cover image Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger

Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger

Rebecca Traister. Simon & Schuster, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5011-8179-5

In this trenchant analysis, journalist Traister (All the Single Ladies) explores the “nexus of women’s anger and American politics,” in which “noncompliant, insistent, furious women have shaped our history and our present.” This emotion “has often ignited movements for social change and progress” yet often goes unacknowledged in a culture in which women in politics are “not lauded for their fury” while their male counterparts are. At the core of this analysis is the idea that the achievements of female political activists such as Florynce Kennedy, Rosa Parks, and Shirley Chisholm have been “erased from the record” rather than celebrated. Traister argues forcefully that women are an “oppressed majority in the United States,” kept subjugated partly by racial divisions among the group. Four sections consist of essays, each capturing a factor in the current social and political climate—the failure of the ERA; the role of women in the Tea Party; responses to Hillary Clinton’s presidential run; and the birth of the #MeToo movement. Traister closes with a reminder to women not to lose sight of their anger—even when things improve slightly and “the urgency will fade... if you yourself are not experiencing” injustice or look away from it—because “being mad is correct; being mad is American; being mad can be joyful and productive and connective.” Agent: Linda Loewenthal, the Loewenthal Co. (Oct.)