Crossing by Deirdre McCloskey
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By Deirdre McCloskey


A Memoir New edition

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Format: Paperback

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Crossing by Deirdre McCloskey

Book Description

Deirdre McCloskey, the former Donald, tells the story of her crossing the gender line in this memoir. An economist and historian, a husband and father, Donald McCloskey had cross-dressed for years without wanting more. But rather suddenly, at age 52, a sense that he was denying his real identity grew to the point where he knew he needed to become a woman. This book is the story of this realization and its consequences. McCloskey relates in detail the process of physically becoming a woman but also the emotional wake - personal and professional - left by her decision. Her mother accepts her; her children reject her. Some conservative economists prove to be gender libertarians, but some progressive feminists prove to be gender authoritarians. McCloskey's account of her crossing and her painstaking efforts to learn to "be a woman" enfold all the aspects of her journey into fundamental questions about gender and identity, hatreds and anxieties, that have surprising answers. This is the story of a golden boy of conservative economics, a child of 1950s and 1960s privilege, who became a woman. Of necessity she also became an artist performing, and then embodying, gender. She notes that the performance was enacted "often with no audience and seldom with a script."

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780226556697
ISBN-10: 0226556697
Format: Paperback
(230mm x 150mm x 17mm)
Pages: 290
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 11-Oct-2000
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Deirdre McCloskey

Bourgeois Dignity by Deirdre McCloskey Bourgeois Dignity, Paperback (November 2011)

The big economic story of our times is not the Great Recession. It is how China and India began to embrace neoliberal ideas of economics and attributed a sense of dignity and liberty to the bourgeoisie they had denied for so long. This book discusses seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe to reconsider the birth of the Industrial Revolution.

Bourgeois Virtues by Deirdre McCloskey Bourgeois Virtues, Paperback (October 2007)

For a century and a half artists and intellectuals of Europe have scorned the bourgeoisie. Applying a tradition of "virtue ethics" to our lives in modern economies, this title affirms American capitalism without ignoring its faults and celebrates the bourgeois lives we live, without supposing that they must be lives without ethical foundations.

» View all books by Deirdre McCloskey


UK Kirkus Review » Although transexuality is now no longer a forbidden subject, this is perhaps the most detailed detail of one man's transformation into a woman that has been published since James Morris's account, some 30 years ago. McCloskey was a cross-dresser as a child, but married and had children before deciding that he must actually become a woman. The reaction of McCloskey's wife and family was one which makes for a central tragedy - yet also reveals his naivety and inability to understand his relatives' emotions any more than they could understand his. The book goes into considerable detail, not so much of the surgery involved, as of the other changes - how to walk, dress and adjust to a whole new system of male/female relationships. Unfortunately McCloskey, a distinguished economist and historian, is a rather pretentious writer, and the dull thud of his platitudes takes the edge of what might have been a classic, but is still a book that will be of great interest, especially to those men and women who find themselves in a similar situation. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » A testimony to her struggles and courage, Crossing invites the reader to enter Deirdre (formerly Donald) McCloskey's mind as she decides to become a woman after a lifetime as a man, husband, and father. A renowned professor of economics at the University of Iowa, Donald McCloskey had to fight tenaciously to realize his inner call to become a woman against such foes as his sister (who had him repeatedly committed against his will for psychiatric evaluations) and his marriage family (who, in the book's most heart-wrenching scenes, renounce their father and former husband). Mixed with this trauma, however, is McCloskey's blossoming sense of self and her discovery of a tree community of friends who love her for the woman she is, not the man she was. The cantankerous halls of academe provide the setting for many of the memoir's intriguing political debates: feminists argue that McCloskey is not a women and therefore should not join female faculty groups; conservative economists accept McCloskey's new self with libertarian nonchalance. Oddly enough, though, McCloskey's views of gender seem to become more strongly reified through her experiences. Men are combative; women nurturing. Men barter for gain; women give for comfort. One is left wondering how a woman brave enough to undergo the tribulations of losing a family and to face the possibility of professional contumely could have emerged from a man so self-parodically timid of his femininity that he could not bring himself to describe his car as "dark blue, with cream trim." This Trojan horse of a memoir approaches under the guise of sexual equity yet closes with gender stereotypes still firmly entrenched. Crossing remains a tribute to the power of resisting society in order to realize personal fulfillment, but McCloskey would have done so with a more incisive voice if she did not seem to believe so strongly in the many gender stereotypes she attempts to undermine. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Recent books by Deirdre McCloskey close
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Bourgeois Dignity by Deirdre McCloskey
Bourgeois Virtues by Deirdre McCloskey
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