Besides making for absorbing reading, these essays pack a feminist wallop.


A vigorous selection of essays spanning the magazine’s modern era that underscore the combative resilience of notable accomplished women who never gave in to what was expected of them.

Perusing the list of subjects—including, among many others, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Tiny Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Frida Kahlo, Michelle Phillips, Princess Diana, Tina Turner, and Lady Gaga—it’s clear that a major theme of the collection is overcoming adversity. The profiles are divided into “Comedians,” “White House,” “Society and Style,” “Renegades,” “Musicians,” “the House of Windsor,” “The Stars,” and “In Their Own Words,” and the content spans the last four decades of editors-in-chief, including Tina Brown, Graydon Carter, and Jones, the current EIC. Yes, the pieces engagingly capture the celebrity of many of the subjects, but they are also culturally relevant and timely—e.g., “The Change Agent,” about actor Michelle Williams, who forced a reckoning over the wide discrepancy in pay between men and women in Hollywood. Written as minibiographies, the profiles serve as poignant tales of how one rises and falls and then rises again. In “Deconstructing Gloria” (1992), Leslie Bennetts examines how Gloria Steinem caused a major scandal by dating real estate mogul Mort Zuckerman, as if she were betraying all her feminist ideals: “Trashing her became the favorite spectator sport of the smart set.” In Maureen Orth’s piece on Tina Turner, the singer recounts candidly how she was abused physically and emotionally by Ike Turner for decades; though many witnessed the mistreatment, “no one ever intervened.” Along with bubbly profiles of style icons Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, Laura Jacobs offers an astute piece on Emily Post, who turned a soured marriage and scandalous divorce into a satisfying new career as a bestselling writer. Finally, there are a cluster of recent essays delineating the fallout of the #MeToo movement by those closest to the subject in film, literature, and Wall Street.

Besides making for absorbing reading, these essays pack a feminist wallop.

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-56214-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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


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

Did you like this book?


For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

Did you like this book?