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Description - Sexual Politics by Kate Millett

First published more than twenty years ago, Sexual Politics is one of the most important books ever written on the relationship between the sexes. It has become a classic and world bestseller, enduring not only for its power as a feminist statement but also a superbly reasoned and gracefully written work of literary and cultural analysis. In it Millett brilliantly and wittily writes about, amongst other things, sexual theroy, history, psychoanalysis - Freud and after - and analysis the writings of DH Lawrence, Jean Genet, Norman Mailer and Henry Miller. This revolutionary work shows how patriarchal bias is operated in our history and culture and is reflected in our mythology, religion, social mores and literature.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780860680291
ISBN-10: 0860680290
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 126mm x 26mm)
Pages: 400
Imprint: Virago Press Ltd
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 4-Aug-1977
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Sexual Politics by Kate Millett

US Kirkus Review » A tour de force of feminist analysis, sharp, sure-footed, and deadly serious, this takes the proverbial battle of the sexes for a genuine political power struggle and shows how women have come out on the short end through the insidious social, cultural, and literary inculcation of male supremacism. The first chapter dissects some passages from Henry Miller and Norman Mailer that describe sexual activity itself to demonstrate the preponderant role that concepts of power and domination play in their phallic fantasies. Excerpts from Jean Genet are analyzed, by contrast, quite approvingly, for his exposures of the homosexual-dominance-order parody the straight world's male-female sexual hierarchy and reveal the workings of sexual oppression. This initial sortie into literary criticism is set aside for a theoretical assault on the social relationship between the sexes, a systematic overview of patriarchy as a political institution and of sex as a status category with political implications. The next sector of the essay surveys the historical background of sexual politics: the period from 18301930 when the first wave of sexual revolution shook up the patriarchal order but subsided in some all-too-limited reforms, and the period from 1930-1960 when a climate of reaction set in, "assuring the continuation of a modified patriarchal way of life and frustrating the possibility of revolutionary social change in this area. . . ." High points of this fighting historical review are analyses of various Victorian writers' attempts to deal with the emotions and experiences of sexual revolution, of Marx's and Engel's views on patriarchy, of women's status in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, and of the pernicious influence of Freud and his followers. The final chapters of the book return in depth to those arch "counterrevolutionary sexual politicians" D. H. Lawrence, Miller, and Mailer, and to Jean Genet, forerunner of a second sexual revolution which, "in obliterating the fear of homosexuality could challenge the entire temperamental categories (masculine and feminine) of patriarchal culture." A must for Women's Liberation bookshelves. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Kate Millett

Kate Millett originally wrote Sexual Politics in 1970, putting her at the forefront of the gender discussion. She lives in New York City and on her farm in upstate New York.

Books By Kate Millett

Sexual Politics by Kate Millett
Paperback, December 2015
Politics of Cruelty by Kate Millett
Paperback, July 1995