Amazon.com Women's Studies

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Amazon.com Women's Studies

15 octobre 1999

* "Stiffed" by Susan Faludi
* "Full Exposure" by Susie Bright
* "Reason for Hope" by Jane Goodall
* "Mother Nature" by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy
* "Everyday Ways to Raise Smart, Strong, Confident Girls" by Barbara Littman
* Amazon.com Presents the Best of the Century

"Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man"by Susan Faludi
Susan Faludi, author of the feminist bestseller "Backlash,"has done it again with an exhaustive report on the betrayal
felt by working men throughout the United States. American men are angry and discontented, she argues, because their
sense of what it is to be a man has been destroyed by everything from corporate downsizing and the shrinking military of the post cold war era to the increase in local sports teams leaving town. Whether she's interviewing the teenage male members of Southern California's infamous Spur Posse (who collected "points" for every female they had sex with), Cleveland football fans shaken by the departure of the Browns football team, militia movement activists, or Sylvester Stallone, Faludi seems stuck on the idea that American men today are man-boys, unable to completely grow up because they never received the nurturing they needed,and now constantly disappointed by life. Yet while many of the men Faludi interviews have real problems--bad luck and sad, troubled lives--somehow "Stiffed" still seems a bit whiny. Faludi's "travels through a postwar male realm" are a fascinating slice of male American life "under siege" at the end of the 20th century, even if she does finally leave us like the men she talked to--still wondering just what went wrong.

"Full Exposure: Opening Up to Your Sexual Creativity and Erotic Expression" by Susie Bright

In previous books such as "The Sexual State of the Union," Susie Bright has told us about the way things are, and while she continues that mission in "Full Exposure," she also presents an inspiring vision of the way things could be. This is far more than a self-help book; it's a blueprint for cultural revolution, focused on the liberation of erotic expression and, as she puts it, "the creativity it demands, the challenges of sexual candor, and the rewards of coming clean about desire." The personal is always political, goes the adage, but whether she's making readers smile with a reminiscence of her first orgasm or evoking our concern over a bomb threat at one of her college lectures, Bright reminds us that the personal is always personal as well. She also includes a 17-step "sexual manifesto" aimed at enabling readers to reclaim their erotic identities and express desire on their own terms. Very few people are writing about sexuality as honestly and as well as Susie Bright--if you care at all about the subject, you owe it to yourself to read "Full Exposure."

"Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey" by Jane Goodall

As a young woman, Jane Goodall was best known for her groundbreaking fieldwork with the chimpanzees of Gombe, Africa. Goodall's work has always been controversial, mostly because she broke the mold of research scientist by developing meaningful relationships with her "specimens" and honoring their lives as she would other humans. Now, at the age of 60, she continues to break the mold of scientist by revealing how her research and worldwide conservation institutes spring from her childhood callings and adult spiritual convictions. "Reason for Hope" is a smoothly written memoir that does not shy away from facing the realities of environmental destruction, animal abuse, and genocide. But Goodall shares her antidote to the poison of despair with specific examples of why she has not lost faith. For instance, she shares her spiritual epiphany during a visit to Auschwitz; her bravery in the face of chimpanzee imprisonment in medical laboratories; and devotes a whole chapter to individuals, corporations, and countries that are doing the right thing. But most of all Goodall provides a beautifully written plea for why everyone can and must find a reason for hope.

"Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection" by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy Sarah

 Blaffer Hrdy is qualified in several ways to write a book examining motherhood and natural selection: she is a well-respected anthropologist, author of several books on similar topics, and, perhaps most importantly, she is a mother. She approaches the tender topic of motherhood with equal parts biology and ideology and never pretends to be completely objective. She's deeply fascinated by motherhood, and--for the most part--she believes that human mothers have gotten a raw deal. In "Mother Nature," Hrdy examines every aspect of motherhood, including infanticide, birth control, abortion, maternal bonding, family size, and sexual selection. Using compelling evidence from other branches of the animal world as well as our own, she makes a strong case that women aren't destined to be self-sacrificing, purely altruistic saints whose sole purpose is to raise children. In fact, and especially in developed nations, mothers spend as much time trying to optimize their personal opportunities as do men. The difference, of course, is that they do it backwards, in heels, and with a baby on their hip. "Every female who becomes a mother does it her way," writes Hrdy, and she proceeds to show just how human mothers are supremely resistant to stereotyping.

"Everyday Ways to Raise Smart, Strong, Confident Girls" by Barbara Littman Too many young women become convinced during their teenage years that they are failures who will never be beautiful, smart, or able to achieve professional success. But some girls manage to break free of the cycle of self-doubt--and 81 of them told Barbara Littman what their parents did to help make their success possible. The advice in "Everyday Ways to Raise Smart, Strong, Confident Girls" is mostly commonsensical (spend time with your daughter, take her ambitions and achievements seriously), but the simple activities it recommends can make a huge difference in an adolescent girl's life. There's some parental advice that is gender-specific: fathers can include their daughters in traditionally "male" activities like auto repair, while mothers, by accepting compliments from others, can show that it's OK for a woman to be proud of her accomplishments. Above all, Littman advises, be honest with young women and give them the psychological tools they need to mature into self-reliant women.

AMAZON.COM PRESENTS THE BEST OF THE CENTURY *******************************************
As the century comes to a close, Amazon.com takes a look at the landmarks in books, music, and video of the past 100 years. Selected by our editors, our lists take you decade by decade from the turn of the century all the way to the end of the millennium. But don't just take our word for it; cast your vote for the best book, video, and CD in our best-of-the-millennium poll for your chance to win our customers' 300 favorite music, book, and video titles. http://www.amazon.com/books-century

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