Speaking Truth to Power by Anita Hill, second half review

anitahillI am pleased to report that I had a different experience with the second half of this book, in all the right ways. You will recall (or, I will direct you to) my first half review of same: I thought it was a wonderful book but such a painful story that I had to put it down for a little while. Well, in a nutshell, the second half is: still painful, tragic, and true, but also uplifting, far more hopeful than I expected; and equally well-written and impressive. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Anita Hill continues to be thoughtful and thorough – I definitely see the mind of a lawyer at work, as she discusses the what-if’s, the precedents, the niceties of the law. She is quite cerebral in her theories on society and stereotyping; far from being a simple revelation of her experiences, this is a treatise on gender & race. She examines the relationship between issues of gender and of race, and the indivisibility of feminism from the fight for racial equality, and the relationships between race and sexism. Hill is clearly an extremely intelligent women! She is also warm and loving about her family, and always seeking privacy, not eager to be a symbol or a leader. In other words, she comes firmly across as a “just regular” person, and someone I’d like to know.

Her story is also entirely convincing. It is beautifully put together and well-written: not lyrical, but methodical, structured, can I say thorough and lawyerly again? And she preaches more hope than I felt in my first-half review. However, the battle is still not over, and I still feel upset & angry that Hill’s experience reads so familiarly more than 20 years later. On that note, I’ll refer you to Jessica Valenti’s lovely speech to my local Planned Parenthood group, here. Well said, Jessica. You give me hope, too.

Rating: 9 strong women, please.

3 Responses

  1. […] Speaking Truth to Power, Anita Hill (nonfiction): here and here […]

  2. […] read Anita Hill’s memoir, Speaking Truth to Power, more than five years ago. It was a powerful experience: she did a beautiful job telling her story, […]

  3. […] Anita’s story before, when watching Confirmation and reading Speaking Truth to Power (in two parts). Looking back at those reviews, I guess I’m feeling the way I did with that first of two […]

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