"One of the best [books on women's history]. . . detailed, witty, balanced, and inexorable." — A.S. Byatt
"Since Miles looks back in anger it is fortunate she also possesses a sense of humor....Her book has been written to alleviate a genuine injustice, the ignoring of women's roles in history." — Antonia Fraser
Biographie de l'auteur
Rosalind Miles, Ph.D., is a well-known and critically acclaimed English novelist, essayist, lecturer, and BBC broadcaster. Educated at Oxford and the Universities of Leicester and Birmingham, she is the founder of the Center for Women's Studies at Coventry Polytechnic in England. Her novels, including Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country and The Knight of the Sacred Lake, have been international bestsellers. She divides her time between homes in England and California. Her website address is www.rosalind.net.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
28 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
dated but excellent24 janvier 2003
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Rosalind Miles has done a piece of very good work with this book. She does not pretend to be unbiased ( she is very emphatically biased)in her description of women's places in society during history, but with so many primary sources she doesn't really have to be, as these women speak for themslves. I found many of the stories horrifying. At times I had to put the book down because the hatred for women illustrated in the quotes was just too poisonous. That said, I found the book illuminating, if not comfortable. I gave it four stars because the early goddess history that Miles describes is of necessity extrapolated from very limited sources, and also because I think that when the book was reissued in 2000 it would have been appropriate to address the events and changes that have occurred since the book first came out in 1988.
72 internautes sur 83 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Important, yet defeating3 juillet 2002
- Publié sur Amazon.com
In this powerful and disturbing book, Miles interweaves enlightening, empowering facts about women in history that children never get to read in their history books. I'm well over school-aged, and yet every piece of information in this book is absolutely brand new to me. God was once Goddess? Men performed rituals on their bodies in order to recreate the "glorious" act of menstration? I sometimes had to refer to the Notes section to make sure that Miles wasn't making it all up! I, as well as Miles, grew up wondering where in the world women fit into history---as far as I could see, "his" story was a conglomeration of white men making all the decisions, while women (if they existed at all) hid in the shadows of these powerful (and often very stupid) men. As I read the book, anger overwhemlmed me as I realized that women's history is indeed that of an oppressed majority---an enriching, exciting history that is erased and/or obscured by men looking to dominate the scene. I began to appreciate the gravity of Miles' task of retelling it more and more, and understood the urgency of her success and the very thin ice she tred upon. This, unfortunately, is where Miles fell in my opinion. She is a powerful author and can paint a picture like few male or female historians before her, however the picture she paints is with terribly bitter and dangerous colors. Her anger (and mine, and every other female's in the world) is understandable and necessary and is a birthright, but Miles takes it too far. She claims that man is a deviation, that his Y chromosome is a "broken and misformed X". Yes, that is one way to describe the appearance of the Y chromosome, but for her to imply that man is a mutant species because of it is equally as bad as patriarchy's claim that women are an incomplete version of men. Ironically enough, Miles and her writing are more of a testament to the devastating effects of patriarchy than the facts themselves. To read some of her more scathing sentences should send a chill down the spine of men and women alike--and while she has a right to be furious for our kind, her anger is misdirected. This is where my dilemma comes in. Much like a person accused of being an alcoholic, I'm either a feminist or in denial of my oppression. But I believe there is a middle ground and men and women CAN live in equal harmony. It won't happen in my lifetime, but it is possible. We must start by not attacking each other. Miles would say I'm being the obedient product of my oppression, but she is blinded by the rage of her own. Bottom line: Don't fight fire with fire; attack patriarchy and the perpetrators of it, not men as a species. They've done it to us for a millenia and look what becomes of it...
27 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Absolutely essential reading18 août 2001
E. M. Carey
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I first read this book many years ago - under a different title - and I was delighted to come upon it again as it had fascinated, angered and inspired me the first time around. Its impact is still intense several years later - it's amazing how different history - or herstory - looks when the half of the population that's been denigrated and ignored is taken into account. This book explores women's role in life and work from the beginning of recorded time all the way up to the present. Who knew that for 25,000 years - up until about 2,000 years ago - that every known society worshiped an all powerful goddess? I certainly didn't. Miles explodes the myths of 'man's' evolution and carefully examines the ways in which woman's position altered throughout different eras. While she uses 'famous' women as references, she's careful to point out that these stories only represent a fraction of what women were actually doing, and what they were doing is generally very different from how it's typically portrayed. One criticism I've heard about the book - but do not share - is its simplistic view, that it comes from a particular position with particular assumptions and goes on from there. To me, this book is merely one perspective on history that uses a completely different model of interpretation. Basically, while it's a terrific book, it's still just one book tackling a subject - the history of the world - about which thousands upon thousands have been written. I've found this to be a thoroughly delightful and rewarding read, as it taught me that to say that women and their experiences are typically not included in the standard version of history is not an overstatement - I learned so much that I feel I should've known already. However frustrated I became at how horribly women were treated and the intense, deeply held prejudices against them, I was thrilled to be seeing history in a new way. I think that everyone should read this book, and now that I've found it again, I'm going to start with the people I know... I simply could not give it a better review.
22 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
What a Woman! (They ALL are!)11 novembre 2001
- Publié sur Amazon.com
A book club selection by my local group, I ripped though this book in one sitting. It was a stunning, informative, lively look at women in our history instead of the usual men's tale (or from a male perspective). I was engrossed by so many of the arguments made that suggested women where there and accomplishing great things even though the history books ignored them most completely throughout the ages. Starting from the very beginning of time it was the women who were giving birth, raising children, gathering foods and preparing meals, and keeping the shelter - while the men `occasionally' caught something.. humpth! Unfortunately much of women's history has been permanently destroyed so except for the litany of child rape and other horrors perpetuated against women over the last couple of millennium, very little remains for Miles to use in support of her `history'. Some of the more negative history gets a little tiring at points (how much abuse and suffering do we need to read about - "We know! We know!") In spite of the dearth of positive material, Miles manages to do her best to outline the very important contributions made by women in every aspect of our culture - much of it at a very fundamental and important level. My only regret is that she doesn't mention the discovery of the Gnostic gospels and their portrayal of women as teachers and preachers and equals during the time of Christ - if only the men at the head of the church patriarcy had not been so threatened by Thomas' and Philip's (and others') writings they would have been read and changed the history for women over the last 2000 years, ah well...
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
A Delightful, Cynical, and Innovative Look at HERstory...11 juillet 2001
- Publié sur Amazon.com
As a Professor of Women's Studies, I found this book to be a delightfully refreshing change of pace from conventional feminist theory material. While Miles grounds her assumptions in theoretical criticism, she avoids becoming too mired in rhetorical jargon. Much like Gerda Lerner's volume on "The Rise of Patriarchy," Miles chronicles the assumptions, ideas, and concepts which have allowed women to be overlooked, ignored, and sometimes patly rejected throughout history; however, her writing is much more accessible than Lerner, and students (and general readers) will enjoy her sparks of sometimes cynical humor, which allows her to explore a subject which she acknoledges is quite serious, and about which she feels passionately.