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

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Synopsis

“As this book, which is greater than the sum of its brilliant parts makes clear, Katha Pollitt, who is famously a feminist, is also a humorist, a moralist and a most hilarious, wise, and incisive observer.”
–Victor Navasky, author of A Matter of Opinion

Through presidential administrations Democratic and Republican, Katha Pollitt has observed and exposed the inconsistencies and illogic of those who stand in the way of progress solely to hold on to their power. In defense of human rights and equality, she assails the corrupt and educates the misguided with compassion, Swiftian wit, and complete literary authority.

In this compelling collection, Pollitt skewers one hypocrite after another. She suggests, for example, that creationists be permitted to oppose the teaching of evolution only so long as they agree to forgo the benefits of the theory–such as flu vaccines. She gently wonders if those who denounced the decision to allow Terri Schiavo to die in peace would themselves be satisfied to be video-diagnosed by Senator Bill Frist. And in the title essay about fundamentalists’ antagonism toward sex education and STD prevention, she asks, “What is it with these right-wing Christians? Faced with a choice between sex and death, they choose death every time.”

Pollitt is one of the most eloquent and persuasive voices in American political conversation of this or any other era, and Virginity or Death! Is a marvelous demonstration of her keen insight, mordant humor, and sense of justice.

“Katha Pollitt has long and rightly been hailed for her brilliance, wit, and great insight into politics, social issues, and women’s rights. As with all of her work, I am enormously grateful for Virginity or Death!, and also deeply jealous.”
–Anne Lamott, author of Traveling Mercies


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Katha Pollitt

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Rory Dicker is Assistant Professor of English at Westminster College. She lives in Columbia, Missouri. Alison Piepmeier is Senior Lecturer in Women's Studies at Vanderbilt University. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Katha Pollitt is a poet, essayist, and columnist for 'The Nation.' Jennifer Baumgardner writes for various magazines, including 'Ms, ' 'Harper's, ' and 'Elle, ' and is the coauthor (with Amy Richards) of 'Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future.'
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Random House. 290 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Virginity or Death!

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She also castigates pseudo-feminist writers who celebrate women choosing to become soccer moms, but never address how social structures—for instance, a lack of federally funded daycare or decent maternity-leave policies—constrain the options from which women have to choose.

Jun 20 2006 | Read Full Review of Virginity or Death!: And Othe...

The New York Times

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If self-described feminists choose to wear "excruciatingly high heels" and submit to Botox, Pollitt sees a charade: "Women have learned to describe everything they do, no matter how apparently conformist, submissive, self-destructive or humiliating, as a personal choice that cannot be criticized ...

Jul 02 2006 | Read Full Review of Virginity or Death!: And Othe...

Daily Kos

[ Parent ].

Oct 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Virginity or Death!: And Othe...

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