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Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center Paperback – May 1, 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“a most extraordinary book... Her courage and insight are really phenomenal. And hooks emphasizes that we always need to consider class and race when we discuss gender, She has the courage of her convictions and such emotional and intellectual autonomy. And she was so young—32—when she wrote it. It’s just remarkable.” — O Magazine “Ashley Judd, Books That Made a Difference”

From the Back Cover

Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center established bell hooks as one of feminism's most vital and influential voices. A new preface by the author introduces the second edition of this essential classic to a new generation of feminist readers, while reminding seasoned activists of the need for continual, critical reflection.

This carefully argued and powerfully inspirational work is a comprehensive examination of the core issues of sexual politics, including political solidarity among women, men as partners in struggle, and the feminist movement to end violence. Always engaging and frequently provocative, hooks combines an accessible style with critical insight to offer a vision of feminism rooted in compassion, respect, and integrity.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: South End Press; 2nd edition (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896086135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896086135
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A fantastic, indispensable book that should be read by everyone who has eyes and half a cerebellum. A great starting point for people who, like me, were interested in feminism but always felt the whole Betty Friedan liberate-the-homemaker aspect they taught us in highschool was a bit shallow, moot, and furthermore nonapplicable to males. Hooks' voice is distinctively wise, startling, discerning, and pragmatic; conceptually, it really makes you view the way society works with new eyes, even if none of the indictments really come as a surprise. Although many readers not predisposed to radical politics may have trouble swallowing all of her ideas in this era of ultra-conservatism, this book really does have something for everybody. It's obvious the reader below calling this book baseless propaganda didn't really understand it, for harmful power hegemonies are still as central to American social and political conduct as when it was first published twenty years ago.
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Format: Paperback
Like bell hooks, I am a feminist. I am also a Chicana. It was a relief to see someone writing about the problem of racism in mainstream feminism. Hooks points out the sad fact that many women can be aware of sexism as a form of oppression, but be oblivious to other prejudices (i.e. racism & classism). She uses testimonial accounts, analysis, and her own personal experiences to paint a too true picture of the ugly side of mainstream feminism. She has shed light on why so many women of color feel uncomfortable, and perhaps unwanted when it comes to feminist activity. Look in your history books. How many photos of Blacks and Mexicans do you see marching for women's rights? Yet we were there, too. Hooks points out that we have been feminists for just as long as white women, but we have been ignored, "marginalized". Her book is honest, courageous, and a great achievement. bell hooks is an amazing writer, and I think those who read this book will also enjoy another of hook's books, "Ending Racism".
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Format: Paperback
It did. Once as an undergrad and then again when I walked out of my corporate america job to go back to school. I was searching for something else in my life, wanting to quit, and there it was sitting on my shelf as it had for several years. I am a white woman and a lesbian and I must be honest and say I had never really been motivated to action reading anything in feminism, until I read this book. The first chapter takes you by storm. This book is essential for any woman, well for any person. It is an introduction into "things are not always what they seem" and the beginning of viewing the world with a critical eye. Even for us liberals there are many things that we do to contribute to a racists society, knowingly or unknowingly. So I am in graduate school and I have bell hooks to thank for a lot of my motivation to be here. Read this book and read her others(if you can keep up with the number she writes!), she is amazing and inspirational, an Audre Lorde for a new generation who were not fortunate enough to be motivated by the late warrior poet. Hooks challenges us all as Lorde did when she spoke of "doing her work asking you are you doing yours?"
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Format: Paperback
This is an important book to read if you consider yourself a feminist but feel marginalized by the strange world of Feminists and Feminist Theory, where there seems to be an established canon.
Let me just say that this is one of the first books I bought in my undergraduate career in 1985, and it's one of the few I still keep in my library, to read when I need to get back on track to continuing to define feminism as it suits MY experience.
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Format: Paperback
While reading this book one must realize that Hooks' ideas are readily present in every day society. While the reader may want to categorize into white and black Hooks' teaches us not to. This book's ideas about feminism and patriarchy are phenomenal. One of the most influential ideas in the book is how Oppression starts in the family structure- men are generally the head. This is a great book, especially if you are looking for strong feminism arguments that are well-supported.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center by Bell Hooks forced me to think about feminism in a different way. It pushed me to examine my attitudes toward equality in a new way. In many ways, Hooks ideas about feminism made more sense to me than other books and articles I've read. She brought into play the effect of class on the feminist movement. I grew up in a farming community where everyone worked in the fields and then the women also cooked and cleaned. I never thought that was fair, but it was the way life was. Hooks delves into the way the women's movement was based on people who were financially well off enough to not need to work rather than addressing the needs of all women including those who had always worked just to make ends meet but had been unpaid fairly and treated unfairly in the workplace. The more I read, the more I realized just how multifaceted the struggle for equality is. Hooks brings the reader into the lives of women of myriad classes, backgrounds, and cultures while pointing out how the movement has worked and how it has failed. She offers suggestions on how to be more cohesive and how to honor the experiences of all women. At times I cringed as I identified with some misconceptions and nodded as I identified with others. Feminist Theory shines a light on how sexism, racism, and class-ism are much more intertwined than most of us truly understand. Hooks deftly but unapologetically brings to light the idea that to address one of these, all must be addressed while never denying the complications created by the place where myriad inequalities intersect.
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