Book of the Week in the Times Higher Education Supplement

So this actually happened on Thursday last, but because the review was behind a paywall, I was only now able to figure out how to download it using Factiva. I am so grateful to Lynne Segal for her thoughtful and generous review. I am thrilled that people understand the value of revisiting the state socialist past.

THES screenshot 1.jpg
THES screenshot 3.jpg

Reviews, reviews everywhere!

The last week has been a whirlwind of reviews to coincide with the original publication date of my book in the US. Perhaps because of Michelle Obama’s memoir, quite a few books were pushed back a week and my new publication date is Tuesday, November 20th, just in time for people to read it before Thanksgiving dinner. It will make for many debates around the table, I am sure. So far the reviews have been very encouraging. Even the conservative Times of London said that parts of the book were “fascinating,” and that “This book is not as silly as its title suggests.” That’s high praise from a Tory paper!

What the Pool is reading this week!


Thanks to Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn (in part, at least), the number of young people identifying as socialist is rocketing, and now academic Kristen R Ghodsee is making the feminist argument for some of the policies adopted by socialist states, which, she claims, resulted in women having better sex. The book is born out of a New York Times op-ed she wrote, which points to a study that found women in socialist East Germany had more orgasms than those in capitalist West Germany. As Ghodsee goes on to explore in her book, a government that funds childcare, encourages women into the workforce and supports women into economic independence significantly increases women’s happiness. Ghodsee is an academic, but the tone is accessible and relatable. She’s quick to point out the significant failings of communist states, while illuminating some of the brilliant, but often forgotten, women in and around the socialist movement.
• BUY Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism by Kristen R. Ghodsee or pop in to your local bookshop.

Literary Dinner Party

Back on April 16, 2015, the New York Times Book review did a “By the Book” segment with Freeman Dyson. In the interview, he was asked what his ideal literary dinner party would be, and he included NYU’s Joan Connelly and me in his guest list (which also included Mary Russell). Well, this weekend in Princeton, Joan and I managed to have two thirds of this party together with Professor Dyson and his wonderful wife Imme and two other renowned historians from the Institute for Advanced Study. It was a truly amazing evening.

Thanks to Lidjia Haas and Violet Lucca at the Harper's Blog!

Okay, so I am terribly slow on the uptake because I am not on social media, but I was so thrilled to discover this lovely conversation between Lidjia Haas and Violet Lucca at Harper’s Magazine about Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism.

The conversation starts at around 22:40 and goes for about 10 minutes.

Harper's Blog.jpg