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on December 16, 2000
I read this book into the wee hours of the morning because it was connecting the dots in so many ways. All the mythological names I had studied in high school and at the university were re-visited in her text and explained. She makes a very convincing case for how many female goddesses and especially, the trinities, were co-opted by the Christian theology. She takes a stab at Buddhism as well for being a religion of solipsism. The screed at the beginning, while accurate in my mind, may turn off some readers. I know it made me feel depressed and that there would be nothing new told here. But if you keep going you will be rewarded many times over. Walker's scholarship and analysis of myths and their re-working to non-pagan beliefs is excellent. Anyone reading this can approach it as a work of scholarship.
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on September 26, 1998
Don't let the title dissuade you. This wonderful book is not only about older women who have reached the age of wisdom, it is about all women, across all generational boundaries. Many books of the feminist / spiritual genre provide an adequate context for the Goddess, but Walker's book truly gave me an entirely new way to look at my mothers, my friends, and myself. But most wonderfully, Walker provided me with a context for understanding the incomprehensible -- namely the senseless malice projected by so many men, onto the women they purportedly love. This book gave me comfort, nourishment, and relit the fire in my belly. I cannot recommend it too highly.
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on October 17, 1998
Barbara G. Walker has brought her incredible fund of scholarship to our astounded attention once more. Exploring ancient writings, making connections, illuminating our ancient past and current woes, the author has created a masterful work that explains so many, many things. This is a must read for everyone, and a work that will be cherished by thinking women over 40, yet men probably need to read this book more than women do... The linguistic revelations are especially striking.
It all comes together in The Crone. But be warned, don't read this book unless you're willing to be intellectually challenged vis a vis religion, language, anthropology, and feminism.
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on June 19, 2000
Every paragraph in this book is a bombshell revelation, written with passion and scholarly authority. It is a wellspring of inspiration and history for women -- history we have been denied about our own heritage. The book had enormous influence on me as a feminist. It is stunning in its intensity and scope. I wish everyone in the world would read it, although it would probably make the blood of traditionalist people boil. It contains explosive challenges to the patriarchal status quo, and particularly to patriarchal religions. There is much fuel for debate here. Strongly recommended!
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on October 16, 2007
While many of Walker's ideas seem radical and controversial, the book is extensively researched, her thought process is logical, and in the context of current events the conclusions are totally believable. This book celebrates the place of perhaps the most marginalized group in our culture, while damning the methods and motives of the Christian church from the burning times through today. Crone deserves to be widely read both for its scholarship and its cultural import.
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on September 24, 2014
I fpund the info in this book fascinating! I was surprised that it was written in 1985. It was timely for me, I learned much about the whys and wherefores of women losing their power. I will read this again!
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on February 2, 2016
Indispensable history of the importance of senior women in society --- as well of male suppression of human females. And of how beautiful, wonderful and powerful 'wise' women can be --- either as gods or as humans --- such as political or cultural leaders. It's a 'short' book (for Walker) but it covers all of human recorded history.
It also made me wonder what were the motivations of males to destroy women as spiritual leaders of society. It causes me to wonder if men feel so 'inferior' to women that they destroyed them and substituted their own (male) figures --- or that there could have been a homosexual hatred of women out of jealousy of women --- this latest question is from me personally and not from Walker --- and due to some of the heinous cruelty against women in the early Catholic church from male-only 'priests/monks.' As well as the horrible male acts against women throughout the world today.
At any rate, Walker's book is important to re-establish fundamental priorities of human culture, society and values --- for all of our survival and well being --- and HAPPINESS.
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on November 20, 2013
This book was a gift and the recipient made me feel so good from the moment she saw it because she made me feel like I'd made her day. So, the purchase was perfect in every way. I recommend this book for all women. You don't have to be older to appreciate the wisdom it offers. Younger women and men can learn from this wisdom as well.
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on September 6, 2012
So many times "crone" is spit out like a disparagement and Walker does an excellent job of educating the reader that Crone is an age of woman that brings wisdom and power. She also informs that many institutions feel threatened by wise powerful women and do what they can to relegate women to the role of vessel and burden. This is not my first Barbara Walker book...won't be my last. I look forward to seeing more on her take on women/world fit. I am not, however, a knitter so I won't be reading those books.
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on August 27, 2013
Walker does a most creditable job of covering woman's role throughout history. First and foremost this is feminist literature. Remembering the author's viewpoint, it is a fascinating depiction of women's place in society. From pagan priestesses to today's independent competitive worker, the author finds much to support her own beliefs. She emphasizes, too, the different natures of females and males. Many men may find the book troubling but it behooves us to read writing that supports admiration of the aging whether those individuals be female or male.

Taking that in consideration, one can read the author's comments, views and historical references with respect to one's own. I truly enjoyed the author's take on the "crone" and how its negative connotations may have evolved. However, I found the description of this book all too brief. If you recall: "A probing account of the honored place of older women in ancient matriarchal societies restores to contemporary women an energizing symbol of self-value, power, and respect." There is much more to examine including the history of the woman's role in our culture.

The author uses references from history, the Bible, and today's society as she defines the crone. She questions the existence of a God who gave his son so that man may be absolved of sin while the religion centered about him insists that no man is without sin and must strive to be absolved of it. Inconsistencies such as this are cited from various religions as she outlines how women are often treated by those who practice the religions.

Society today usually views the crone as an aged woman to be tossed aside failing to recognize that those who have lived so long have much wisdom and experience to share with younger people. Walker further urges women of the future to take their true place the world as equals along side men. I concur. Women are as skilled at living as men and I, too, urge women of today and the future to take their true place as equals along side men. Women are as skilled at living as men as their male counterparts and the crone has much to teach us. May we learn from her wisdom.

After reading this one, the term of crone has come to mean wise woman to me - one who has lived a long life with much experience to share with younger people - men and women alike.
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