Summary and book reviews of Women & Power by Mary Beard

Women & Power

A Manifesto

by Mary Beard

Women & Power by Mary Beard X
Women & Power by Mary Beard
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Dec 2017, 128 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

"A modern feminist classic." - The Guardian

From the internationally acclaimed classicist and New York Times best-selling author comes this timely manifesto on women and power.

At long last, Mary Beard addresses in one brave book the misogynists and trolls who mercilessly attack and demean women the world over, including, very often, Mary herself. In Women & Power, she traces the origins of this misogyny to its ancient roots, examining the pitfalls of gender and the ways that history has mistreated strong women since time immemorial. As far back as Homer's Odyssey, Beard shows, women have been prohibited from leadership roles in civic life, public speech being defined as inherently male. From Medusa to Philomela (whose tongue was cut out), from Hillary Clinton to Elizabeth Warren (who was told to sit down), Beard draws illuminating parallels between our cultural assumptions about women's relationship to power?and how powerful women provide a necessary example for all women who must resist being vacuumed into a male template.

With personal reflections on her own online experiences with sexism, Beard asks: If women aren't perceived to be within the structure of power, isn't it power itself we need to redefine? And how many more centuries should we be expected to wait?

Read the opening pages at Google Books





Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

I know that by definition a manifesto is brief, but perhaps in this case it is a bit too brief. I longed to hear more of the author's opinions and suggestions on how to achieve her goal of redefining power. The timing of the publication of Women & Power couldn't be better since a new women's movement – politically and culturally – seems to be on the rise. Beard's manifesto definitely prompts thought and awareness and will make an excellent book group choice.   (Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).

Full Review Members Only (798 words).

Media Reviews

San Francisco Chronicle
A clear, rich, subversive and witty argument about what power has meant to Western civilization from ancient times, and how its meaning could be changed in the future.

The Washington Post
Beard always fights back, with humor and the confidence of intellectual authority…It’s fun to read Women & Power. Beard’s slim, elegant, well-illustrated book would fit nicely into a Christmas stocking.

New York Times
[A] sparkling and forceful manifesto…The book is a straight shot of adrenaline.

People
Beard's thrilling manifesto turns to ancient times to find the seeds of misogyny, beginning with Homer's Odyssey (the first instance of a woman told to shut up) and continuing through Elizabeth Warren's 2017 silencing in the Senate. An irresistible call for women to speak up, act and redefine their power.

Forbes
At just a little over 100 pages, Women & Power: A Manifesto may seem slight, but don't let its size fool you. This book speaks volumes and will not be silenced by Telemachus or anyone else.

Publishers Weekly
This slim and timely volume leaves readers to contemplate how women can reconfigure society’s current perceptions of power.

Kirkus Reviews
An urgent feminist cri de coeur, spot-on in its utterly reasonable plea that a woman 'who dares to open her mouth in public' actually be given a hearing.

The National (UK)
There's something about Women & Power that ensures it stands out from the rest though. Beard's is a manifesto firmly grounded in rigorous academic study made legible for the masses, and her proposal for change as radical as it is reasonable and – we can but hope – realistic.

The Guardian (UK)
Beard has written an indictment, perhaps her most uncompromising to date, of an ancient past that she is hardly asking us – has never unequivocally asked us – to celebrate. As far as women are concerned, in relation to this ancestral legacy, there is very little to be proud about…The question I finally take from this brilliant book is: what would such power – no rape, no guns, no shutting up of women – look like?

Financial Times (UK)
With clearsightedness and wry humour, this self-described 'gobby woman' proves public speech is no longer the preserve of maleness. More power to her.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

What Is a Manifesto?

The book Women & Power is labeled a manifesto, which comes from the Latin word manifestus, meaning "to manifest, to clearly reveal, or to make real." It is a broad term for a public statement of intent, belief, or a call to action issued by an organization or an individual.

Most nonprofit and political groups have a manifesto of some sort which states their purpose – why they exist and what they hope to accomplish. This allows them to frame the organization's goals succinctly, be able to communicate those aims, and recruit others to the cause. These declarations are also meant to inspire, to share a vision and excite others. For this reason, some corporations are ditching their mission statements – which have a dry static ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Mary Beard

If you liked Women & Power, try these:

  • The Woman's Hour jacket

    The Woman's Hour

    by Elaine Weiss

    Published 2019

    About this book

    The nail-biting climax of one of the greatest political battles in American history: the ratification of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote.

  • Squeezed jacket

    Squeezed

    by Alissa Quart

    Published 2018

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Families today are squeezed on every side - from high childcare costs and harsh employment policies to workplaces without paid family leave or even dependable and regular working hours. Many realize that attaining the standard of living their parents managed has become impossible.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Rust & Stardust
    Rust & Stardust
    by T Greenwood
    Highly readable and tightly plotted, T. Greenwood's Rust and Stardust achieves the perfect ...
  • Book Jacket: American Prison
    American Prison
    by Shane Bauer
    After spending over two years in Iran's notorious Evin Prison for supposedly crossing the country's ...
  • Book Jacket: Small Fry
    Small Fry
    by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
    Small Fry is the debut memoir from Lisa Brennan-Jobs, long-time journalist and writer, and oldest ...
  • Book Jacket: The Winter Soldier
    The Winter Soldier
    by Daniel Mason
    Imagine the thousands of confounding cases doctors face routinely for which diagnoses are hard to ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Removes by Tatjana Soli

A powerful, transporting novel about the addictive intensity and freedom of the American frontier.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Sold on a Monday
    by Kristina McMorris

    An unforgettable novel inspired by a stunning piece of history.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton

A rich, spellbinding new novel from the author of The Lake House. On sale Oct 9.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T Turn T S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.