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Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women Paperback – May 18 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (May 18 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385484011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385484015
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.3 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #292,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
On a recent Sunday, one of the hints in the New York Times crossword puzzle was "Acts like Delilah." Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 17 2004
Format: Paperback
I started reading this book soon after I had finished Susan Faludi's "Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women". I was looking forward to reading Wurtzel's book as a representative woman of'90s post-backlash era where women are allowed to be independent and make their own choices AND say what they want about it.
Unfortunately, Wurtzel has once again set us back, again to the '80s, where women are allowed to be independent as long as they suffer the consequences of failed love relationships, success based only on their looks, and empty rebellion for the sake of rebellion.
Wurtzel, using a handful of notororious examples including herself, argues that there is something inherent about women that makes them self-destructive, usually in the name of a man.
Furthermore, Wurtzel seems to lack adequate knowledge about the psychology of women, using Carol Gilligan, a little respected '70s "feminist" psychologist, as her only scholarly-based evidence on the problems faced by adolescent girls. Instead of discussing empirically-based findings on the social problems that still plague women today, she resorts to personality and psychodynamic based explanations about why there are so many women who are screwed up.
It seems that she's been to too many unhelpful therapy sessions and has now used herself as a basis of generalizing to an entire generation of women...unfair and just as bad as prevailing traditional stereotypes about good, little women.
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Format: Paperback
And what a waste it is. I had the feeling I was on crystal meth during this painfully meandering and meaningless read. I was on the mark as it turned out from her next disaster. I don't hold much truck with an author who keeps writing "I mean" and other phatic communication devices designed for verbal communication. The pen is truly mightier than the sword - a sword can't bore you to death.
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By A Customer on April 19 2004
Format: Paperback
I gave this book two stars for its readability; however, its engaging style only made me more annoyed that the book suffered from such an extreme lack of focus. Elizabeth Wurtzel (as she constantly reminds us in every book she's ever written) is attractive, connected, and well-educated. It is clear from even the most unfocused ramblings in "Bitch" that she is also intelligent, insightful, and erudite. It is also clear that the thing she values most about herself is her good looks, which appears to be what she spends most of her life thinking about and obsessing over, like she's in a perpetual state of smugness at having won the genetic lottery. I always get the impression when I read Wurtzel that she is a) totally shallow and self-obsessed, and b) keenly aware that shallowness, obsession with one's own beauty, and openly judging others by their looks isn't "cool", so she has to spend hundreds of pages justifying all the energy she spends thinking about nothing more than herself and how much prettier she is than average girls. The result: "Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women". In the end, this book is nothing more than Wurtzel's attempt to intellectually justify her painfully obvious feelings of superiority over women who are not as attractive as her. As a graduate student that men also flirt with alot, I can honestly say that I find Wurtzel's self-worship both sad and immature. I also can't figure out why she still tries to pull off the whole "I do drugs to ease my self-hatred at being so beautiful and brilliant and alienated" routine - yawn, Ms. Wurtzel, your pose is showing. The bottom line: no matter how many great books she's read herself, she has yet to write one. If she can get over herself and off the speed, maybe someday she will, and I look forward to reading it. Until then, she should stick to concert reviews for Rolling Stone.
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By Dhaval Vyas on Feb. 24 2004
Format: Paperback
I tried to read this book twice and couldn't finish it. It is very bad, and the sentences are long and confusing, and Elizabeth Wurtzel has no direction in the book. Try 'Prozac Nation', but even that is not much better.
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Format: Paperback
But I read a lot too...and I love difficult/high maintenance/troubled/bad, et al, women...I loved this book.
De ol' devilchef gives dis tome a 5 mojo*z review!!!
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By FemBot on Oct. 24 2003
Format: Paperback
More more more- there could be more versions of this theme. I loved the book. It is a fun fast read and I learned about alot of women I wouldn't normally see in the light they are portrayed. Good book for a cross country flight. Enjoy!
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By A Customer on Sept. 7 2003
Format: Paperback
I love feminist literature. This book, however, was boring, pretentious, poorly researched and poorly thought out. There is a significant lack of critical thinking happenning in this book-most of the book is based on assumptions which the author provides virtually no evidence for and which, upon an objective review of the evidence, are shaky at best. Frankly, the writers who submit their articles to the National Enquirer show more critical thinking skill than the author does in this book! If you are looking for feminist literature that makes you think, rather than irritating you with its poorly supported ideological rant, then this is not the book for you. Many of the arguments advanced by the author have been done much better by others.
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Format: Paperback
In her second book, Elizabeth Wurtzel examines the role and plight of the bad girl through Western history. Feminism hasn't suceded, Miss Wurtzel argues, as long as women have to behave in order to get men.
Miss Wurtzel celebrates the women, for whatever reason, who chose not to behave, to admit to having desires and feel no guilt about fulfilling them.
I have the paperback edition, though I read hardback edition first. I don't understand what all the fuss about her appearing topless on the cover. I liked it. She's very beautiful and talented.
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