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Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations (Routledge Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Bell Hooks
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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  • Print ISBN-10: 0415389585
  • Print ISBN-13: 978-0415389587
  • Edition: 1
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Book Description

According to the Washington Post, no one who cares about contemporary African-American cultures can ignore bell hooks' electrifying feminist explorations. Targeting cultural icons as diverse as Madonna and Spike Lee, Outlaw Culture presents a collection of essays that pulls no punches. As hooks herself notes, interrogations of popular culture can be a ‘powerful site for intervention, challenge and change’. And intervene, challenge and change is what hooks does best.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Turning from teaching to topical subjects like gangsta rap, censorship, date rape and Hollywood cinema, these 21 essays will enhance City College professor and political activist hooks's (Black Looks) reputation as an astute, vigorous and freewheeling critic on matters of race, class and gender. The underlying focus in many of these short, occasional pieces (many are reprinted from magazines like Spin and Art in America) is on how some groups, particularly women of color, are marginalized both in daily life and in the cultural wars over media representations and the academic curriculum. Memorable essays touch on questions of censorship inside and outside the academy, the dearth of feminist perspectives on Malcolm X, the impact of commodity culture on political debate and the shortcomings of mainstream gender theorists Camille Paglia, Naomi Wolf and Kate Roiphe. Though formulaic at times, hooks's critical style is refreshingly brash and accessible and often inflected by personal experience. Readers may contest her politics, yet few will be unmoved by the spirit that animates these essays: a desire to rethink cultural institutions that sustain racism, sexism and other systems of political oppression.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This latest collection of hooks's (Sisters of the Yam, LJ 8/93) essays does not make for comfortable reading-nor is it meant to. Cogent essays on patriarchy, violence, and racism demand that the reader reexamine familiar assumptions. The author insists that white feminists recognize that the female experience varies greatly and that class and race must therefore be used as categories of analysis. In several essays, including one on Malcolm X, she offers a feminist perspective on the position of black men in society and their attitudes toward black women. In critiques of Camille Paglia, Katie Roiphe, and Naomi Wolf, hooks describes them all as hankering back to a prefeminist time. Other essays include a discussion of violence, the myth of Columbus, and the portrayal of blacks on film. Highly recommended for collections on feminism, gender, and race.
Sharon Firestone, Ross-Blakley Law Lib., Arizona State Univ., Tempe
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 693 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0415389585
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (September 10, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009E1NH7Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,367 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary, compassionate, furious, and hopeful April 1, 1997
By A Customer
bell hooks's speaks to us, elegantly, clearly, and passionately about the culture of the margin, about disempowered people and their culture. But even more incredibly, she cuts right through crap, and fearlessly breaks things down for us, articulating truths, hopes and dreams I have never seen discussed anywhere else. bell hooks uses her keen intellect and her brilliant common sense to examine not only the materialistic and physical constraints of racist and sexist oppression, she also identifies the psychological, spiritual and emotional; individual and communal injury and trauma that is experienced. Then, she gives us hope, for revolution, for decolonization, not just of our bodies, but our minds and hearts.

