Scapegoat: The Jews, Israel, and Women's Liberation

Andrea Dworkin, Author Free Press $28 (448p) ISBN 978-0-684-83612-6
""I am... a lapsed pacifist. With extreme difficulty and reluctance I have come to believe that women have to be literate in both strategic violence and the violence of self-defense,"" writes Dworkin in her impassioned, sometimes brilliant and often problematic analysis of how institutionalized male violence against women, children and Jews has shaped the modern world. Beginning with the premise that violence born of anti-Semitism and from the hatred of women are similar, she argues that both wage a ""war on the body"" of the scapegoat and that resistance has taken the form of Zionism and feminism. Dworkin (whose Woman Hating and Pornography have influenced the women's movement) approaches her topics with a strong, frequently unsettling mixture of nuance and polemic, piling fact upon fact to make her arguments. Holocaust literature, Sylvia Plath's poems, the critical theories of Jacques Derrida, The Merchant of Venice, Gore Vidal's Live from Golgotha, The Turner Diaries and Benjamin Disraeli's novels (the bibliography includes more than 1,500 titles)--all find their way into her onslaught of information, statistics and analysis. While she frequently overstates her case (as when she claims that ""women rarely report crimes involving either rape or battery""), Dworkin makes potent points (as when she examines the similar attitudes toward women, Jews and African-Americans in the writings of both conservative and right-wing vigilante groups in the U.S.). This weighty treatise unfailingly engages and provokes. Agent, Elaine Markson. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/29/2000
Release date: 06/01/2000
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-7432-1054-6
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