Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Book Review: Rose: Love in Violent Times

"With or without you, love exists in the world. Just like violence, just like war. The most awesome, most fun challenge is bringing all this love out into the violent world we live in...This is how we can reconnect with nature and our humanity. This is how we can protect ourselves and the world we live in." (261)

This seems to be the mission statement for Inga Muscio's new book, Rose: Love in Violent Times. The book begins by describing both active violence (war and rape) and passive violence (entitlement, among many other things) and how passive violence can lead to forms of active violence. In the second half of the book, she goes on to talk about love and how certain items (dictionaries, the ocean and her mother's rose bushes) represent a force of and against violence.

Muscio's first two books, Cunt: A Declaration of Independence and Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil: My Life and Times in a Racist, Imperalist Society had more meat to their bones, more sources to quote & draw from and more fleshed out ideas. Only a few outside authors are quoted in Rose and it is noticeable. There many great ideas and topics that Musico digs into but she doesn't go the extra mile. The voice and style feel more reigned in than her usual zest found in her first two books.

I did find the book enjoyable, but only because I have read extensively on her subject matter before. For someone who is coming to both her and the subject matter cold, the reader would be left a bit confused by the book.

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