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Comment: Random House 1994 ed. Nearly new book, as pictured. Unread. Cover has little noticeable shelf wear: no nicks, tears or creases. Pages are crisp and clean and not marred at all: no marginalia, underlining, or highlighting. Not ex-library. 100% satisfaction guaranteed.
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Fire with Fire: The New Female Power and How to Use It Paperback – September 20, 1994

3.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Feminist author of the bestselling The Beauty Myth , Wolf has written an empowering, impassioned manifesto that points the way toward a flexible feminism for the 1990s and beyond. Part political analysis, part psychological manual, part activist handbook, the book argues that women should renounce "victim feminism," which casts them as sexually pure, fragile, beleaguered creatures whose problems are all the fault of men. As an alternative, Wolf outlines an anti-dogmatic "power feminism" which sees women as no better and no worse than men, celebrates female sexuality and encourages women to claim their individual voices through a variety of tactics. These include "resource groups" for sharing contacts and increasing access to information and services; consumer campaigns; and pressure on the media to alter their portrayals of women. Wolf theorizes that little girls, as much as boys, have fantasies of absolute dominion but learn to repress their "will to power" at a very early age. Wolf here sketches a psychological road map designed to help women deal with their ambivalence about success, power, equality and money. Author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

Wolf ( The Beauty Myth , LJ 4/1/91) has written another controversial book. The subtitle aside, most of the book is devoted to Wolf's view of what has been wrong with the feminist movement since the 1960s. Wolf objects to victim feminism and feminist "male bashing." She calls for validation of good heterosexual relationships, fostering leadership skills, and socializing girls to be less fearful about leadership and power. There are many in the feminist movement who will not like this book, but it will be welcomed by feminists who want a positive version of women's empowerment. Recommended for public, academic, and high school libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/93.
- Sharon Firestone, Ross-Blakley Law Lib., Arizona State Univ., Tempe
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 373 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (September 20, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449909514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449909515
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,137,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After the excellent 'Beauty Myth', I found this book to be a great disappointment. It may be useful for those women who have college degrees and now want to break the glass ceiling in the high powered business world, but it has nothing to say to those of us who are still trying to get access to equal pay and decent jobs. Wolf is a white middle class American and it shows - she can talk to other women like herself, but in this book she has absolutely nothing to say to the rest of us. Susan Faludi's book 'Backlash' is far more worthwhile for addressing issues that matter to the majority of women.
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Format: Paperback
Naomi Wolf understands the importance of balance. She understands that women have in many ways been deprived of (or at best, discouraged from claiming) our rights, and that we have a responsibility now to stand up for ourselves and claim them, and to use them with our own AND others' interests in mind when we have claimed them. Speaking out about victimization is useful because it is the first step toward concrete action to reverse the situation - but glorying in one's identity as a victim is not productive.
Because she refuses to shove feminism into a rigid dogmatic paradigm and promotes balancing rights and responsibility, she gets criticism from both sides. Those on the sociopolitical right are afraid of her because she is a popular feminist who wants women to have all the resources they deserve. Some of those on the staunchly ideological left are afraid (somewhat understandably, but unfortunately) that her deviations from their dogma will undermine their efforts. This criticism is really a good thing, as it means she understands the complexity of these issues. Feminism is supposed to be about choices and balance, and Wolf espouses both. The book (like any book ever written) is not without its weak points, but these are minor in comparison to the validity of the underlying message.
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Format: Hardcover
Naomi R. Wolf (born 1962) is an author and journalist, who has written books such as The Beauty Myth, Misconceptions, Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood, The Treehouse: Eccentric Wisdom from My Father on How to Live, Love, and See, etc. [NOTE: page numbers below refer to the 375-page paperback edition.]

She wrote in the Preface to the paperback edition of this 1993 book, “The main message of ‘Fire with Fire’ is this: in the First World, and certainly in the United States, political equality---indeed, political primacy---is within women’s grasp, if they choose to seize it… To do so, however, women must stop thinking of themselves as the passive victims of history and understand that they can determine not only their own fate, but that of the rest of the world… I also try to clear away the dead weight of what is truly not working in feminism. Some feminists feel that by addressing in public the shortcomings of the movement, I have shown a kind of disloyalty. But my motive for broaching this subject is s constructive one… The refrain I heard from the women I listened to on my travels… is that they felt estranged from a women’s movement that sometimes uses rigid women-versus-men language, and presents only one set of attitudes as correctly ‘feminist.
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Format: Paperback
I have long believed that the biggest obstacle to re-popularizing feminism is the inaccurate but widespread belief that feminism is fundamentally anti-male. In this very well written tome, Wolf diagnoses this problem and points us all in the direction of overcoming it once and for all.
Wolf is rare among feminists in that she is not afraid to acknowledge that, while the patriarchy is primarily to blame for the continued pervasiveness of sexism, the feminist movement at large does hold some degree of responsibility for its own predicament. In reading her assessment of "victim feminism" (which really does skate dangerously close to the stereotypes of male-bashing and self-defeatism for women), we see both the shortcomings of feminism in the 1980s and how the patriarchy expertly exploited those shortcomings. We also see, once and for all, that being more accommodating is not in any way tantamount to giving up on the core values and principles of the movement. Men and women both have responsibilities to improving gender relations; and by the same token we all deserve to be recognized for our efforts and judged as individuals.
Unfortunately, this book does sound a bit dated in that it was published in 1993 and Wolf appears to have seen that era's political gains as a harbinger of a progressive decade. Throughout the book, I couldn't help wondering how her tone may have differed if she had written the book two or three years later. But the core of her argument remains unchanged by the rise of the Republican Congress and the "election" of George W. Bush. If anything, the call has only become more urgent for feminists of both genders to follow the lead Wolf has laid out for us.
I intend to urge all my male friends - and my more conservative female friends - to read this book. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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