Books by Subject

Women and Culture

Woman's Inhumanity to Woman
by Phyllis Chesler

Hardcover - 536 pages (February 9, 2002)
Thunder's Mouth Press; ISBN: 1560253517 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.73 x 9.38 x 6.36


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Woman: An Intimate Geography
by Natalie Angier

Hardcover - 398 pages (April 1, 1999)
Houghton Mifflin Co (Trd); ISBN: 0395691303 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.40 x 9.34 x 6.41
Other Editions: Audio Cassette (Abridged)

Despite scientific evidence to the contrary, as far as the health care profession is concerned the standard operating design of the human body is male. So when a book comes along as beautifully written and endlessly informative as Natalie Angier's Woman: An Intimate Geography, it's a cause for major celebration. Written with whimsy and eloquence, her investigation into female physiology draws its inspiration not only from scientific and medical sources but also from mythology, history, art, and literature, layering biological factoids with her own personal encounters and arcane anecdotes from the history of science. Who knew, for example, that the clitoris--with 8,000 nerve fibers--packs double the pleasure of the penis; that the gene controlling cellular sensitivity to male androgens, ironically enough, resides on the X-chromosome; or that stress hormones like cortisol and corticosterone are the true precursors of friendship?

The mysteries of evolution are not a new subject for Angier, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biology writer for the New York Times whose previous books include The Beauty of the Beastly and Natural Obsessions. The strengths of Woman begin with Angier's witty and evocative prose style, but its real contribution is the way it expands the definition of female "geography" beyond womb, breasts, and estrogen, down as far as the bimolecular substructure of DNA and up as high as the transcendent infrastructure of the human brain. --Patrizia DiLucchio
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Defending the Cavewoman : And Other Tales of Evolutionary Neurology
by Harold L. Klawands, MD

Hardcover - 256 pages (January 2000)
W.W. Norton & Company; ISBN: 0393048314 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.92 x 5.73 x 8.45

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In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development
by Carol Gilligan

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Architecture and Feminism : Yale Publications on Architecture
by Debra Coleman (Editor), Elizabeth Danze (Editor), Carol Henderson (Editor), Courtney Mercer (Editor)

Paperback - 272 pages (February 1997)
Princeton Architectural Pr; ISBN: 1568980434 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.62 x 9.12 x 6.10
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Cracks in the Pedestal : Ideology and Gender in Hollywood
by Philip Green

Paperback - 304 pages (January 1998)
Univ. of Massachusetts Press; ISBN: 1558491201 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.82 x 6.00 x 9.24
Other Editions: Hardcover
Editorial Reviews
Hollywood deals in messages big enough to get through to the densest lummox among us. Cracks in the Pedestal ably points out how Hollywood films and television shows drive home the dominant American ideology and mirror rigid cultural sex roles in a million huge and little ways. Even when social transformations brought about by feminism crop up, the screen images are distorted. When Susan Sarandon plays a lawyer tough enough to go up against the government on behalf of an 11-year-old boy in The Client, for example, it's the bantam-weight man-child who heroically saves her from violence. When a muscular Sigourney Weaver plays the woman warrior Ripley in Aliens, her character is redeemed by a maternal streak. And God help the woman who steps out of line sexually: she's apt to be killed or unfulfilled. Frequent academic throat-clearing and sometimes pretentious prose mar an otherwise intriguing, well-argued book. It reminds us that while movies and television may be fantasy, they enforce a certain world view, beaming it nightly into our homes and around the globe.

Distinguishing his own neo-Marxist approach from that of other media scholars, Philip Green pursues two interrelated themes. In the first part of the book, he looks at the strategies Hollywood has employed to deflect or absorb the ideological challenges posed by the feminist critique of contemporary American society. He demonstrates the ways in which mainstream movies and television programs, no matter how unconventional or "subversive" they may appear, produce and reproduce familiar images of sexuality and gender identity. In the second part, Green highlights instances in which reproduction of the dominant ideology is less successful by examining several recent cinematic genres - the female action movie, the rape-revenge cycle, and the new film noir - that portray the real ambiguities of a social order in upheaval. As a male consumer of the cultural commodities being discussed, the author offers a perspective on American films and television different from that of most other feminist critics. --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title
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Technology of Orgasm : 'Hysteria,' the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology. New Series, 24)
by Rachel, P. Maines

Hardcover - 129 pages (January 1999)
Johns Hopkins Univ Pr; ISBN: 0801859417 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.68 x 8.75 x 5.72
Editorial Reviews
For centuries, women diagnosed with "hysteria"--a "disease paradigm," in Rachel P. Maines's felicitous phrase, thought to result from a lack of sexual intercourse or gratification--were treated by massaging their genitals in order to induce "paroxysm." Male physicians, however, considered the practice drudgery, and sought various ways of avoiding the task, often foisting it off on midwives or, starting in the late 19th century, employing mechanical devices. Eventually, these devices became available for purchase and home use; one such "portable vibrator" is advertised in the 1918 Sears, Roebuck catalog as an "aid that every woman appreciates." The Technology of Orgasm is an impeccably researched history that combines a discussion of hysteria in the Western medical tradition with a detailed examination (including several illustrations) of the devices used to "treat" the "condition." (Maines is somewhat dismissive of the contemporary, phallus-shaped models, which she describes as "underpowered battery-operated toys," insisting that "it is the AC-powered vibrator with at least one working surface at a right angle to the handle that is best designed for application to the clitoral area.") Don't expect any cheap thrills, though; the titillation Maines offers is strictly intellectual. --Ron Hogan

