List price: $22.95 (that's 30% off!)
Used price: $5.95
Collectible price: $11.95
Buy one from zShops for: $4.26
Buy one from zShops for: $33.00
List price: $18.95 (that's 7% off!)
Used price: $4.99
A great deal of the content of this book was provided by interviews done in the 1980's of people who worked in the mills and lived in mill communities. This oral history is both fascinating and priceless. Most of the mills have closed and the memory and history of them is becoming scarcer to find as most of the mill workers who lived during the era portrayed in this book have died.
While most of the mills have closed, central North Carolina is dotted with the communities that are remains of old mill towns. I am from this region and my mother lives in Bynum, NC, a mill town dating from the mid-19th century. Several of her neighbors were interviewed for and written about in Like a Family. The old company store still serves as a post office and the mill community's church has regular worshipers. Unfortunately the rest of the community from the mill days, including the mill itself (which closed in the early 1980's and has burned down recently), have succumbed to time and aging from the elements.
Used price: $28.95
In fact, the murder of the young mill owner, Mr. Henry Carson - he too an admirer of Miss Barton - is not well developed and is not the central point of the novel because the reader knows all the time who is the real murderer. So, it's not a surprise at all the ending of the trial and the revelation of the real murderer in the last chapters.
Miss Gaskell has a simple and an almost näive vision of the social problems that harassed the working class in England when the Industrial Revolution started. Even though, we must recognize that she made a good work trying to denounce the insensibility of the English government about the problems of the workers and their families and the inflexibility of the mill owners and other high economic classes to negociate with their subordinates.
Mary Barton is a book that will hold the attencion of the readers, men or women, because Miss Gaskell has an elegant style and really knows how to tell a good story. Another great vintage of this novel are some great characters portrayed with flavour and undeniable charm, like the old and friendly Mr. Job Legh and the hard and anger John Barton, Mary's father.
Worth reading, particularly if you're a fan of the novel (or history) of the period.
List price: $21.00 (that's 30% off!)
Used price: $3.85
Buy one from zShops for: $7.00
The fact that most gynecologists are males, says Daly, is in itself a collosal comment on our society. It is a symptom and example of male control over women and over language, and a clue to the extent of this control. Add to this the fact that self-appointed soul doctors, mind doctors, and body doctors who "specialize" in women are perpetrators of iatrogenic disease (the first time I had ever heard of such a thing, and have since come to specialize in its research).
"The courage to be logical -- the courage to name -- would require that we admit to ourselves that males and males only are the originators, planners, controllers, and legitimators of patriarchy. Patriarchy is the homeland of males; it is Father Land; and men are its agents. It is in the interest of men (as men in patriarchy perceive their interest) and in a superficial but Self-destructive way, of many women, to hide this fact, especially from themselves."
How anyone can call Dr. Daly racist for dis-covering the historical roots of American Gynecology balanced on the backs of experimentation on black female slaves by J. Marion Sims, "moving spirit" behind the founding of the Women's Hospital in New York, is beyond me.
Dr. Daly weaves her understanding of our oppression as women within and around her understanding of Chinese footbinding, Indian Suttee, clitoridectomy, and the witchburnings in the Middle Ages. Violence against women continues to be endemic, systemic, entrenched in our society, and its roots grow deep. Dr. Daly dis-covers and names those roots, and for many, this is a painful exercise that requires the work of thinking, something that is more and more dis-couraged in a society that prefers to do your thinking for you.
From the back cover: "Mary Daly is a Revolting Hag who holds doctorates in theology and philosophy from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. An associate professor of theology at Boston College, this Spinster spins and weaves cosmic tapestries in her own time/space. She is the author of 'Beyond God the Father' and 'The Church and the Second Sex.'"
Dr. Daly is intelligent, a delight to read, and has earned her stripes. Her willingness to speak truth to power has cost her dearly, and has earned my respect. The violence she is not afraid to name threatens the very existence of life on this planet. If you want to be part of making a difference, read this book.
Used price: $2.99
Collectible price: $8.95
Buy one from zShops for: $9.95
Funnily enough, I also get exterminated in Mary Daly's _Quintessence_. So do all my women friends, though they even use the "feminist" word despite the damage done to that word's reputation by Daly, Dworkin and others.
Why extermination? Because, it seems, we are "snools", in Daly's bizarre jargon, because we reserve the right to criticise ideas that don't make sense, "phallocrats" because we support democracy instead of Daly's "gynocracy", "necrophiles" because we think science and technology are on the whole good things, without being uncritical about their use. My women friends' feminism is different from Daly's, so they are "totalled women" and "fembots".
