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Gun Women: Firearms and Feminism in Contemporary America (Fast Track Books)by Mary Zeiss Stange
Synopses & Reviews
Women, we are told, should not own guns. Women, we are told, are more likely to be injured by their own guns than to fend off an attack themselves. This "fact" is rooted in a fundamental assumption of female weakness and vulnerability. Why should a woman not be every bit as capable as a man of using a firearm in self-defense?
And yet the reality is that millions of American women--somewhere between 11,000,000 and 17,000,000--use guns confidently and competently every day. Women are hunting, using firearms in their work as policewomen and in the military, shooting for sport, and arming themselves for personal security in ever-increasing numbers. What motivates women to possess firearms? What is their relationship to their guns? And who exactly are these women? Crucially, can a woman be a gun-owner and a feminist too?
Women's growing tendency to arm themselves has in recent years been political fodder for both the right and the left. Female gun owners are frequently painted as "trying to be like men" (the conservative perspective) or "capitulating to patriarchal ideas about power" (the liberal critique). Eschewing the polar extremes in the heated debate over gun ownership and gun control, and linking firearms and feminism in novel fashion, Mary Zeiss Stange and Carol K. Oyster here cut through the rhetoric to paint a precise and unflinching account of America's gun women.
Book News Annotation:
Stange and Oyster (religion and women's studies, Skidmore College and psychology, U. of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, respectively) describe their personal relationships to guns, express appreciation for the beauty and skill of shooting, and excoriate the hyperbole on either side of the debate over guns. While asserting the feminist aspects of gun ownership in slightly more nuanced terms than usual, the volume is perhaps too dependent on anecdote to answer the philosophical, psychological, and political questions it engages.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Edgar Allen Poe's influence on the twentieth century French writer Paul Valery was profound, much more so than on Baudelaire and Mallarme. This book is the first comprehensive study of Poe's influence of Valery and is based on Valery's own concept of literary influence. Valery discovered in Poe's tales and literary essays a Drama of the intellect that was to inspire his Evening with Monsieur teste, Agathe, and Introduction to the method of Leonardo Da Vinci. Valery's poetics and approach to literary criticism have direct connections to Poe's Philosophy of Composition and Poetic Principle. Valery's only essay devoted to his American mentor, On Poe's Eureka, recognizes the importance of the cosmological poem in Valery's intellectual development. Eureka awakened in him an interest in science and mathematics that lasted a lifetime and inspired him to apply scientific analysis to literary genius, the first writer to place creative work on an analytical basis and explore the psychological aspects of literature.
About the Author
Mary Zeiss Stange is Associate Professor of Religion and Women's Studies at Skidmore College and author of Woman the Hunter.
Carol K. Oyster is Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse and author of Groups: A User's Guide.
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