Backlash by Susan Faludi


Skillfully Probing the Attack on Women’s Rights“Opting-out,” “security moms,” “desperate housewives,” “the new baby fever”—the trend stories of 2006 leave no doubt that American women are still being barraged by the same backlash messages that Susan Faludi brilliantly exposed in her 1991 bestselling book of revelations. Now, the book that reignited the feminist movement is back in a fifteenth anniversary edition, with a new pr...

Details Backlash

Release DateAug 15th, 2006
PublisherBroadway Books
GenreFeminism, Nonfiction, Politics, History

Reviews Backlash

  • Trevor
    This book is worth reading not just to remind us that ‘the women's question’ has not been solved – and it is always timely to be reminded of that – but also because it shows how we are manipulated by the media in a way that is rare in any book. It is an utterly depressing read. I read this at about the time that I stopped watching American films – I have seen only really a handful of them since. Her description of Fatal Attraction ought...
  • Anthony D'Juan Shelton
    Having been raised by a radical feminist mother, "Backlash" (along side Andrea Dworkin's "Woman Hating") gave me an insight into my Mother's frustration growing up. It stands as the most introspective book on feminism since "Against Our Will".
  • Jessica
    As others have said, this book should be required reading. Though it deals with the 80's and feminism, the principles behind how to be critical of the press and not believing everything you hear/read are absolutely sound and applicable across all stories in all media, even more so today than in the early 90's as fewer and fewer people are controlling the ethos behind our media.In the lastest bit I'm reading about fashion: the fashion industry doe...
  • Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
    First Thoughts: This book shows how LITTLE things have changed since the 80's/90's. How much we still have left to do.To put this in perspective, I was born in 1989, and this book was published in 1991. This book was published about TWENTY-THREE years ago.This book made me angry, and also depressed me at times, because of the above statement.I had to put it down for a while because I couldn't handle it all in one dose.I suggest reading my updates...
  • Anna
    I'm giving it 3 stars to put it in the middle. If this was the early/mid 90s then it would have had 5 stars. It was a book that came along just as I was figuring out my place in the world - as a woman. It tapped into things I was thinking and I think helped shape some of my views. Now at age 40 I'd like to read it again to see if it still applies.
  • Elizabeth Hall
    So I just read Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, by Susan Faludi. I had this book on my list because I considered it required reading for anyone who wants to understand the current landscape of women’s rights; when the book was published in 1991, it was hailed as a feminist mythbuster, a possible catalyst for change. And indeed it should have been—this book demonstrates the ways in which culture (news and entertainment medi...
  • Deirdre
    You look at this book, my edition was published in 1992 and you kinda ask what relevance there is to this book, I mean it's over 20 years old, yeah, and we've learned nothing. We're revisiting the same old tired shite again and again, being told that feminism is over, that people are tired of hearing about it that we have equality, why are we still fighting?Because 20 years later we still:Have inequity in wagesHave poor representation in TV and f...
  • Elaine
    Faludi takes us from the retro-reactionary scriptwriters in Hollywood (mostly men!) to the misogynistic floors of factories during the 1980s, ten years after the feminist revolution, to show how truly anti-women American institutions had become, under the auspices that all of feminism's goals have been achieved. One of the biggest strengths of this book is Faludi's emphasis not only on the words of the people she interviews but their actions. As ...
  • Teresa Raetz
    I should note that I read the 1992 original version of this book. I'd love to read the updated version. At any rate, I went into this book open minded but by no means sold on her thesis. I came out the other end totally convinced. This is a solid work of well-written, well-researched scholarship that drives home her undeniable theses that career women are not "suffering" for their pursuits and that there is a determined effort to create a public ...
  • Chris
    Okay I can't really write a review because it seems like everything Faludi talked about is happening again.I need to buy an island.
  • Kay
    Since I'm in the process of making my way through the feminist cannon, I couldn't skip over this book. After reading it, I went back and re-read Amanda Marcotte's post on it in which she pointed out that this book is mostly about the reactionary 1980s even though it came out in 1991. Now, more than 20 years later, some of the things Faludi talks about remain so relevant. Marcotte writes, "I do know that feminist blogging as we know it owes more t...
  • Becky
    My favorite thing about Susan Faludi is the strength and accuracy of her BS-o-meter. My next favorite thing is her brilliant writing. The sad thing to realize after reading this 20-year-old book is that she could write the same book -- with all new but similar material -- today.*sigh*Faludi laid the groundwork for many authors who followed. Twenty years ago, she wrote " ... women in the '70s who were assertive and persistent discovered that they ...
  • SuperCat
    Faludi takes on the 80s, decade of big hair, bad music, and, she claims, a new kind of backlash against feminism. Her thesis is that pop-culture of the 80s told women they had been liberated by the women's movement of the last decade, but were now suffering because of the very gains made by women's lib. She quips: it must be all that equality that's causing all that pain--But what equality?Faludi's book has two main goals then, to bust the backla...
  • Matilda
    I'm pretty biased to Faludi, so I can't review this book objectively. I enjoy her style, which is semi-academic, and I like the way she pulls up seemingly unrelated puzzle pieces from under the sofa, the shelf, the dog's slobbery mouth and creates a jigsaw that makes the reader go, "Duh, now I get the big picture."Faludi's classic focuses on the late 70s and early 80s United States, to a time when women's rights were supposedly set. Roe vs. Wade ...
