Feminist, Pulitzer Prize-winning Author of Backlash and The Terror Dream
- Los Angeles Times Book Review
Susan Faludi's Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, was a monumental investigation into the backlash against feminism in the 1980s and the assault against career-minded women. It immediately established her in the tradition of towering feminist authors: she stood with Gloria Steinem on the cover of Time, and Newsweek called the book "as groundbreaking as Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex and Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique." In her latest release, The Terror Dream, Faludi explores why our media and our politicians responded to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 by calling for a return to a society where men are men and women are victims.
Why Haven't Women Remade the World Yet?
Where do American women find themselves today, one decade into the new millennium? We hear from both sides of the political spectrum that feminism has changed the world—although conservatives would say for the worse. And yet, for all the claims made for the force and power of the women's movement, a persistent feeling of disappointment haunts the feminist enterprise, a gnawing sense that some essential hurdle was never surmounted. Why is that? What is that hurdle? And why has American feminism had such trouble sustaining itself from one generation to the next? These troubles can't all be laid at the doorstep of external backlash. What are the internal dynamics that constrain a movement that has led women so far, yet not far enough? Massive in scope, yet also finely detailed, Faludi's talk presents a frank and powerful portrait of American women today.
The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post 9/11 America
In this talk, Susan Faludi examines the strange fever dream America fell into after 9/11. The media, popular culture, and politicians were calling for a revival of "manly men" and a version of domesticity where women are viewed as victims. Our deeply-ingrained beliefs about masculinity, femininity, and sanctified violence have shaped the national psyche during the war on terror. These beliefs, Faludi argues, are at the very core of the mythology surrounding American culture. Cowboy bluster and feminine frailty is reanimated whenever threat or shame loom. These beliefs, rooted in our earliest mythologies, have made America a weaker and less secure place.
The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author of Backlash--an unflinching dissection of the mind of America after 9/11.
In this most original examination of America's post-9/11 culture, Susan Faludi shines a light on the country's psychological response to the attacks on that terrible day. Turning her acute observational powers on the media, popular culture, and political life, Faludi unearths a barely acknowledged but bedrock societal drama shot through with baffling contradictions. Why, she asks, did our culture respond to an assault against American global dominance with a frenzied summons to restore "traditional" manhood, marriage, and maternity? Why did we react as if the hijackers had targeted not a commercial and military edifice but the family home and nursery? Why did an attack fueled by hatred of Western emancipation lead us to a regressive fixation on Doris Day womanhood and John Wayne masculinity, with trembling "security moms," swaggering presidential gunslingers, and the "rescue" of a female soldier cast as a "helpless little girl"?
The answer, Faludi finds, lies in a historical anomaly unique to the American experience: the nation that in recent memory has been least vulnerable to domestic attack was forged in traumatizing assaults by nonwhite "barbarians" on town and village. That humiliation lies concealed under a myth of cowboy bluster and feminine frailty, which is reanimated whenever threat and shame looms. Brilliant and important, The Terror Dream shows what 9/11 revealed about us--and offers the opportunity to look at ourselves anew.
Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle award for nonfiction, this controversial, thought-provoking, and timely book is "as groundbreaking as Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex and Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique." -- Newsweek.
Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man
One of the most talked-about books of last year, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Backlash now explores the collapse of traditional masculinity that has left men feeling betrayed.
With Backlash in 1991, Susan Faludi broke new ground when she put her finger directly on the problem bedeviling women, and the light of recognition dawned on millions of her readers: what's making women miserable isn't something they're doing to themselves in the name of independence. It's something our society is doing to women. The book was nothing less than a landmark. Now in Stiffed, the author turns her attention to the masculinity crisis plaguing our culture at the end of the '90s, an era of massive layoffs, "Angry White Male" politics, and Million Man marches. As much as the culture wants to proclaim that men are made miserable--or brutal or violent or irresponsible--by their inner nature and their hormones, Faludi finds that even in the world they supposedly own and run, men are at the mercy of cultural forces that disfigure their lives and destroy their chance at happiness.
As traditional masculinity continues to collapse, the once-valued male attributes of craft, loyalty, and social utility are no longer honored, much less rewarded. Faludi's journey through the modern masculine landscape takes her into the lives of individual men whose accounts reveal the heart of the male dilemma. Stiffed brings us into the world of industrial workers, sports fans, combat veterans, evangelical husbands, militiamen, astronauts, and troubled "bad" boys--whose sense that they've lost their skills, jobs, civic roles, wives, teams, and a secure future is only one symptom of a larger and historic betrayal.
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