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Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics [Paperback]

bell hooks
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 1 2010
A genuine feminist politics always brings us from bondage to freedom, from lovelessness to loving....There can be no love without justice.—from the chapter "To Love Again: The Heart of Feminism"

In this engaging and provocative volume, bell hooks introduces a popular theory of feminism rooted in common sense and the wisdom of experience. Hers is a vision of a beloved community that appeals to all those committed to equality, mutual respect, and justice.

hooks applies her critical analysis to the most contentious and challenging issues facing feminists today, including reproductive rights, violence, race, class, and work. With her customary insight and unsparing honesty, hooks calls for a feminism free from divisive barriers but rich with rigorous debate. In language both eye-opening and optimistic, hooks encourages us to demand alternatives to patriarchal, racist, and homophobic culture, and to imagine a different future.

hooks speaks to all those in search of true liberation, asking readers to take look at feminism in a new light, to see that it touches all lives. Issuing an invitation to participate fully in feminist movement and to benefit fully from it, hooks shows that feminism—far from being an outdated concept or one limited to an intellectual elite--is indeed for everybody.

bell hooks is the author of numerous critically acclaimed books on the politics of race, gender, class, and culture. A frequent lecturer in the United States and abroad, she is Distinguished Professor of English at City College, City University of New York.

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Praise for Feminism Is for Everybody:

"bell hooks has always written in a very readable style, eschewing footnotes because people in her hometown told her they were put off by books with footnotes. This time, she set out to write a book that explains feminism, particularly for a mainstream audience….certainly she has once again made the point that feminists need to try to reach women of all races and classes." —Carol Anne Douglas, Off Our Backs (2001)

