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Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger Hardcover – October 2, 2018

4.6 out of 5 stars 222 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

The vast and often surprising political energy stemming from the rage that ensued after the 2016 presidential election inspired feminist journalist Traister to examine the contemporary and historical impact of anger-specifically women's anger-within American society. The author states that women's anger has long been dismissed and repressed, and angry women often ridiculed as hysterical, irrational, even crazy. Yet she asserts that women's fury at injustice has been one of the most powerful forces in U.S. politics and culture, coalescing in numerous protests and movements that brought about lasting change. Traister explores the characteristics and themes of anger as well as the ways in which it took shape within social movements. She also recounts anger's role in defining the women's suffrage and feminist movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. Traister's arguments are deeply thought provoking and endlessly compelling, although she isn't always inclusive-she offers a thorough analysis of the different characteristics of white and black women's anger but mentions only briefly other women of color. Librarians should note that the cover's background pattern features a potentially offensive expletive. VERDICT Recommended for burgeoning activists and teens interested in politics, history, and current events.-Kelsy Peterson, Forest Hill College, Melbourne, Australiaα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



“[A] rousing look at the political uses of this supposedly unfeminine emotion...written with energy and conviction...galvanizing reading.”NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

“Urgent, enlightened… well timed for this moment even as they transcend it, the kind of accounts often reviewed and discussed by women but that should certainly be read by men…realistic and compelling…Traister eloquently highlights the challenge of blaming not just forces and systems, but individuals.”WASHINGTON POST

"While the anger of men is seen as 'stirring' and 'downright American,' women's is 'the screech of nails on our national chalkboard,' asserts journalist Traister in this invigorating look at the achievements of angry women from Carrie Nation to Beyoncé to the Parkland high school students. Through this lens she revisits the 2016 election, #blacklivesmatter and the #metoo movement (including her own Harvey Weinstein story) and cites a study showing you can tolerate pain longer - damn! - if you curse. Perfectly timed and inspiring.”PEOPLE (BOOK OF THE WEEK)

“Traister specializes in writing about feminism and politics, and she knows the turf…especially astute in emphasizing the ways in which black women laid the cornerstones for women’s activism in this country…Feminism forces certain complexities into the stream of our daily lives, and Traister has a great gift for articulating them.”—TIME MAGAZINE

"Cathartic...a celebration of a catalytic force that burns ever brighter today."O MAGAZINE

“From suffragettes to #MeToo, Traister’s book is a hopeful, maddening compendium of righteous feminine anger, and the good it can do when wielded efficiently—and collectively.”VANITY FAIR

"An admirably rousing narrative."—ATLANTIC

"A resounding polemic against political, cultural, and personal injustices in America...With articulate vitriol backed by in-depth research, Traister validates American women's anger.... Traister has meticulously culled smart, timely, surprising quotations from women as well as men. The combined strength of these many individual voices and stories gives the book tremendous gravity.... A gripping call to action that portends greater liberty and justness for all.”KIRKUS REVIEWS (STARRED REVIEW)

“A trenchant analysis… Traister argues forcefully that women are an ‘oppressed majority in the United States,’ kept subjugated partly by racial divisions among the group. Traister closes with a reminder to women not to lose sight of their anger—even when things improve slightly and ‘the urgency will fade... if you yourself are not experiencing’ injustice or look away from it.”PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED REVIEW)

"Timely and absorbing, Traister's fiery tome is bound to attract attention and discussion. Traister takes a deep dive into the current political climate to explore the contemporary and historical relationship women have with anger and the ramifications of expressing and suppressing feminine rage. Traister uses…startlingly obvious double standard[s] to explore how attaching negative connotations to women's anger has always been used to silence and dismiss them."BOOKLIST (STARRED REVIEW)

Good and Mad is Rebecca Traister's ode to women's rage—an extensively researched history and analysis of its political power. It is a thoughtful, granular examination: Traister considers how perception (and tolerance) of women's anger shifts based on which women hold it (*cough* white women *cough*) and who they direct it toward; she points to the ways in which women are shamed for or gaslit out of their righteous emotion. And she proves, vigorously, why it's so important for women to own and harness their rage—how any successful revolution depends on it.”BUZZFEED

"Women are angry, and Rebecca Traister is just the person to chart the topography of their rage, its causes, and its effects....A galvanizing, timely study of righteous rage.”—ELLE

"With Traister’s incisive prose and a topic that couldn’t be more timely, this book is sure to be a fiery read.”HUFFINGTON POST

"A deeply research treatise on female anger - its sources, its challenges, and its propulsive political power.”ESQUIRE

"Brilliant and bracing."—THE NATION

"[Traister] writes with convincing clarity...a feel-good book."—JEZEBEL

"A bracing, elucidating look at how transformative it can be for women to harness our rage, and how important it is to use that anger, that energy, for revolution." —NYLON

"Brilliant and impassioned and, yes, angry." —MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE

"Good and Mad comes out at just the right time...the [Kavanaugh] hearing and its aftermath just proved the point Traister was making all along."—MOTHER JONES

"Traister's reported manifesto on feminism after Trump...offers a forceful...inventory of the ways in which women’s anger in the public sphere is exaggerated, pathologized, and used to discredit them in a manner unimaginable for men."BOOKFORUM
"An exploration of the transformative power of female anger and its ability to transcend into a political movement…Read this."PUREWOW

"One of our country’s wisest writers on gender and politics."PORTLAND MONTHLY

“Every fifty years since the French Revolution there’s been an uprising on behalf of women’s rights—we’re in the middle of one right now—and each time around a fresh chorus of voices is heard, making the same righteous bid for social and political equality, only with more force and more eloquence than the time before.  Among today’s strongest voices is the one that belongs to Rebecca Traister. Deeply felt and richly researched, her new book, Good and Mad, is one of the best accounts I have read of the cumulative anger women feel, coming up against their centuries-old subordination. Read it!”—VIVIAN GORNICK 

“Rebecca Traister has me convinced in this deftly and powerfully argued book that there will be no 21st century revolution, until women once again own the power of their rage. Righteous fury leaps off every page of this book, with example after example, from the present and the past, coaxing, chiding, and indeed reminding us, that the political uses of women's anger have been good for America. As I read, my blood started pumping, my fist tightened and my spirit said, "hell yeah! We aren't going down without a fight." Women's anger rightly placed and soundly focused can be good for America, once again. In fact, it is essential. Tell the truth: We're all sick and tired of being sick and tired. It's high time we got good and mad.”—DR. BRITTNEY COOPER, author of Eloquent Rage

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
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Reviewed in the United States on October 2, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2018
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Top international reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars Strong analysis and expression of women's anger ad a driving force behind strive for change
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 21, 2018
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Viviane Kettermann
4.0 out of 5 stars O porquê de estarmos e porquê deveremos estar bravas
Reviewed in Brazil on November 25, 2018
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Leslie Helston
5.0 out of 5 stars Gets your hackles up for sure
Reviewed in Canada on July 25, 2019
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