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Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide

Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide

3.0 10
by Maureen Dowd

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Four decades after the sexual revolution, nothing has worked out the way it was supposed to. The sexes are circling each other as uneasily and cimically as ever, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist digs into the Y and X files, exploring the myths and muddles of sexual combat in the modern world.


Four decades after the sexual revolution, nothing has worked out the way it was supposed to. The sexes are circling each other as uneasily and cimically as ever, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist digs into the Y and X files, exploring the myths and muddles of sexual combat in the modern world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hearing Dowd purr through her own book provides an entirely new, unexpected dimension to her writing. As with her op-ed columns for the New York Times, her book on the travails of the modern woman clothes alarming conclusions in fizzy, irony-drenched writing. For her reading of her book on the return of femininity as a man-catching technique, Dowd turns on her own feminine wiles, often beginning new paragraphs by breathing seductively into the microphone before settling back and adopting a more ordinary-sounding tone. To Dowd, the act of reading is a form of seduction, a notion reflected in the audiobook's packaging, whose cover features a painting of a glam redhead reading on the subway. Dowd's sensual reading is a clever gambit, luring listeners in before clobbering them with the sad truth of the backlash to feminism. If her Times gig ever falls through, she can always fall back on a second career as an audiobook reader. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 26). (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Dowd (Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk) presents her funny, biting, and incisive take on women's place in American society today. In the style of her columns, Dowd's writing races along as she presents academic studies on the Y chromosome and on the relationship between a woman's IQ and the odds she will marry, alongside essays on popular culture where she considers, for example, how society moved from Gloria Steinem and "no-makeup" feminism to Desperate Housewives and Botox injections. Dowd ponders why girls dominate in high school but women fail to dominate in the adult world; why the three network news anchor jobs were again filled by white men; and why Hillary Rodham Clinton had to be a victim to become a senator. Her long journalism career and her Washington connections allow Dowd to give the reader an inside glimpse of influential figures. Readable, provocative, and entertaining, this is recommended for public libraries.-Debra Moore, Cerritos Coll., Norwalk, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
CD 0-143-05828-2After sticking it to the administration in Bushworld (2004), New York Times Pulitzer-winner Dowd takes on the battle of the sexes. Like most columnists, the author is easier to take in small daily doses. Full-length exposure to the rarified world she moves in prompts the uneasy feeling that Dowd doesn't know much about ordinary folks. Joking that nowadays women check out their prospective partners on the Internet, she seems not to realize that most people are unlikely to find mentions of their blind date on Google. "Whence the Wince?" and "How Green Is My Valley of the Dolls," which extensively anatomize the cult of bodily perfection and chemical-induced placidity, will certainly be of interest to those whose peers can afford plastic surgery, frequent Botox injections and abundant prescriptions of Paxil, perhaps not so much to women holding down jobs and raising their kids without the benefit of full-time nannies or CEO husbands. Dowd's habit of quoting friends and colleagues-who all seem to be media executives, political operatives or other Times writers-reinforces the perception of her blinkered perspective. Granted, she delivers her basic message strongly: "Feminism lasted for a nanosecond, but the backlash has lasted forty years." And she's often very funny to a serious purpose, as in her skewering of "Saturday Morning Bill" Clinton who "would mess around with women with big-cut hair and low-cut dresses," while "Sunday Morning Bill would run and hide behind the sedate skirts of the high-toned feminists he surrounded himself with." (Her most stinging passages skewer the hypocrisy of feminists who decried the smear tactics used against Anita Hill, then used the sametactics against Monica Lewinsky.) Still, a staunch liberal and feminist like Dowd, who proudly declares that she comes "from a family of Irish maids," could profitably spend more time writing about the impact of the antifeminist backlash on people who are still cleaning houses. Her heart's in the right place, but she really should get out more. Agent: Esther Newberg/ICM
From the Publisher
“A blistering critique of modern gender relations.”—Salon

“Fun...plenty of style and wit.”—Baltimore Sun

“She'll keep you turning pages...Dowd has a voice that carries.”—People

“No one vets the culture with a keener eye than Dowd.”—Chicago Tribune

“Maureen Dowd has waded into the one topic more controversial than politics: sexual politics.”—Austin American-Statesman

“The New York Times columnist is dizzyingly well-read and well-rounded, with references from Oscar Wilde to Valley of the Dolls. My favorite part was when she casually flund the phrase 'as Carmen Miranda used to say' into a discussion of the Enron scandal...very lively...always entertaining.”—Chicago Sun-Times

“[Dowd] discusses sexual realities and absurdities, doing so with the same verve and nerve with which she handled the other hot-button topic—politics—in her 2004 bestseller, Bushworld...hilarious, cutting, and provocative.”—Booklist

“Readable, provocative, and entertaining.”—*Library Journal

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
13 Years

Meet the Author

Born in Washington, Maureen Dowd began her journalism career in 1974 as an editorial assistant for The Washington Star, where she later became a sports columnist, metropolitan reporter and feature writer. From there she went to Times magazine, then moved to The Times’s Washington bureau in 1986 to cover politics. She has covered seven presidential campaigns and served as a White House correspondent. In 1995 she became a columnist for The New York Times Op-Ed page and in 1999 won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary.

In addition to her two New York Times bestsellers, Bushworld and Are Men Necessary?, Dowd has written for GQVanity FairRolling StoneThe New RepublicMademoiselleSports Illustrated and others.

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Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book for my wife because we both enjoy Maureen Dowd's newspaper columns. We both had a good time reviewing and comparing notes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked the first one fourth of this book as far as entertaing reading goes. But then it got boring....So, I skimmed the rest of it. If the whole book was as good as the first part, I would have given it 5 stars. I am not a liberal. But like a lot of women, I am always trying to gain more insight into the male brain. I only paid five bucks for this book and I got about five bucks worth of entertainment out of it. I thought the cover was really cute though. Some of my suspicions about the male mind were confirmed by this book. I think the first few chapters are worth the bargain price.