Book Review: The Truth Will Set You Free, But First it will Piss You Off, by Gloria Steinem • Glam Adelaide

Book Review: The Truth Will Set You Free, But First it will Piss You Off, by Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem’s most powerful and pithy quotes, with reflections and an introduction by the feminist icon herself, in a stunningly illustrated collection.

A readable introduction or reminder, of Steinem’s work and writing.

One of the mothers of modern feminism, Gloria Steinem, has an impressive and eclectic CV. An activist, writer, editor and journalist, Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. Her book Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions sits on many a feminist’s shelf, alongside Greer’s The Female Eunuch and Millet’s Sexual Politics. For many years she was one of the publishers of Ms. Magazine.

This book collects some of her pithier quotes, along with slightly longer extracts of her writing. Collated by Steinem herself, it contains an introductory essay entitled The Poetry of Everyday Life. The quotes are gathered into chapters, each loosely based on a broad topic. In her intro, she talks about the power of a good quote, and refers to more recent hashtags such as #metoo and #timesup. In this era of social media, a collation of quotes seems an apt tome with which to rally the troops.

With a spacious layout and some funky illustrations by Samantha Dion Baker, this is a highly readable and digestible introduction (or reminder) of the words of a cultural and political icon. Far from angry or bitter, most of the writings are optimistic, wise and often humorous. It is also a timely reminder of what these second-wave feminists achieved, and also how much we have yet to address. For example:

“Women are thought to be more talkative than men because they are being measured against the expectation of female silence.”

How true is this still, today?

This is an inspiring and delightful book, and a perfect Christmas gift for the older feminist in your life; the young girl you wish to inspire; or the man who needs reminding…

Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Twitter: @TraceyKorsten

Distributed by: Murdoch Books
Released: November 2019
RRP: $24.99

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