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Thinking Out Loud: On the Personal, the Political, the Public, and the Private Hardcover – March 23, 1993


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (March 23, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679407111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679407119
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,779,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Concerned as she is with all manner of conflicts between public and private issues represented in this collection of essays from her syndicated New York Times op-ed column, Quindlen ( Living Out Loud ) admits to viewing even non-feminist topics through "the special lens of her gender." Sensitive to social and political trends and the "shifting sands of geopolitics" that propel events, she points out their cost in human terms, especially as they affect the excluded and abused. Violence, notes the author--sexual, racial or political, performed by individuals or in groups as members of sports teams, gangs, police or the military--is routinely glorified, whether in children's cartoons or adult soap operas. Equally effective are Quindlen's always superbly controled commentaries on lying, bigotry and moral hypocrisy among political, judiciary and religious leaders, and the cynical use of ideals to justify military incursions. Author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Quindlen introduces this collection of her recent Op-Ed pieces with Dorothy Thompson's comment that her strength as a writer was from being "altogether female." The same is definitely true of Quindlen, who says her husband once asked her, "Could you get up and get me a beer without writing about it?" No, she can't; even though Quindlen no longer writes the intensely personal "Life in the 30s" columns (collected in Living Out Loud , Random, 1988), her new "Public and Private" columns are just that: discussions of world events as seen through her prism as wife, mother, and woman. This dual perspective has both pleased and infuriated readers, who may question whether a discussion of Jo March as heroine deserves to be part of "all the news that's fit to print." Still, Quindlen has offered a welcome human voice to the Times pages, and some of her best columns--her courageous condemnation of her own paper's decision to print the name of the woman in the William Kennedy rape trial, for instance--prove that. Essential for any journalism collection, this will be enjoyed by general readers also. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/92.
- Judy Quinn, "Incentive," New York
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Anna Quindlen is the author of three bestselling novels, Object Lessons, One True Thing and Black and Blue, and three non-fiction books, Living Out Loud, Thinking Out Loud and A Short Guide to a Happy Life. Her New York Times column 'Public and Private' won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992. She is currently a columnist for Newsweek and lives with her husband and children in New York.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By SanFrantastic on February 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book after hearing Ms. Quindlen speak at Barnard Collge, our alma mater. While I spoke to her briefly I must embarrassingly admit that I had not read her. After hearing her read one of her essays aloud, I rushed right out and bought the book and preceeded to have several sleepless nights as I fought to finish the book. This is not to say that her prose is hard to get through; quite the opposite, as a matter of fact. Her points are made so clearly and judiciously that I was in a constant state of disbelief. It took me awhile to get through because I kept reading and rereading essays, each time thinking, "Wait a minute, that's what I think! (I just couldn't phrase it as well)" I also kept calling my best friend (also a Barnard grad) to read essays, passages, and even single sentences that I thought were amazing.
Above all this collection proves that there is a humanistic point of view that could serve as the basis of a presidential campaign platform, for it represents in its totality the true spirit of the American people. Ms. Quindlen's opinions seem driven by compassion and empathy, not the rules of religious institutions or political parties whose decrees rarely take into account America's pluralist history and unjust past. These essays should be read by all, especially junior high and high school students who are forming their beliefs about ethics, morals, religion, politics, etc. This would be a wonderful book for parents who want to raise intellectually, culturally, and politically aware children to read and discuss with their teens.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 19, 1997
Format: Paperback
Anna Quindlen's collection of essays explores everything from raising children to the latest on Congress and the role of the government. I thoroughly enjoyed reading these outtakes from Quindlen's column in the N.Y. Times, and appreciated her insight and humor in what could be a mundane and highbrow column. I highly recommend it to those who want to learn how to write, those who want to read for pleasure, and those who want to think about the state of society... all at the same time
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TKP on August 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Although Anna Quindlen's views rarely veer off standard liberal-feminist territory, her reasons behind her opinions are refreshing. She deftly weaves her own personal experiences as well as the experiences of others into her commentaries. She does not rely on statistics or historical data, but on real life. It's an unusual approach that allows her words to stick with the reader longer than that of typical opinion writers.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lily Bart on September 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
How appealing it is to read a serious work of political commentary by a woman as courageous and compassionate as Anna Quindlen. What sets her apart from other feminist authors is her grasp of middle-American values (love of home and family, reverence for the struggles of her immigrant ancestors and at least a qualified loyalty to the Catholic church) and her insistence on humanity and compassion as the supreme qualifications for political and cultural leadership in our society. She brilliantly assimilates the best of the Sixties counterculture, the Civil Rights Movement, and Feminism, (not to mention the traditional Democratic liberalism of FDR and the New Deal) and combines them in a distinctive voice that is always delightfully irreverent and accessible.

As playful and witty as Quindlen can be, however, it would be a mistake to assume that THINKING OUT LOUD is a frivolous book. Some of the essays collected here address crimes so horrifying and brutal that it's hard to imagine even Anna Quindlen being untouched by pessimism and despair. What's most extraordinary, however, is that even in essays such as "The Perfect Victim" (about the rape of the Central Park Jogger) and "A Changing World" (about the racially charged murder of a black teenager in all-white Bensonhurst)Anna Quindlen insists above all on celebrating the humanity of the victim. Quindlen is a genius at capturing the details behind the story, as well. From her point of view, the humanity and larger than life heroism of the Central Park jogger can be summed up in the fact that she was a Wellesley graduate, Wellesley symbolizing the ideals and aspirations of humanistic, upwardly mobile middle class feminism.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Life Out Loud on December 13, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of Anna Quindlen so I enjoyed this book. However, readers should be advised that if they are searching for the more "personal" side of Ms. Quindlen, her writings on life, love, parenting, that we know from her "Life in the 30's" columns or "Living out Loud" book, they might be disappointed by the heavily political and social commentary in this collection. This is more "Quindlen on politics and the Supreme Court" than it is about life at large.
There is much discussion of Catholicism, abortion rights, and various "hot button" poli-social issues so I would HIGHLY recommend that anyone perusing this selection as a gift is sure to read it themselves first before sending it of to Aunt Gertrude or Grandma.
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