Women & Power: A Manifesto

Liveright: Norton. 2017. 128p. notes. ISBN 9781631494758. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781631494765. SOC SCI
OrangeReviewStarOriginally delivered for the London Review of Books winter lectures series, in 2014 and 2017 respectively, the two essays that make up this slim volume are timely and trenchant additions to our public conversations about women and political authority. Beard (classics, Cambridge Univ.; SPQR) ranges across 3,000 years of Western history and literature to reflect on how and why women are so persistently excluded, as a class, from the public halls of power. "The Public Voice of Women" asks readers to consider the many ways we have of not listening to women; "Women in Power" suggests that leadership remains a fundamentally masculine space. An afterword briefly discusses the context in which these pieces were written and the work still ahead. References provide avenues for further reading, and illustrations from both classical and contemporary culture provide visual evidence for the enduring sexism Beard describes.
VERDICT Although many readers might have already encountered earlier editions of these pieces, this volume remains a fresh presentation of thoughtful political commentary from a historical and feminist perspective.

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