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Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide | [Maureen Dowd]

Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide

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 comically as ever, and now the New York Times columnist who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1999 for incisive commentary about the mysteries and muddles of sexual combat in America sorts through the confusion.
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Publisher's Summary

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 comically as ever, and now the New York Times columnist who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1999 for incisive commentary about the mysteries and muddles of sexual combat in America sorts through the confusion.

In a new book filled with chapters that surprise and amuse, Dowd explains why getting ready for a date went from glossing and gargling to Paxiling and Googling; why men may be biologically unsuited to hold higher office, given their diva fits and catfights, teary confessions and fashion obsessions; why women are fixated on their looks more than ever; and why the new definition of "having it all" is less about empowerment and equality than about flirting and getting rescued, downshifting from "You go, girl!" to "You go lie down, girl."

Women's liberation has been less a steady trajectory than a confusing zigzag. Feminism lasted for a nanosecond and generated a gender tangle that has bewitched, bothered, and bewildered men and women for 40 years. Now comes a woman to cut through the tangle and tickle Adam's rib. The battle of the sexes will never be the same.

©2005 Maureen Dowd; (P)2005 Penguin Audio

What the Critics Say

"Dowd is hilarious, cutting, and provocative." (Booklist)

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  •  
    Ian Kendall Park, NJ, United States 11-16-05
    Ian Kendall Park, NJ, United States 11-16-05 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Insanely Brilliant"

    I have been an Audible.com customer for years, and I have to rate this as an immediate top 10 choice. I'm a lawyer who's worked for the government, and this book is the best since that PJ O'Rourke thing back in the 80 (Confederancy of Dunces?). This time, the analysis turns the mirror, in a the biting way only a mirror can, to the bizarre contemporary behavior in th eoh so overrated land of sex relations. And it's *right on*.
    This book, read by Miss Dowd, is the nest social commentary out there. Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, Christopher Hitchens fans: this is simply brilliant. Absolute 5.5

    Note: I, as a man, was forced to listen to much of Miss Dowd's savagely brilliant analyis on "slow" mode on my iPod--she's too quick, and some points made are so well done that it's worth hearing them slowed up a bit.

    19 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Vermuth Collegeville, PA 01-22-06
    J. Vermuth Collegeville, PA 01-22-06 Member Since 2004
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    "Smart and Fun"

    The conservatives are bashing this delightful, fun, sexy observation of the state of affairs between men and women as poorly researched and manipulative. But the author herself says in the prologue that she's not attempting an academic or scientific book. It's clear that Ms. Dowd is using her wit and wisdom, and her position as a respected social commentator, to give her take on a topic that is so important to herself and, well, everyone else if they're honest.

    Let's face it, as Dowd herself admits, do any of us even have a clue about love and sex? I like it that she relies on her own experience, and intuition, those of her friends and family, and yes, even the movies, to comment on the relationships of men and women. I like it that the author, rather than being a male or female basher (as some have said), loves men and loves being a woman. and I especially like it, that this book comes from a baby-boomer, and not from a twenty of thirty something. It's no surprise that it younger readers don't much appreciate the views of an experienced, smart, sexy "woman of a certain age". They don't get it, and probably won't until much later in their lives.

    It's a great book, a fun read, with some comments that don't quite ring true, but so what? If we take it for what it is, with the sense of warmth and humor that comes through in the writing; it could be the spark for lots of interesting, funny, sexy conversations.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vanessa Oakton, VA, USA 11-15-05
    Vanessa Oakton, VA, USA 11-15-05
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    "Is this BOOK really necessary?"

    No. I am a big fan of her columns but this book just proves that some things are better in smaller quantities. After only a couple chapters I felt like she was recycling arguments and re-hashing. Also, unlike Al Franken and others whose voices add to the experience, her nasal whine just wears the reader down. Definitely one I wished I had not spent the money for.

    18 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    09-05-06
    09-05-06 Listener Since 2003
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    "Not really!"

    Ms Dowd is not only a first rate reporter but also a political pundit of the highest order with a fluid and engaging writing style. I am a great fan, I thoroughly enjoyed Bush World and am a regular reader of her columns in the NY Times.
    Unfortunately I found this book difficult to complete due to the manner in which the subject matter (the title is self explanatory) is approached. The general construction of the book is disjointed. There is only one chapter in which she draws upon her considerable political acumen. She arbitrarily inserts unnecessary salacious sexual crudities to the point of distraction, I have no objection to sexual crudities but they should be a natural part of the narrative flow not just thrown into the text with no apparent good reason.
    Though the style of writing is certainly up to Ms Dowd's normal high standards I was disappointed, perhaps to some extent due to my own high expectations. However, I found the theme inconsistent and the points made less than compelling. Most of all Ms Dowd's brilliant satiric phrasing is replaced, for the most part, by sarcasm. Pity!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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