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Germaine : the life of Germaine Greer by…
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Germaine : the life of Germaine Greer (edition 2018)

by Elizabeth Kleinhenz

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199796,598 (3.6)2
Member:rowmyboat
Title:Germaine : the life of Germaine Greer
Authors:Elizabeth Kleinhenz
Info:Melbourne : Scribe, 2018.
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:hardcover, non-fiction, women & gender, biography & memoir

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Germaine: The Life of Germaine Greer by Elizabeth Kleinhenz

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Upon receiving this book for review, lilEinstein (who is driving himself around in my old Honda and definitely not so little anymore) wanted to know why on earth I would want to read about Germaine Greer. To which I asked my newly turned sixteen year old boy, what on earth do you know about Germaine Greer?!

It turns out he knows quite a bit.

The internet, and his curious love of all things political, has led the lilEinstein down some interesting 'research' Google rabbit holes. Being curious about my work and my feminism, Germaine Greer popped up at some point and he now has opinions about her. He hasn't read her work -outside of what has been reprinted or available on the internet- but he has read a lot of political and feminist criticism of her theories.

However, I want to be clear, that while Germaine herself has no more improved her standing in my humble esteem, the book itself was a very interesting read. Not only did the author, Elizabeth Kleinhenz, go into painstaking detail about Germaine's life, she provides a rich context to understand the moment of Germaine's success. This context is a valuable resource for understanding the thrust and conflicts of the second wave feminist movement; the impact of which continues to influence society at large and feminists specifically right now. The second wave feminist movement has not very much waned, but sort of clumsily crashed onto the shore making way for subsequent iterations and generations of feminism that speak to our current time. There are not many resources in print for understanding the early days of the second wave and few - outside of scholars like myself - have access to understanding the complexities of the fight for women's equality. No topic of the fight has gone unmarked and the controversies around Germaine's stance on issues like transgenderism reveals how successfully Kleinhenz has thoroughly investigated her subject.

However, I want to be clear, that while Germaine herself has no more improved her standing in my humble esteem, the book itself was a very interesting read. Not only did the author, Elizabeth Kleinhenz, go into painstaking detail about Germaine's life, she provides a rich context to understand the moment of Germaine's success. This context is a valuable resource for understanding the thrust and conflicts of the second wave feminist movement; the impact of which continues to influence society at large and feminists specifically right now. The second wave feminist movement has not very much waned, but sort of clumsily crashed onto the shore making way for subsequent iterations and generations of feminism that speak to our current time. There are not many resources in print for understanding the early days of the second wave and few - outside of scholars like myself - have access to understanding the complexities of the fight for women's equality. No topic of the fight has gone unmarked and the controversies around Germaine's stance on issues like transgenderism reveals how successfully Kleinhenz has thoroughly investigated her subject.

Though the value of the book might not be in the lionizing of Germaine herself, the quality research and insightful writing by Kleinhenz makes for an excellent read and an exceptional historical resource. At the end of the day, isn't that the making of a good book?

improved her standing in my humble esteem, the book itself was a very interesting read. Not only did the author, Elizabeth Kleinhenz, go into painstaking detail about Germaine's life, she provides a rich context to understand the moment of Germaine's success. This context is a valuable resource for understanding the thrust and conflicts of the second wave feminist movement; the impact of which continues to influence society at large and feminists specifically right now. The second wave feminist movement has not very much waned, but sort of clumsily crashed onto the shore making way for subsequent iterations and generations of feminism that speak to our current time. There are not many resources in print for understanding the early days of the second wave and few - outside of scholars like myself - have access to understanding the complexities of the fight for women's equality. No topic of the fight has gone unmarked and the controversies around Germaine's stance on issues like transgenderism reveals how successfully Kleinhenz has thoroughly investigated her subject.

