From Library Journal
Second Wave feminists have for 30-plus years operated under the assumption that sisterhood is powerful. Indeed, women acting in concert have forced society to redefine gender, domestic relations, and the workplace. Still, despite huge gains in public visibility, female ascendance has been hampered by a rarely acknowledged reality: women often betray, hurt, and humiliate one another. Mothers stymie daughters, biological sisters compete, girlfriends gossip maliciously, and women bosses exert arbitrary and capricious authority. Chesler (Women and Madness, etc.) has been studying this phenomenon for 21 years, and her research is fascinating, resonant, and unsettling. While the book focuses on psychological rather than political factors and pays too little attention to race and class, it is nonetheless a groundbreaking look at how women perpetuate oppression. Anthropological, biological, literary, and sociological theories are also tapped, giving the book added heft. Although the text is somewhat repetitious and self-congratulatory, it is highly recommended for all public and academic libraries. Eleanor J. Bader, Brooklyn, NY
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Washington Post Book World, Sunday, March 10, 2002; by Deborah Tannen.
Chesler read everything and thought deeply about it . . . Along with social commentary and psychological insight, Chesler offers astute literary criticism.
Library Journal, March 15, 2002
Groundbreaking, fascinating, resonant, and unsettling. It is highly recommended for all public and academic libraries.
Kirkus Reviews 1/15/02
She has done her homework . . . An intriguing analysis. Feminists and sexists alike should find the package challenging.
Laura Miller, Salon.com, March 29, 2002
[A]n important book, in large part because of who Chesler is: a veteran and luminary of the Second Wave Feminism.
Deborah Tannen, The Washington Post, March 10, 2002
Chesler offers astute literary criticism . . . Women readers will recognize their own experiences in Chesler's examples.
"Phyllis Chesler has written a healing book to teach us how to love ourselves and each other."
"[A]n exciting and thought provoking argument about the other side of sisterhood."
Alan M. Dershowitz
"No intelligent discussion of the provocative issues she raises will ever be the same . . ."
Lou Marinoff, Ph.D.
"Chesler has painted a revealing masterpiece of Woman's dark side."
Letty Cottin Pogrebin
"This is a brave book. Her work is our public conscience."