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Moving Beyond Words


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Steinem is at her polemical best in these six compelling essays--three of which are new, three revised from Ms. articles. She invents ``Dr. Phyllis Freud,'' founder of psychoanalysis, who proved that men's lack of wombs make them terminally envious and whose theories serve as a semi-scientific rationale for men's lower status in a matriarchal society. An interview with women's weightlifting world champ Bev Francis leads Steinem to question assumptions of female weakness and male strength. Another piece demystifies economics by interpreting it as a system of human values, with special reference to women's unpaid or underrated work. Elsewhere Steinem analyzes the growing feminization of poverty and masculinization of wealth, exposes advertisers' restrictive control over the editorial content of women's magazines and reflects on turning 60, an age, she finds, when women grow more radical and rebellious. Each essay is prefaced by an extensive introduction which Steinem uses as a platform to discuss sexual politics. First serial to Ms. (May)

"If you added water to any of these parts," Steinem says, each segment could become a book. While some of the articles have been previously published, or are "re-rites" of others, there is some new work presented here. "What If Freud Were Phyllis?" was recently published in Ms. magazine after initially being presented to the American Psychiatric Association. The piece is comparatively lengthy (comprising two of the four cassettes) but well worth the space accorded it. Perhaps the best in the collection is "Doing Sixty." The woman who once answered a reporter's remark that she didn't look 40 with "This is what 40 looks like. We've been lying so long, who would know?" has plenty of insights on women in the last third of life. For all libraries.-Reilly Reagan, Putnam Cty. Lib., Cookeville, Tenn.

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