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Sexual Politics Paperback – March 8, 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Millett's doctoral-dissertation-turned-feminist classic offered me a useful example of a new kind of literary criticism and an exciting model for reading ... The book was a surprise best-seller, riding the wave of popular interest in women's liberation both inside and outside the university... Millett's work is being reintroduced by Illinois in part because it has genuine historical importance... The work also has something important to say to the next generation of feminists about where we have come from and where we might like to go... With Millett's out-of-print titles back on the shelf, readers of the twenty-first century will at least have the chance to wrestle with her particular brand of feminism and to discover first-hand why so many -- from detractors like Paglia to admirers like Stimpson -- have rushed to put the indomitable Kate Millett in her place." -- Laura Ciolkowski, Ms. Magazine "A passionate book by an acute literary analyst." -- New Yorker "Supremely entertaining to read, brilliantly conceived, overwhelming in its arguments, breathtaking in its command of history and literature." Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times "[Millett] translates the war of the sexes from the language of nineteenth century bedroom farce into the raw images of guerilla warfare... Even more than a political system, our sexual order is a 'habit of mind and a way of life.' Millett's book may go far toward subverting it." -- Time "Upon its original publication ... Sexual Politics was seen as provocative and groundbreaking material; today's reprint is just as essential to the residual feminist consciousness and political movement. Millett's analysis is cultural, historical, political, and literary." -- The Bloomsbury Review "A richly informative book." -- Washington Post Book World "A well documented intellectual masterpiece." -- Pittsburgh Press "The first scholarly justification for women's liberation." -- Christian Science Monitor

About the Author

Kate Millett is an American feminist writer, artist, and activist. Her most recent books are Mother Millett, A.D.: A Memoir, and The Politics of Cruelty: An Essay on the Literature of Political Imprisonment. She is director of the Millett Center for the Arts and lives in New York City and upstate New York.

Catharine A. MacKinnon is the Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at Michigan Law School and the long-term James Barr Ames Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Rebecca Mead is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of My Life in Middlemarch and One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press (March 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252068890
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252068898
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #776,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It would be difficult to overstate the historical importance of Kate Millett's book today. In 1970, her pioneering analysis of mysogyny in American literature was a radical break from tradition and a risky move for a young scholar. In addition to helping to inaugurate a new school of literary criticism, feminist analysis, this book was highly influential among a certain segment of the women's movement of the 1970's. It is a must read for anyone seeking to understand that movement or the origins of feminist literary criticism.
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Format: Paperback
This book is written in a very interesting way. Millet basically critiques different pieces of literature for their subliminal (and sometimes overt) sexist comments and connotations. The passages she writes about are very graphic and interesting; however, it is her analysis that is truly fascinating. It's a great read for feminists and non-feminists alike. The book is incredibly interesting and captivating according to everyone that I know has read it.
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By A Customer on February 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a classic feminist text, and I'm glad it's finally back it print. Although written twenty years ago, it is still incredibly relevant today. Some of the statistics she sites may be different now, but, alas, little else is. This book examines the societal values, constructs, and philospohies that oppress women, and how these values are both reflected in and reinforced by works of literature. It was her doctoral dissertation, so it is scholarly and academic, but it is still a fascinating book. This could be considered the book that started the second wave of feminism, and it is still just as important for today's feminists as it was then.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the early 70s I'd read many feminist writers, Simone de Beauvoir, Germaine Greer, Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, and others, so when I came across Kate Millet's name and her book, "Sexual Politics," mentioned in a book of literary criticism, I was surprised this book hadn't crossed my path before, especially since she deals at length with D.H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, and Norman Mailer, three writers I've always considered problematic. She performs a thorough examination of the works of these guys plus an interesting look at the writings of Jean Genet for a bit of contrast and comparison. Fascinating and enlightening.
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Format: Paperback
Katherine Murray ("Kate") Millett (born 1934) is a feminist writer, educator, artist, and activist. She has written other books such as Flying, Sita, Loony-Bin Trip, The Prostitution Papers, etc. [NOTE: page numbers below refer to the 512-page paperback edition.]

She wrote in the Preface to this 1970 book, “The first part of this essay is devoted to the proposition that sex has a frequently neglected political aspect. I have attempted to illustrate this … by giving attention to the role which concepts of power and domination play in some contemporary literary descriptions of sexual activity itself. These … are followed by a chapter analyzing the social relationship between the sexes from a theoretical standpoint. The second chapter … attempts to formulate a systematic overview of patriarchy as a political institution… I have operated on the premise that there is room for a criticism which takes into account the larger cultural context in which literature is conceived and produced.”

She states in the second chapter, “The following sketch… will attempt to prove that sex is a status category with political implications… The word ‘politics’ is enlisted here when speaking of the sexes primarily because such a word is eminently useful in outlining the real nature of their relative status, historically and at the present.” (Pg.
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Format: Paperback
This was a really good book though a lot of intellectual analysis. I have many books I have to read now because of it though and I think that's a good thing. I especially liked her chapter on the first phase of the sexual revolution and her literary analysis of Genet and Miller, who I MUST read soon.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A must read for anyone interested in 20th century history, especially feminist herstory. Millett's brilliantly analytical mind deftly summarizes sexist milestones in literature all too often glossed over by the critics. Millett's successive prefaces from one decade to the next to introduce each new edition - are especially illuminating.
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