Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-10-10
- Reviewer: Staff
Jensen (A Language Older Than Words) shares scintillating interviews with 10 leading philosophers, social scientists, and writers including Stanley Aronowitz, Jane Caputi, George Gerber, Judith Herman, and John Keeble, who all address, among other themes, finding harmony with the environment and society, and learning to listen to the stores of knowledge and intuition within us. The late media analyst Gerber takes on television’s potential to engender “withdrawal and insecurity” in viewers, to produce passive citizens for a corporate state. Feminist Caputi argues that “pornography is the core story underlying militarism, planetary destruction, as well as violence against women.” The discussion of rape reaches its pained, powerful apex when she writes, “the whole of patriarchy is caught up in four letters: it’s the paradigmatic verb of this culture.” Although the book offers a compelling account of the thoughts of these scholars, on rare occasions the book takes a personal twist. For instance, before presenting his interview with Judith Herman, author of the seminal Trauma and Recovery, Jensen discloses that his own father battered his family, serving as the impetus for his “many questions” to Herman about trauma and the role of memory, lending this thought-provoking series of interviews an intimate dimension. (Jan.)