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Dancing Women : Female Bodies on Stage
by Sally Banes

Paperback - 296 pages (April 1998)
Routledge; ISBN: 0415111625 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.79 x 9.22 x 6.19
Other Editions: Hardcover

Table of Contents
1. The Romantic ballet: La Sylphide, Giselle, Coppelia
2. The Russian Imperial ballet: The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake
3. Early modern dance: Fire Dance, Lily, Brahms, Waltzes, Mother, Revolutionary 4~4~tude, Radha
4. Early Modern Ballet: Firebird, The Rite of Spring, Les Noces
5. Modern Dance: Witch Dance, With my Red Fires, Rites de Passage, Night Journey
6. Modern Ballet: Jardin aux Lilas, A Wedding Bouquet, Rodeo, Agon
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The Dread of Difference : Gender and the Horror Film (Texas Film Studies Series)
by Barry Keith Grant, (Editor)

Paperback (December 1996)
Univ of Texas Pr; ISBN: 0292727941 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.16 x 9.15 x 6.03
Other Editions: Hardcover
Editorial Reviews
Film critics of the 1990s contend that gender is central to understanding horror movies. As editor Barry Keith Grant writes, "Today gender roles are being tested, challenged, and redefined everywhere, and until such time as difference is no longer dreaded, this crucial aspect of the horror film will remain very important for us." The Dread of Difference is a solid starting place for exploring the idea of gender in horror cinema. It's a fat book with 21 scholarly (and reasonably lucid) essays, and plenty of black-and-white movie stills. The authors use a variety of theories to survey the history of horror/slasher movies and the work of individual directors, and offer "close readings" of a number of movies.
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Ecstasy Unlimited : On Sex, Capital, Gender, and Aesthetics
by Laura Kipnis, Paul Smith

Paperback - 308 pages (April 1993)
Univ of Minnesota Pr (Txt); ISBN: 0816619972 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.71 x 8.98 x 6.01
Other Editions: Hardcover Sales Rank: 336,360

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Holding My Own in No Man's Land : Women and Men and Film and Feminists
by Molly Haskell

Hardcover (January 1997)
Oxford Univ Pr (Trade); ISBN: 0195053095 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.94 x 9.53 x 6.44
Noted film critic and essayist Molly Haskell has assembled some of her finest articles of the past 20 years into a cohesive collection focusing on the roles women play on film and in the film business. Holding My Own in No Man's Land features essays on Mae West, Marlene Dietrich, Doris Day, and other actresses; thoughtful pieces on literary characters such as Jane Austen's Emma; and a section entitled "Guys," which features a profile of Truman Capote and a surprising and thoughtful essay based on an interview with John Wayne. As one of America's finest writers on film, Haskell's collection of essays is a must for those who regard film as something worth thinking about.
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Images of the Self As Female : The Achievement of Women Artists in Re-Envisioning Feminine Identity (Women Studies; Vol 4)
by Kathryn Benzel, Lauren Pringle De La Vars (Editor)

Hardcover (April 1992)
Edwin Mellen Press; ISBN: 0889461228
Availability: This title usually ships within 4-6 weeks. Please note that titles occasionally go out of print or publishers run out of stock. We will notify you within 2-3 weeks if we have trouble obtaining this title. Sales Rank: 1,514,859

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Mammies No More : The Changing Image of Black Women on Stage and Screen
by Lisa M. Anderson

Hardcover - 160 pages (September 1997)
Rowman & Littlefield; ISBN: 0847684199 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.76 x 9.31 x 6.21
The author, Lisa M. Anderson , October 1, 1997
A fascinating journey through images of black women.
This book provides an intriguing look at three stereotypes of black women in theatre and film in the United States: the Mammy, the Tragic Mulatta, and the Jezebel. Not only are these stereotypes explored, but the efforts of black women playwrights and filmmakers to provide positive alternatives to those images are presented. Finally, the book offers some hope for the future; while the negative images remain, there is more and more space in the contemporary worlds of film and theatre for different, more positive images.
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Reel to Real : Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies
by Bell Hooks

Paperback (December 1996)
Routledge; ISBN: 0415918243 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.53 x 9.06 x 6.01
Other Editions: Hardcover
Editorial Reviews

Although it may not be the goal of every filmmaker, most people learn something when they watch movies. Movies make people think. Movies make people feel. Occasionally people have the power to transform lives. In her newest book, Reel to Real, Bell Hooks talks back to films she has watched as a way to engage the pedagogy of cinema--the way film teaches its audience. --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title

Although it may not be the goal of filmmaker, most of us learn something when we watch movies. They make us think. They make us feel. Occasionally they have the power to transform lives. In Reel to Real, Bell Hooks talks back to films she has watched as a way to engage the pedagogy of cinema - how film teaches its audience. Bell Hooks comes to film not as a film critic but as a cultural critic, fascinated by the issues movies raise - the way cinema depicts race, sex, and class. Reel to Real brings together Hooks's classic essays (on Paris is Burning or Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have it) with her newer work on such films as Girl 6, Pulp Fiction, Crooklyn, and Waiting to Exhale, and her thoughts on the world of independent cinema. Her conversations with filmmakers Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, and Arthur Jaffa are linked with critical essays to show how cinema can function subversively, even as it maintains the status quo.
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