The Second Sex

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Alfred A. Knopf, 2010 - Philosophy - 800 pages
Newly translated and unabridged in English for the first time, and brilliantly introduced by Judith Thurman, Simone de Beauvoir’s masterpiece weaves together history, philosophy, economics, biology, and a host of other disciplines to analyze the Western notion of “woman” and to explore the power of sexuality.

Sixty years after its initial publication, The Second Sex is still as eye-opening and pertinent as ever. This triumphant and genuinely revolutionary book began as an exceptional woman’s attempt to find out who and what she was. Drawing on extensive interviews with women of every age and station of life, masterfully synthesizing research about women’s bodies and psyches as well as their historic and economic roles, The Second Sex is an encyclopedic and cogently argued document about inequality and enforced “otherness.”

This long-awaited new translation pays particular attention to the existentialist terms and French nuances that may have been misconstrued in the first English edition; restores Beauvoir’s phrasing, rhythms, and to≠ and reinstates significant portions of the “Myths” and “History” chapters that were originally cut due to length, including accounts of more than seventy female figures.

A vital and life-changing work that has dramatically revised the way women talk and think about themselves, Beauvoir’s magisterial treatise continues to provoke and inspire.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

A dense book in which de Beauvoir attempts to define a feminist view of the world, and to explain the differentiation of that view from the masculine. There is a lot of close reasoning, but a serious ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - puabi - LibraryThing

This phenomenal tome, translated very readably and completely here as far as I can tell, by Borde and Malovany-Chevallier, is utterly gripping, moving, intense, and a true life-changing experience ... Read full review

All 6 reviews »

Contents

Introduction
3
Chapter Biological Data
21
The Psychoanalytical Point of View
49
The Point of View of Historical
62
Chapter
266
Childhood
283
The Girl
341
Sexual Initiation
383
The Lesbian
417
PART TWO I SITUATION
438
PART THREE I JUSTIFICATIONS
667
The Independent Woman
721
Conclusion
753
Selected Sources
767
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Simone de Beauvoir was born in Paris in 1908. In 1929 she became the youngest person ever to obtain the agr gation in philosophy at the Sorbonne, placing second to Jean-Paul Sartre. She taught at lyc es at Marseille and Rouen from 1931 to 1937, and in Paris from 1938 to 1943. After the war, she emerged as one of the leaders of the existentialist movement, working with Sartre on Les Temps Modernes. The author of several books, including The Mandarins (1957), which was awarded the Prix Goncourt, Beauvoir was one of the most influential thinkers of her generation. She died in 1986.

Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier, both American, are longtime residents of France and former teachers at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris.

Judith Thurman, author of Isak Dinesen and Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette, is a staff writer at The New Yorker.

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