Chorus of Stones: The Private Life of War

Overview

Written by one of America's most innovative and articulate feminists, this book illustrates how childhood experience, gender and sexuality, private aspirations, and public personae all assume undeniable roles in the causes and effects of war.

An acclaimed writer explores the interplay between the public tragedy of war and the daily struggles of our private lives--the conflicts between truth and falsehood, secrecy and revelation, testimony and denial. A brilliant ...

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Overview

Written by one of America's most innovative and articulate feminists, this book illustrates how childhood experience, gender and sexuality, private aspirations, and public personae all assume undeniable roles in the causes and effects of war.

An acclaimed writer explores the interplay between the public tragedy of war and the daily struggles of our private lives--the conflicts between truth and falsehood, secrecy and revelation, testimony and denial. A brilliant philosophical inquiry into the nature of modern warfare. A National Book Critics Circle nominee.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
War, Griffin contends, is an evil rooted in lies, and arises from personal lies and family secrets as well as polarized gender roles that warp the private self. That message dominates this lengthy lyric meditation, a fragmentary collage in which the feminist Griffin ( Woman and Nature ) jumps disjointedly from the fire-bombing of Dresden to her discovery that her grandfather was an alcoholic. Mixing history, myth and memoir, this kaleidoscopic work contains passages of striking power along with dazzling character sketches: Kaiser Wilhelm II riding a white horse through the streets of Tangier; Gandhi heeding his inner voices; Nazi Heinrich Himmler, as a boy, repeating classmates' confidences to his schoolmaster father; Werner von Braun designing rockets in Alabama; General MacArthur trying to impress his mother with his heroism. Ultimately, though, one feels that Griffin's comment about Hemingway's experience of war--``the fragments never came together''--applies to this book as well. Author tour. (Oct.)
Library Journal
In A Chorus of Stones , Griffin departs from her usual radical feminist analysis of issues as presented in Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her ( LJ 2/1/79) and Pornography and Silence ( LJ 5/15/81) as well as numerous works of fiction. Here, Griffin provides a psychology of war and violence, examining in particular how the denial and secrecy surrounding these events affects personal lives. As examples, she explores the lives of the families of workers on the Los Alamos project and at Oak Ridge, the background and psyche of Heinrich Himmler, the life of a British soldier in the Boer War and World War I, and Gandhi's resistance to violence and oppression. These are interwoven with autobiographical narrative that illustrate the effects of family denial and secrecy. Griffin's deep stream-of-consciousness style will not appeal to a wide variety of readers, but this is an important book for academic and large public libraries.-- Kathryn Moore Crowe, Univ. of North Carolina-Greensboro Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385418850
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/1993
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 714,924
  • Product dimensions: 5.19 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.82 (d)

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