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Publisher's Summary

From the fiery intellectual provocateur - and one of our most fearless advocates of gender equality - a brilliant, urgent essay collection that both celebrates modern feminism and challenges us to build an alliance of strong women and strong men.

Ever since the release of her seminal first book, Sexual Personae, Camille Paglia has remained one of feminism's most outspoken, independent, and searingly intelligent voices. Now, for the first time, her best essays on the subject are gathered together in one concise volume. Whether she's calling for equal opportunity for American women (years before the founding of the National Organization for Women), championing a more discerning standard of beauty that goes beyond plastic surgery's quest for eternal youth, lauding the liberating force of rock and roll, or demanding free and unfettered speech on university campuses and beyond, Paglia can always be counted on to get to the heart of matters large and small. At once illuminating, witty, and inspiring, these essays are essential listening that affirm the power of men and women and what we can accomplish together.

©2017 Camille Paglia (P)2017 Random House Audio

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  • Jason
  • Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 04-19-17

Paglia at her best

Where does Free Women, Free Men rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's completely different than my usual purchase and I was a little worried it might be static theory but listening to this is like listening to her fantastically electric lectures. She really is a fabulous wordsmith. The sentences are epic, and always with a sense of humour. More than anything I love when she ruminates on art. Her scope is enormous. No one like her. I had a blast listening.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Important Critique of FeminismToday

Not everyone is going to like Paglia and if you do decide you like her then most likely you are not going to agree with her on all topics. However she is a very important voice in Feminism today. There is a reason why most young women don't want to identify as feminist. To leave Feminism uncriticized is to not do feminists any favors. We need open minded, intelligent, thought provoking voices, ideally from women offering alternative points of view. I appreciate her ideas of "equal opportunity feminist", a feminism that works for men and women for the improvement of general society. I appreciate her being pro-male and giving men their due in society.
Where I think she falls down in this book is her over use of high academic terms that people like myself have no foundation of reference. Her over use of Apollonian, Rousseau, and in my mind obscure Hollywood references. For me it takes away from her message.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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The Audible is better than the book!

What made the experience of listening to Free Women, Free Men the most enjoyable?

Just hearing Paglia’s voice is a treat. Think of all the books you’ve read, authors you admire whose voices you’ve never heard. Hearing her voice read her own words brings them to life. You hear the words as she intends, with inflection and intonation for emphasis. You hear her get fired up reading passages about third wave feminism’s anti-sex attitudes in “The Modern Battle of the Sexes.” You hear her disdain for Gloria Steinem and Andrea Dworkin in “The Return of Carry Nation.” She reveals her own internal conflict between desire and contempt where fashion, art, function and feminism meet in “The Stiletto Heel.” What is revealed in her words is illuminated tenfold in her voice as she reads.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Paglia’s love of art and performance is clear in her work. Sexual Personae is a massive book about the performance of sexuality — how we present ourselves and how we are perceived by others. I got the impression that her lectures, both in the classroom and out, are energetic and imploring. She uses her voice like an instrument to grab the listener’s attention. There is a theatrical aspect of her reading that is entertaining and engaging. I have never heard a voice actor infuse the reading of a book with so much passion, heart and intensity. Only the author herself could do this, and Paglia, being a passionate and intense woman, does it so well.

Which character – as performed by Camille Paglia – was your favorite?

When you hear Paglia‘s reading of “The MIT Lecture” when she tears Naomi Wolf to shreds, it is almost as if Paglia is in the lecture hall, presenting the lecture live, for the first time. Paglia taps into the energy and emotion of the words to present them to us as if they have never been presented before. She infuses her words and voice with a thrilling emotion and fire.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

In between the chapters, Paglia shares, in a very casual impromptu manner, personal anecdotes that give context to her essays. Whether it is her early desire to “invent an assertive female voice as aggressive as any voice by men” as is her young goal as a writer, (which she clearly accomplished!) that she discusses at the beginning of the book, or her anecdote about the unconscious mind at work after “Venus of Willendorf” where she describes her inspiration coming seemingly out of nowhere or the context she provides about her bitter rivalry with Steinam, the anecdotes bring another layer of understanding to Paglia, and these are only available in the audio version.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A true feminist firebrand.

Paglia's collection is a fitting primer for those seeking a wide-ranging, intellectually deep, rhetorically rousing articulation of a "street-smart", "Amazonian" feminism which sees itself in the proud tradition of liberty-cherishing Western individualism rather than a vestigial outgrowth of Rousseau, Foucault or their mentally-stunted devotees.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Bravo Camille!

What made the experience of listening to Free Women, Free Men the most enjoyable?

Listening to the powerful words of Camille, through her own powerful voice.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The first chapter

What does Camille Paglia bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Wit and her laconic style of speaking. For the level of intellect she possesses, she comes off as a non academic. She is also funny and her speaking tone is unlike that of an polished academic intellectual. She sounds very proletariat and everything is spoken with a strong conviction. I don't think any other narrator could have done justice to this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Marie
  • WASHINGTON, DC, United States
  • 02-15-18

Listen at .75x

Camille is the narrator and she doesn’t talk as fast as she does in her lectures or speaking engagements, she still talks quickly. I found listening at .75x the spee

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic. I love Camille reading her articles. It adds Imphal and she gets her dander up.

Fantastic. I love Camille reading her articles. It adds Imphal and she gets her dander up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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a cultural leader<br /><br />

a great example's of how we should pay our dies before voicing our opinions, else we'll come out on the losing end opposite someone life Camille.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Daryl
  • Perth, Australia
  • 09-17-17

One of the best I've bought

Paglia delivers a tour de force in this reading of her latest book. Her emphasis and intonation of her past essays and articles add life to the written word.

Unable to contain herself she frequently seems to ad lib in order to explain certain points and to discuss events along the evolution of feminism in particular. These were the highlights of book for me.

Her thoughts on art had me mesmerised.

I enjoyed this audio book far more than most I've heard and would recommend it to anyone wishing to challenge their own thinking or enrich their knowledge of modern social gender phenomena.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 03-16-17

Great book by an American treasure!

Camille Pagllia is difficult to classify philosophically and politically; I suppose left-leaning libertarian fits her best. In any case she is both rigorously honest and thoughtfully assertive at presenting and defending her points of view. There is simply no other national figure who presents the case for free speech and against the excesses of third-wave feminism, especially gender studies. with clarity. As she approaches age 70 she is among the most forceful and convincing social critics in our country. As a right leaning libertarian I do not agree with all of her positions on some issues, but I do consider her a national treasure. Paglia presents her case that one can and should be pro-woman without being anti-man.

Paglia narrates her own novel in her clear voice and with appropriate emotion. For those who follow her books and articles there is little new here. The book is mostly a logically arranged compendium of her articles and speeches on the topic of gender and gender roles. I recommend this book for those interested in thoughtful social criticism.

9 of 16 people found this review helpful