Note how many of Daly's "dis/covered words" express hatred, from "snool" to "snot boy". And Daly's writing is shockingly bad, a mix of cutesie neologisms - "crone-logical", "be-witching" etc - in praise of an elect of lesbian separatists, along with name-calling abuse of her enemies, almost the entire "man-infested" human species. As Daly's outcasts, we probably wouldn't want to live in the mindless and passionless utopia Daly prescribes and describes in _Quintessence_, but that's okay, because Daly wants us dead.
In the following quote, a sample from _Quintessence'_s holocaust fantasy, Daly's narrator, "I", is "Anonyma", a Mary Daly fan from 50 years in the future, who has brought Daly forward in time to survey the world her books brought about:
" "Are there men and boys on the other continents?" [Mary] asked.
"Yes," I said. "But ... the world today is Gynocratic and Gynocentric. ... The Earth's transformation has required that her inhabitants grow through profound psychic changes. Those who were not able to grow could not endure in the purity and strength of the New energy field..."
"Are you saying that men who insisted on clinging to patriarchal beliefs and behaviors became obsolete and 'died off'?" asked Mary.
"Yes, they rapidly became extinct," I said.
"And what became of the patriarchally assimilated women who identified with the roles and rules of patriarchy?" asked Mary.
I answered, "Those women who refused to release themselves from the phallocratic dependencies and habits that had been embedded in them under the old system were in effect refusing to evolve. So they also could not survive in the New energy field." " [End quote.]
So only a few male survivors, and since "patriarchal beliefs and behaviours" turn out to include heterosexuality, interest in science, rationality and various other thought-crimes and desire-crimes, that's most women dead too. So much death, without the slightest tinge of regret in Daly's prose: who's the necrophile?
Daly says our extermination occurs in the next 50 years, so it is not caused by our failure to reproduce while Daly's parthenogenic lesbians flourish and thrive: that unlikely development would take many, many generations. To "extinguish" us all in 50 years means killing the living. The instrument of our execution is Daly's "New energy field", which is fatal to those of us who lack, in Daly's strikingly Hitlerian turn of phrase, "purity and strength".
Impure and weak people may find it interesting, then, that Daly really is interested in "New energy fields". In the November 2001 issue of _Philosophy Today_ she waxed enthusiastic about Rupert Sheldrake's morpho-genetic or morphic field. Given _Quintessence-_'s fantasy of extinction by energy field, it's perhaps reassuring that Sheldrake's field has the scientific credibility of Reich's orgone accumulators (ie "none"). But what can we make of a political work that celebrates the imagined extermination of all who are not pure and strong? What do we make of its author? Is Daly merely a joke, an embarrassment to her own cause and a gift to the right-wing media that drags out cases like Daly and Dworkin whenever they want to make feminism look ridiculous? Or should she be held responsible when what she writes is hate literature as much as _The Turner Diaries_ and other neo-Nazi tracts? Or do we make liberal excuses: "this is a damaged person, who cannot be held morally accountable when she strikes out ineffectually at those around her"?
It's a serious question about responsibilities, and I don't know the answer. On the whole, though I know Daly would dislike this option most, I favour the liberal option. Daly causes more damage to her own causes than to anything else. That was a pity when the implosion of Daly's own credibility took out a fair chunk of feminism's credibility with her, though the excesses of her most dogmatic followers were also to blame for that. Daly is a key part of the reason why the most powerful political movement of the 1970s had become politically inert and ineffectual by the 1990s, as it still is, and that was a disservice to us all except for feminism's enemies. But these days her advocacy damages only the fringe to which she is still attached.
Still, Daly believes in naming her enemies, and perhaps it would show respect to name her philosophy too, though it's not necessary to in/vent a (child)ish jar-gone, a/kin to Daly's own, to find the name. _Quntessence_'s lesbian separatist utopia, where superior people reproduce themselves by parthenogenesis without risking their moral or genetic purity by sexual contact with inferior beings, where there are no divergent ideas or dissent, where most of the inferior beings (men and women who like men) have been exterminated, except for a few tame specimens "on other continents", is not a variant of feminism. It's a variant of fascism. We can laugh or apologise or condemn, but let's call it what it is.
Seriously, though, this book is evidence of the depths to which intellectual life has sunk lately. Childish narratives of the Tolkien variety are now celebrated as grand philosophy! Also, it's sad that Ms. Daly has become so consumed by hatred.
List price: $24.95 (that's 30% off!)
Used price: $4.85
Collectible price: $7.93
Buy one from zShops for: $19.24
The first two-thirds of the book were indeed fun (hence the extra ratings star). Any attempt to experiment and play with words is great; and trying to bolster women's courage and laughingly shove them into redefining themselves on their own terms--all the better!
But why trash men? Daly's definition of heterosexual relationships as being instigated only by men towards women is not only incorrect but insulting. One could almost accuse Daly of being heterophobic, and isn't bigotry supposed to be wrong? I guess all those loving, ethical, funny, and caring fathers/sons/brothers/friends are just figments of a sadly benighted race of "fembots" and "totalled women".