cover image Virginity or Death! And Other Social and Political Issues of Our Time

Virginity or Death! And Other Social and Political Issues of Our Time

Katha Pollitt, . . Random, $13.95 (265pp) ISBN 978-0-8129-7638-0

This second collection of Pollitt's columns in the Nation offers more lively and penetrating discussion of political, social and cultural trends from one of the country's finest left commentators and feminist stalwarts. Picking up in early 2001 where her previous collection (Subject to Debate ) left off, the 84 taut essays—invariably witty, astute and relentlessly logical—together chart the progress of right-wing policies under the Bush administration before and after the flash point of 9/11, while engaging such urgent and related issues as the attack on abortion rights, the health-care crisis, the rise of the Christian Right, expanding war and militarism, gay marriage and the perpetual "demise" of feminism in the mass media. Selections include perhaps her most infamous essay, "Put Out No Flags" (Oct. 8, 2001)—an account of an argument with her teenage daughter over displaying the U.S. flag at home after 9/11—but there are also dozens of incisive, frequently hilarious gems here. While no conservative interested in public debate should ignore so formidable an opponent, this book will appeal mostly to progressive readers (fans of Barbara Ehrenreich or Molly Ivins are only the most obvious match). (June 13)