Though the value of the book might not be in the lionizing of Germaine herself, the quality research and insightful writing by Kleinhenz makes for an excellent read and an exceptional historical resource. At the end of the day, isn't that the making of a good book?

found at: https://mamasbitchin.blog/2019/05/21/germaine-the-life-of-germaine-greer/ ( )
  mamakats | May 21, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Germaine: The Life of Germaine Greer was an unexpectedly delightful read. It was mostly her biography with an occasional medieval style glosses and commentary by the author Elizabeth Kleinhenz and a B plot that follows the life of a contemporary, with Greer, woman who consumes and is influenced by Germaine in her life choices.
What is revealed of Germain Greer is that of an immensely talented, at times conflicted, but always provocative self-styled feminist, not always well received by her co-feminists or colleagues, who broke new ground and influenced a generation of 2nd Wave Feminists with her manifesto and exhortation The Female Eunuch.
The biography though delves also into her difficulty, despite the stance of liberation, in forming relationships with those around her from her mother, to her friends, to her fellow academicians. Regardless of how one views Dr. Greer or her body of work one comes a way with a very human and multifaceted portrait of her; not in the sense of necessarily sympathizing with all her trials, but of empathizing with the general lot of the human condition.

I found this biography not only to be an insight into the iconoclast Germaine Greer, but also a sort of cultural history of the times; especially as it relates to 1960s and 70s and the counter cultural shifts that were happening at that time.

Elizabeth Kleinhenz has done an excellent job of capturing the life and times of Germaine Greer which is not an easy task as her Introduction makes abundantly clear. The biography book ends nicely with a lecture of Dr. Greer in celebration of her archive at the University of Melbourne from which the author pulled a substantial amount of material for use.

This might not be your cup of tea unless you are interested personally in the life of Germaine Greer or the overall history of 2nd Wave feminism, but if those two subject areas interest you then this is highly recommended. Even if you are not interested in feminism or the counter-cultural period this book might still be an interesting read and a hidden delight as it was for me. ( )
  MusicforMovies | May 18, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I know of Germaine by reputation and her books The Female Eunuch and The Change. Very excited to learn this new biography was out, but never read the previous one by a different author.

While I was immediately captivated and always read more than intended each time, it was a bit of a let down. As one other reader mentioned, it was much better in the first half than the second because it got to be monotonous and predictable. I guess I was expecting more analysis and less rote reporting. I suppose that's difficult if the subject doesn't cooperate, however. The author does quite a good job of painting a vivid picture of Germaine, however, and I quite often forgot she was using Germaine's Collection rather than having been an eye witness. There is, somehow, a deep sadness coursing through this bio and I'm not sure if it's truly Germaine's or something the author attaches to her.

I found her early life, her home life and parochial school life quite interesting but felt there was something left unsaid, left unanalysed, that I desperately wanted to hear. I guess I wanted the question answered: Why is Germaine the way she is?

I haven't gone looking for that answer before, and haven't much looked into past articles, interviews, scandals, etc., so I was surprised to learn that she stumbled into the realm of feminist authorship rather than it being an organic part of her due to the era. That changed my opinion quite a bit. Maybe we place(d) too much burden on her for being a role model or spokesperson for 2nd wave feminism. Why that, rather than the literature she obviously loved but which is hardly associated with her? I wanted to learn more about her association with literature and theatre. Is she as controversial in that realm? We don't learn too much here in that regard.

The end rather fizzles out, a little disappointing, a little sad. If Germaine finds anything to be upset about, it may be some statements here in the final few pages, where a bit of opinion on the part of the author is finally shown. So many of the founding mothers of 2nd wave feminism as well as women's spirituality have already passed on. This biography and its bittersweet ending scene show us that clearly. Different times, different lives, a history already being forgotten.

I have provided my honest review in exchange for a complementary copy of the book courtesy of the publisher and LibraryThing Early Reviewers. ( )
  seongeona | May 5, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I knew just a little about Greer and was excited to get this book so I could learn more about her. I found the first half very good and then the second half was OK. ( )
  Maudee | Apr 1, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In this biography the author provides a chronological account of Germaine Greer’s life, evidently anticipating the disapproval or wrath of her subject. Everything that can be documented is, down to the smallest personal details. The book would have been more interesting had the author written unimpeded by concerns about libel and acceptance. A scholarly work it is, but the Greer who made history by virtue of her huge personality and dialectic virtuosity carries the reader by sheer awe.

Recalling the sexual revolution and tumultuous times of the 60’s and early 70’s brought back long buried memories, and who can go there without feeling some embarrassment? I appreciate the historical context, rather wild at times, that the book provides. If we had all adopted Greer’s over the top sexuality, we women would have been the sexual aggressors, and there would be no cause for the Me Too movement.

In the end, Germaine Greer is an accomplished literary academic, who has plowed through life with incredible energy and force. There is much to ponder from this biography. ( )
  ChiuJanet | Mar 22, 2019 |
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