moments: her charming brother Bailey; her own "unshakable God"; a revival meeting in a tent; her 8th grade graduation; and at the end, when she's sixteen, the birth of a baby. Times When as she says "It seemed that the peace of a day's ending was an assurance that the covenant God made with children, Negroes and the crippled was still in effect."

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1969

ISBN: 0375507892

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1969

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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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