  • Cindy Breeding
    This is a demanding read, even if it is wonderfully written. Faludi crafts her scenes expertly, with anecdotes supporting her claims about the forces working against American women. Everything from media to a gangbuster of gendered self-help products are indicted in this war. Women are born into a world that needs them to be soft, submissive and marriage-and-family focused. Faludi builds her nonfiction book to a climax: Beverly LaHaye, the queen ...
  • Sheree Wood
    One of the best feminist tomes of all time. Actually, I would call it brilliant. I read it when it was first published in 1991 and 24 years later, this book is still (sadly) relevant. Backlash comes to my mind at least a couple of times a month when I note, again and again, how Ms. Faludi was spot on with her observations of how the media and other forces push back against any (and I mean, any) moves for women to gain equality. Read this book and...
  • andrea
    Susan Faludi is an amazing investigative journalist. This is an exhaustive study of American attitudes toward feminism throughout history. I will go as far as to say that this is a book every liberal-minded girl and feminist-friendly (or even feminist-unfriendly) male should read. Backlash is a book that reaffirms history's cyclical, repetitive nature.
  • Beth
    So incredibly readable. I love the analysis she provides of tv and film. This is definitely a feminist text to be reckoned with. It is most definitely lengthy, but I think each chapter can be read on its own and in no particular order.
  • L.E. Duncan
    Backlash's primary fascination is as a narrative of a narrative; the story spun in the 1980s and early 90s in a thousand ways, implicit and explicit, that women are unhappy in the workforce or are somehow warped by the workforce and are best off safely at home. Feminism was the villain in this tale, an insidious pressure on women to "have it all" and to reject their nature. For a woman to work is to erode her best qualities, to year by year becom...
  • MJ
    In Faludi's book which was published in 1991, she explains that women are twice as likely to draw no pension, that the average woman's salary lags as far behind as 20 years ago, that the average female college graduate earn less than males with a high school diploma and that the average female high school graduaate earns less than the male high school dropout. Why do American women face one of the worst gender-based pay gaps in the developed worl...
  • Lisa
    Wow, people used to think single women Feminists were ruining the world, when it's really Soccer Moms emasculating male children and promoting lame, civilization-ending PC shit like teachers can't use red ink to grade papers because it might hurt the kids' feeeelllings. Honestly, I'm a woman and I have to say that, regardless, women need to monitor themselves in the workplace to figure out why they aren't being taken seriously. If you were a man,...
  • Thomas Strömquist
    So this very well known book actually got 20 years old before I got around to reading it. By now it can of course, in addition to its original validity, be read as a time document as well. In building the case for a backlash against feminism and women's lib, it is a lot of hits and a few misses in the book. The misses are comprised by making the classical error of applying statistics based on a huge number of people on a single anecdotal example ...
  • Kimberly
    I tried to read this book 20 years too late, me thinks. Faludi relies on a lot of 80's media references to support her theory of backlash against the feminist movement of the 1970's. I was born in 1981 and unfortunately I'm only vaguely familiar with most of the statistics, events, and movies that Faludi discusses in Backlash. And I'm not really that motivated to sit with wikipedia open while I read this book and bring myself up-to-speed with the...
  • Petrop37
    This is a must read - a brilliant and upsetting account of feminism. It explores the subtle (and not so subtle) subversion that women faced in the 1980s and early 90s as a backlash to the feminist movement of the 1970s. the statistics and stories Faludi presents are frightening. While I would love to see a follow up edition with current statistics as those presented her are over 20 years old, I would be surprised if things had changed for the bet...
  • Tabitha Cronenberg
    This book is great and I wish everyone would read it. I’m sure someone could find a fault in it, but in terms of consciousness-raising it’s perfect. It was printed in 1991 so it may not seem as relevent 20 yrs later but I assure you it is. Even without the feminist focus, it’s helpful in realizing how much power the media holds and how it can use that power to oppress minority groups or change the way people think. Check it out!
  • Kaethe
    This is one of the most important books of feminism I've read, because, like The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women, it addresses how disparate people with disparate motivations create oppression. It doesn't have to be a conspiracy to work like one. Actually, it can't be, because conspiracies just don't work out very well.
  • Nilagia
    I think this book is required reading for anyone who considers her/himself a feminist. While this book describes in depth the regressive trends in politics, pop culture, and many other arenas in the late 80's that were oppressive and destructive towards women, it's frightening to see how some things really haven't changed very much at all since then.
  • Regina
    This book was written in 1991 and, sadly, it has become more relevant rather than less. The Backlash Decade has turned into four decades and the Decade of the Woman is still yet to be seen. Diligence, support and a united front are what's called for. We could still put and end to the backlash and assaults on women.
  • Karen
    Wondering where the backlash against womyn came from this decade? Read this book. The backlash has always been with us and will always be with us. The good news? The backlash can be sent into full-fledged retreat. It's a bully. And what happens when you stand up to a bully? Yes, that's right, the bully almost always backs down and sometimes even flees.