Next book

WHITE FEMINISM

FROM THE SUFFRAGETTES TO INFLUENCERS AND WHO THEY LEAVE BEHIND

A timely, compelling dissection of feminism's reliance on consumerism and useful suggestions for paths forward.

A clear analysis of the commodification of feminism from protest to brand.

As the former editor-in-chief of Jezebel and executive editor of Vogue, Beck is no stranger to the White feminism that permeates the modern cultural landscape. As influencers blithely attach Audre Lorde quotes to Instagram ads and White women are once again donning literal and metaphorical pink hats in “protest,” the author deftly retraces how we ended up here and highlights the many women this brand of feminism elides or ostracizes. Beck offers a lively history of the suffragettes and their ideological descendants, including the #GirlBoss and #MeToo movements. The author effectively brings out of the background many of the Black working women who enabled the success of the predominantly White and upper-class women at the center of these stories. “Instead of a protest vehicle,” she writes, “feminism became a brand….To ‘revolutionize’ your life through business once again merges the radicalism of feminism with the corporate, women-oppressing language of capitalism. If you threw a millennial-pink lens over this saying, you could put it on Pinterest.” Beck posits that the stark inequalities of so-called “women’s empowerment” are exacerbated even more unevenly in the Covid-19 era. The pandemic has engendered further demarcations along class and racial lines, between protected forms of labor and the economically vulnerable—e.g., nannies, housekeepers, and other caretakers. The author situates herself as a woman with considerable influence who chooses to amplify underappreciated workers in concrete ways rather than resting on the laurels of corporate “diversity.” With both vigor and rigor, Beck outlines a variety of fundamental problems with contemporary liberal feminism, which relies too much on brand endorsements and shallow empowerment. As she writes, “we can avoid becoming the next generation of white feminism by incorporating the points of view that this ideology does not account for.”

A timely, compelling dissection of feminism's reliance on consumerism and useful suggestions for paths forward.

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-982134-41-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

Next book

WHAT THIS COMEDIAN SAID WILL SHOCK YOU

Maher calls out idiocy wherever he sees it, with a comedic delivery that veers between a stiletto and a sledgehammer.

The comedian argues that the arts of moderation and common sense must be reinvigorated.

Some people are born snarky, some become snarky, and some have snarkiness thrust upon them. Judging from this book, Maher—host of HBO’s Real Time program and author of The New New Rules and When You Ride Alone, You Ride With bin Laden—is all three. As a comedian, he has a great deal of leeway to make fun of people in politics, and he often delivers hilarious swipes with a deadpan face. The author describes himself as a traditional liberal, with a disdain for Republicans (especially the MAGA variety) and a belief in free speech and personal freedom. He claims that he has stayed much the same for more than 20 years, while the left, he argues, has marched toward intolerance. He sees an addiction to extremism on both sides of the aisle, which fosters the belief that anyone who disagrees with you must be an enemy to be destroyed. However, Maher has always displayed his own streaks of extremism, and his scorched-earth takedowns eventually become problematic. The author has something nasty to say about everyone, it seems, and the sarcastic tone starts after more than 300 pages. As has been the case throughout his career, Maher is best taken in small doses. The book is worth reading for the author’s often spot-on skewering of inept politicians and celebrities, but it might be advisable to occasionally dip into it rather than read the whole thing in one sitting. Some parts of the text are hilarious, but others are merely insulting. Maher is undeniably talented, but some restraint would have produced a better book.

Maher calls out idiocy wherever he sees it, with a comedic delivery that veers between a stiletto and a sledgehammer.

Pub Date: May 21, 2024

ISBN: 9781668051351

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2024

Next book

WHAT WENT WRONG WITH CAPITALISM

Sure to generate debate, and of special interest to adherents of free market capitalism.

A book-length assertion that capitalism’s woes can be traced to government interventionism.

Sharma, an investments manager, financial journalist, and author of The 10 Rules of Successful Nations, The Rise and Fall of Nations, and other books, opens with the case of his native India. The author argues that it should be in a better position in the global marketplace, possessing an entrepreneurial culture and endless human capital. The culprit was “India’s lingering attachment to a state that overpromises and under-delivers,” one that privileged social welfare over infrastructure development. Much the same is true in the U.S., where today “President Joe Biden is promising to fix the crises of capitalism by enlarging a government that never shrank.” Refreshingly, Sharma places just as much blame on Ronald Reagan for the swollen state that introduced distortions into the market. Moreover, “flaws that economists blame on ‘market failures,’ including wealth inequality and inordinate corporate power, often flow more from government excesses.” One distortion is the government’s bloated debt, as it continues to fund itself by borrowing in order to pay for “the perennial deficit.” As any household budget manager would tell you, debt is ultimately unsustainable. Wealth concentration is another outcome of government tinkering that has, whether by design or not, concentrated wealth into the hands of a very small number of people, “a critical symptom of capitalism gone wrong, both inefficient and grossly unfair.” Perhaps surprisingly, Sharma notes that in quasi-socialist economies such as the Scandinavian nations, such interventions are fewer and shallower, while autocratic command economies are doomed to fail. “[T]oday every large developed country is a full-fledged democracy,” he writes, and the more freedom the better—but that freedom, he argues, is undermined by the U.S. government, which has accrued “the widest budget deficit in the developed world.”

Sure to generate debate, and of special interest to adherents of free market capitalism.

Pub Date: June 11, 2024

ISBN: 9781668008263

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 22, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2024

Close Quickview