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

bell hooks is the author of numerous critically acclaimed and influential books on the politics of race, gender, class, and culture. Her first book, Ain't I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism (Pluto Press, 1981), was named one of the 'twenty most influential women's books of the last twenty years' by Publishers Weekly in 1992. She is the author of several other books, including Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center (new edition, Pluto Press, 2000). She is currently Professor of English at City College, City University of New York. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book is For Everybody Dec 12 2002
This is the best "primer" to feminism that I've ever read. It's a great read for people who know nothing about feminism or who are only familiar with mainstream society's myths about feminism, because it offers a concise and easy to understand history of the movement. hooks also clears up misunderstanding on the definitions of the terms feminist and feminism. She touches on problems within the movement and where we're at now. I also think this is an excellent book for seasoned feminists to have on hand. For one thing, you can find the quotes and passages you're looking for with ease...and it also helps to have read a book that you should be suggesting to those new to feminism.
Finally, I disagree with the reviewer who said this book is only for the "fringe" because hooks points out "our feminist pioneers [were] privileged, educated white women." Um...THEY WERE for the most part. If you're looking for a whitewashed version of the history of feminism then this book isn't for you. Like the feminist movement itself, this book cannot address sex and gender without also addressing race and class. Also, nowhere in the book does hooks imply that housewives are excluded from feminism. The book actually touches on the fact that most of the work done by women (including especially unpaid domestic labor) is still unpaid and undervalued in this society.
The amazing thing about this book is that hooks is able to compress so much information into such an easy and interesting read. You won't put it down except maybe to get your hi-liter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bell hooks rocks- and so does her book Sept. 17 2001
Feminism is for Everybody is a great book for third wave generation feminists. Most young feminists of today don't know the history of feminism that bell hooks recounts in this book. bell hooks explains how the current feminist movement lacks a strong sense of sisterhood, and one reason for that is our lack of participation in consciousness raising groups. We need safe, sacred space in which to work out our internalized sexism. We need to learn about feminism outside of the classroom as well as inside it. We need to come together across the lines of race, class, and education, and demand a revolution.
hooks also dicusses some of the differences between "reform" feminism and "revolutionary" feminism, and why knowing about the distinction is so important. That helped me to understand one reason why today's feminism seems to exclude women of color and poor women so much.
I highly recommend hooks' book for women (and men) who are new to feminism and to those who've been involved in the movement for a while. I think she has some excellent and important things to teach us about our movement and where it needs to go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for a beginner Dec 27 2003
In "Feminism is for EVERYBODY", Hooks skims over her ideas, current topics and past writings. I think this is a fine book for someone who is ignorant to feminism or a an individual who is interested in Hooks.
The introduction was my favorite part. How she states that as soon as she mentions the word "feminist" without fail, people get shifty and uncomfortable and talk about how crazy feminists are, how manhating, butch like, etc. Then go on to say she must not be like those "wierd feminists". When in reality, most people have no idea what feminism is, which is why she wrote this.
The only reason why I would not recommend this book to anyone is my own personal bias and opinions. I do not agree with everything she has written. However, her writing is easy to read and she writes in a way to entice everyone. She is kind and open, not aggressive and rude, but still assertive and gets her point across. She is also wise to not attack men, instead she attacks the patriarch, because that is a way of believing, it is not a sexuality, and that is what needs to be brought down.
Like I stated, it's compelling and easy to read, it's short and almost anyone can relate to it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to bell hooks Aug. 22 2001
This book is a good introduction to bell hooks' feminist critique and thinking. Having read others of her books and been intrigued and challenged by her ideas, I found that this book presented some of her concepts and philosophies in a simple, readable way. The book consists of several concise chapters, each covering a specific topic -- including spirituality, anti-violence movements, female beauty standards, male feminists, love, child-rearing, and many others. Whether or not you agree with what hooks says, this book is an excellent way to get and idea of what she is all about.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Feminism is for Everybody (Who Agrees With Me) April 4 2001
Ms. hooks stated goal of writing an accessible feminist primer for those outside the movement has partially been achieved. The book covers a great deal of territory for such a small volume; and it does so with (largely) accessible language (although I am not sure that continued use of such words as "dialectic" or phrases like "white capitalist male patriarchal heterosexist hegemony" are really all that accessible to outsiders to the movement). Many chapters are quite excellent and contain a thoughtful and succinct analysis of where feminism has been, is now, and needs to go.
There are some flaws within the work, however:
1. The focus on radical feminism as the "true feminism" and the "one path to salvation" may be tiresome for those feminists who are not in agreement with those beliefs or goals. 2. The continual dismissal of "reformist feminists" as "allies of patriarchy" could be considered insulting. 3. As a Canadian, the American paternalism wore a little thin, especially since, 4. She makes the common mistake of saying that feminism must end in creating an absolutely egalitarian society along sex, gender, class and race lines--and that anything that aims only to repair inequities between men and women is not "real" feminism (and then falls into the trap of American paternalism, which could be considered rather hypocritical). For instance, in the chapter on "global feminism," feminism all around the world is reduced to two forms: American and Third-World. I can only suppose that she believes that other Western countries can't really be distinguished from America.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars bell rocks!!!
This is an awesome book for young women and young men to help them gain and understanding of how complex feminism is, and at the same time, how simple it is to understand,... Read more
Published on Oct. 28 2010 by M. Weedmark
1.0 out of 5 stars DSH
his is a great books if you are intellectually challenged. I have not met an intellignet, thinking woman who actually enjoyed this mess. Read more
Published on May 13 2003 by DH
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Everybody
bell hooks has provided an insightful, intellectual look at feminism that is approachable and accessible. Read more
Published on Sept. 22 2002 by Theodorea Berry
5.0 out of 5 stars Interested in feminism?
A well-rounded starter for anyone interested in true, historical feminism. I say "true" because it seems there are more and more pop culture books with a... Read more
Published on May 16 2002 by E. Davis
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really saying anything new
I have always admired and respected the formidable intelligence of bell hooks. I have read her books since Ain't I A Woman when I was still a sophomore in college. Read more
Published on Nov. 30 2001 by mp541
2.0 out of 5 stars Feminism Is For Everybody except.........
As a life long feminist, I have always espoused that feminism is about inclusion. This book opposes that belief. The title would lead one to beleive that Ms. Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Important, thought-provoking, and appreciated
Bell Hooks (Distinguished Professor of English at City College, City University of New York) once against demonstrates her exceptional ability as a cultural critic in Feminism Is... Read more
Published on May 22 2001 by Midwest Book Review
5.0 out of 5 stars Clarity on the Feminist Movement and where it can go next
Bell Hooks is an articulate and inspired writer. This book is a great primer to give to friends and family to inform them about the feminist movement... Read more
Published on Jan. 1 2001 by Melanie Azzouz
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