Reading bell hooks, for me, is like listening to an incredibly wise and gentle girlfriend, who can both hold your hand, and beat the living hell out of anyone trying to do you wrong.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! I can't wait to read more! May 19, 2003
By Kesha
bell hooks does an excellent job in exploring pop culture and its relationship to African Americans. I found all of the essays interesting but was particularly moved by Seduced by Violence No More in which I felt like I was slapped across the face. There are sections in that particular essay that read as if hooks had had a personal window into my life! Other essays that stood out to me included Crying Game meets The Body Guard, Misrepresenting the Black Underclass, and Censorship from Right to Left. I recommend this book to anyone interested in hearing a powerful direct view on pop culture and its effects.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ouch! May 19, 2003
By Kesha
bell hooks does an excellent job in exploring pop culture and its relationship to African Americans. I found all of the essays interesting but was particularly moved by Seduced by Violence No More, Crying Game meets The Body Guard, Misrepresenting the Black Underclass, and Censorship from Right to Left. I recommend this book to anyone interested in hearing a powerful direct view on pop culture and its effects.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very indepth medium to connect reality with proposition February 22, 2003
By A Customer
I came across bell hooks very recently. I have found her work to be very direct and very, very challenging. Resisting Reresentations has done a lot of things to my mind. Although I consider myself "in-the-now" with ideas on social issues, after reading this book I am left with a feeling of re-birth. hooks speaks of many issues I agree with (and some I am not so sure I swallow completely). These issues and hooks' analysis of them has made me learn to laterally think and critically observe our world. I am a woman who believes in the eradication of sexism on all levels but now I must make my belief the engine to keep the eradication machine existent. Any woman, or man, who needs inspiration to challenge the many institutions that support racism, sexism and captalism start with bell hooks. She forces you to use your brain and think. This is a quality that many intellectualists fail to possess.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Things that lurk below the surface... July 5, 2004
By A Customer
This is certainly one amazing book. bell hooks superbly crafts her argument to truly make her readers think, to make them look at seemingly clear-cut issues in a different light. hooks shows very convincingly that there are many issues below the surface that we must explore if we are ever to have true equity and equality in our society. She cleverly exposes some of the subtle ways in which the powers that be maintain their power, sometimes deliberately, sometimes unwittingly, and she shows how the latter way is the most insidious one and does the most damage.
At the same time, hooks is not always true to her word. She demands for herself complete freedom from censorship but in her own way attempts to censor or at least discredit those women who might disagree with her. Second, I appreciate her condemnation of black violence, but following that with a "I condemn, but..."
makes one wonder about her true feelings. And in her essay on Columbus, hooks does exhibit her limited knowledge of American Indian issues. An excellent book to force readers to examine their own thoughts and actions but even better if people read between the lines and expose hooks' own prejudices.
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bell hooks (all lower-case letters; born Gloria Jean Watkins in 1952) is an American author, feminist, and social activist. She has written many books, such as Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center, Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, killing rage: Ending Racism, and many more.

She writes in the Introduction to this 1994 book, "All the essays and dialogues in 'Outlaw Culture' emerge from a practical engagement with cultural practices and cultural icons who are defined as on the edge, as pushing the limits, disturbing the conventional, acceptable politics of representation... These essays reflect the desire to construct frameworks where border crossing will not be evoked simply as a ... mental exercise that condones the movement of the insurgent intellectual mind across new frontiers..."

Here are some quotations from the book:

"Again and again, I have to insist that feminist solidarity rooted in a commitment to progressive politics must include a space for rigorous critique, for dissent, or we are doomed to reproduce in progressive communities the very forms of domination we seek to oppose." (Pg. 67)
"While I can agree that there is always the risk that public disagreement and dissent may reinforce white racist assumptions about black identity, there are just too few all-black settings for us to maintain silence while waiting for the best 'politically correct' settings to speak freely and openly. Evoking 'betrayal of the race' effectively acts to silence dissenting voices." (Pg.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Radical propaganda, at times outright false.
Published 10 months ago by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely fine as described but I just don't understand why someone...
Cover seems almost new; highlights and marks on the margin inside. Completely fine as described but I just don't understand why someone who read through the whole book and... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Pearl
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful text. Glad I finally bought my own copy!
I have read library copies of this book twice in the past. Grateful to have my own copy now. bell hooks is one of the most important intellectuals of our time.
Published 19 months ago by Jennifer Delgado
5.0 out of 5 stars Best I've read in months.
Hooks gives a perspective on all of her chosen topics that has not been offered in mainstream feminism lately. Her stories are warm but challenging. Read more
Published on May 16, 2013 by Sam Comtois
4.0 out of 5 stars Provoking
I've read a few of bell hooks' books and I do think she is a great thinker and writer, however, I don't think this is her best work. Read more
Published on June 22, 2011 by Kristin Bell
1.0 out of 5 stars Book of Ranting
I had to read this book for a college course and having to consistently "prove" the author right became very difficult. Read more
Published on December 23, 2010 by Dora Yoder
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
bell hooks is amazing. having read other books by her, I especially enjoyed this one for its relevance to current social issues. a must read.
Published on January 24, 1998
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More About the Author

Bell Hooks is a cultural critic, feminist theorist, and writer. Celebrated as one of our nation's leading public intellectual by The Atlantic Monthly, as well as one of Utne Reader's 100 Visionaries Who Could Change Your Life, she is a charismatic speaker who divides her time among teaching, writing, and lecturing around the world. Previously a professor in the English departments at Yale University and Oberlin College, hooks is now a Distinguished Professor of English at City College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the author of more than seventeen books, including All About Love: New Visions; Remembered Rapture: The Writer at Work; Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life; Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood; Killing Rage: Ending Racism; Art on My Mind: Visual Politics; and Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life. She lives in New York City.

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