- 15,99 €
From one of America’s leading biographers, the definitive story of the radical feminist and anti-pornography activist, based on exclusive access to her archives
Fifteen years after her death, Andrea Dworkin remains one of the most important and challenging figures in second-wave feminism. Although frequently relegated to its more radical fringes, Dworkin was without doubt a formidable and influential writer, a philosopher, and an activist—a brilliant figure who inspired and infuriated in equal measure. Her many detractors were eager to reduce her to the caricature of the angry, man-hating feminist who believed that all sex was rape, and as a result, her work has long been misunderstood. It is in recent years, especially with the rise of the #MeToo movement, that there has been a resurgence of interest in her ideas.
This biography is the perfect complement to the widely reviewed anthology of her writing, Last Days at Hot Slit, published in 2019, providing much-needed context to her work. Given exclusive access to never-before-published photographs and archives, including her letters to many of the major figures of second-wave feminism, award-winning biographer Martin Duberman traces Dworkin’s life, from her abusive first marriage through her central role in the sex and pornography wars of the following decades. This is a vital, complex, and long overdue reassessment of the life and work of one of the towering figures of second-wave feminism.
Bancroft Prize winner Duberman (Luminous Traitor) delivers an exhaustive, intimate, and admiring biography of feminist writer and activist Andrea Dworkin (1946 2005). He details Dworkin's upbringing by socially conscious Jewish immigrants in New Jersey, horrific mistreatment by male prison doctors after being arrested for protesting the Vietnam War, and abusive marriage to a Dutch anarchist before tracking her "meteoric" rise in the feminist movement beginning with the publication of Woman Hating in 1974. Duberman highlights Dworkin's reputation as a passionate and sometimes shocking orator, and documents her struggles to gain acceptance from her peers and mainstream publishers. He also notes her concerns over race and class divisions within the feminist movement, ties her presentation of gender as a social construct to an early understanding of trans issues, and categorizes her antipornography crusade as a pushback against the power of systemic patriarchy. Duberman defends against claims that Dworkin considered all intercourse rape, and discusses her relationships with men and women without shoehorning her into a queer identity. Selections from Dworkin's letters and autobiographical writings bring her own self-assessment into the picture, helping Duberman to push back against detractors who saw her as a one-note antisexuality crusader. Through this empathetic and approachable portrait, readers will develop a new appreciation for Dworkin's "combative radicalism" and the lifelong, unsteady truce she made with the feminist mainstream.