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Life and Death Paperback – January 15, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The overarching theme of this gathering of impassioned, compelling articles and speeches from the last decade by famed feminist Dworkin is that the epidemic of rape, wife-beating, murder of females, pornography and prostitution is made possible by cultures that allow men to exercise destructive power over women. She views the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, ex-wife of accused batterer and stalker O.J. Simpson, as emblematic of our legal system's failure to protect women against male violence. There is a powerful expose here of Serbs' systematic rape and murder of Muslim and Croatian females. In her polemical report on a trip to Israel, Dworkin condemns what she sees as a theocratic, racist state based on dispossession and theft of Arab land, a place where Orthodox rabbis make most of the legal decisions that affect women's lives. In a revealing personal history, Dworkin, a former battered wife and sex abuse victim, declares autobiography to be the unseen foundation of her nonfiction, and indeed many of these pieces forcefully link the personal to the political.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Dworkin's (Mercy, LJ 11/15/91) articles, speeches, and essays collected here originally appeared in various popular and scholarly publications from 1987 to 1995. Arranged by theme, they deal with issues of pornography, sexual abuse, rape, spousal assault, and murder, all part of what Dworkin posits is, too often, a woman-hating societal continuum. Her language is powerful but controlled; the images, many reflecting her own life experiences, some media-familiar, are often brutal; her logic is inescapable. Unfortunately, and perhaps more an editorial decision than her own, most documentation has been omitted, a disservice both to Dworkin and to her readers. She is also more persuasive in stating problems than in presenting solutions. Of particular interest to women's studies collections, this anthology will also provoke vigorous debate among a more general readership.?Barbara Hutcheson, Greater Victoria P.L., British Columbia
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (January 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743236262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743236263
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,955,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Dworkin's analysis of the banality of misogyny worldwide is absolutely brilliant. She is truly a gifted writer. Her essays on the tragedy of the Nicole Brown murder case are eloquent and powerful. Her discovery of "holocaust porn" in Israel shows that even a "cynic" like Dworkin can be once again stunned with disbelief at the level of inhumanity women are subjected to globally. Like anyone who subscribes to the radical idea that women are human beings, i.e. feminism, her work will be vilified, misrepresented (anti-first amendment, anti-sex, anti-male, blah blah blah...), trivialized, etc. But to those with an open mind and an open heart and an appreciation for fine writing, Life and Death will not dissapoint.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
If I were to try to find fault with this book (and I would have to try hard to do so) it would be a certain degree of repetition. This is a fault of the format rather than the writing, since these articles were all previously published and not written in the context of this book, and there is some inevitable overlap.
None-the-less the repetition perhaps forms part of the message. For one thing the events described by Dworkin aren't just happening, they are happening again and again and again. The repetition of the reports in our newspapers, the repetition of battering and rapes as experienced by victims, and the repetition of the memories, which become banal without ever losing their edge is this book's subject matter, and to repeat these accounts without ever becoming boring is sheer brilliance.
There is also the repetition known to anyone who has ever been a victim of sexual abuse and tried to talk about it; the repetition of stating facts that should have people out on the streets rioting if anything does, and finding that somehow they don't matter that much.
If you talk about it you just learn how commonplace it is as people, especially women, tell you of similar experiences. Dworkin learnt how commonplace it was so now she tells us that as well as her own experiences.
You begin to feel lucky in comparison; it only happened once, no bones were broken, you can walk down the street without a panic attack, whatever advantage you personally have.
Elsewhere Dworkin has written "Everything that didn't happen to you -- I apply this to myself as part of the way that I survive -- everything that didn't happen to you is a little slack in your leash. You weren't raped when you were three, or you weren't raped when you were 10.
Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By tq on May 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read this book recently and was quite compelled by it. Andrea Dworkin's analysis of the war on women is both powerful and shockingly brutal. While i do not agree with all her views on different subject matter, i do echo her thoughts on acts of rape and the people who commit those acts. this book voices her opinions on the different ways that women are raped every day. I understand the horror that people go through and i truly agree with andrea when she says that women should do whatever possible to fight back. Truly empowering and thought provoking.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By tq on May 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read this book recently and was quite compelled by it. Andrea Dworkin's analysis of the war on women is both powerful and shockingly brutal. While i do not agree with all her views on different subject matter, i do echo her thoughts on acts of rape and the people who commit those acts. this book voices her opinions on the different ways that women are raped every day. I understand the horror that people go through and i truly agree with andrea when she says that women should do whatever possible to fight back. Truly empowering and though provoking.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By jfs6@axe.humboldt.edu on November 19, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Rarely do books come along that have the power to enthrall, shock, and stir every woman, every where. "Life and Death: Unapologetic Writings on the Continuing War Against Women", a collection of speeches and essays by Andrea Dworkin has the power to do so. No matter what your gender, age, social class, ethnicity, sexual preferance, religion, or political party, this book is a necessity since violence is a major threat to all women. Right from the start, Dworkin reminds us that women have not "come a long way, baby" and that we should not measure the progress of women by their presence in the job market, but by the amount of violence inflicted on women. Using this standard, it is obvious from the book that women still have many struggles ahead to reach full equality and respect, which cannot be achieved simply via laws. Through her own sickening and disheartening experiences, to the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, Dworkin's priority is to show that violence against women is not accidental and that men who commit this violence commit a political act because violence keeps women scared, weak, and dependent. She states that the political system which rules this country is dominated by men and that these men in power "protect any man's violence against any woman" (65); statements such as this one, which some may find farfetched, are common throughout the book and although you may not agree with them, they force you to reflect. Dworkin discusses the epidemic that faces half of all married women today, domestic violence, and provides the best detailed account that I, a crisis worker at a battered women's shelter, have ever read. When women are terrorized, beaten, and killed in their homes, when home is a prison, there is no safe place for women.Read more ›
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