Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger (Paperback)
*Updated with a new introduction*
Journalist Rebecca Traister’s New York Times bestselling exploration of the transformative power of female anger and its ability to transcend into a political movement is “a hopeful, maddening compendium of righteous feminine anger, and the good it can do when wielded efficiently—and collectively” (Vanity Fair).
Long before Pantsuit Nation, before the Women’s March, and before the #MeToo movement, women’s anger was not only politically catalytic—but politically problematic. The story of female fury and its cultural significance demonstrates its crucial role in women’s slow rise to political power in America, as well as the ways that anger is received when it comes from women as opposed to when it comes from men.
“Urgent, enlightened…realistic and compelling…Traister eloquently highlights the challenge of blaming not just forces and systems, but individuals” (The Washington Post). In Good and Mad, Traister tracks the history of female anger as political fuel—from suffragettes marching on the White House to office workers vacating their buildings after Clarence Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court. Traister explores women’s anger at both men and other women; anger between ideological allies and foes; the varied ways anger is received based on who’s expressing it; and the way women’s collective fury has become transformative political fuel. She deconstructs society’s (and the media’s) condemnation of female emotion (especially rage) and the impact of their resulting repercussions.
Highlighting a double standard perpetuated against women by all sexes, and its disastrous, stultifying effect, Good and Mad is “perfectly timed and inspiring” (People, Book of the Week). This “admirably rousing narrative” (The Atlantic) offers a glimpse into the galvanizing force of women’s collective anger, which, when harnessed, can change history.
About the Author
Rebecca Traister is writer at large for New York magazine and a contributing editor at Elle. A National Magazine Award finalist, she has written about women in politics, media, and entertainment from a feminist perspective for The New Republic and Salon and has also contributed to The Nation, The New York Observer, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue, Glamour and Marie Claire. She is the author of All the Single Ladies and the award-winning Big Girls Don’t Cry. She lives in New York with her family.
PRAISE FOR GOOD AND MAD BY REBECCA TRAISTER
“[A] rousing look at the political uses of this supposedly unfeminine emotion...written with energy and conviction...galvanizing reading.”—NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
“Urgent, enlightened… well timed for this moment even as they transcend it, the kind of accounts often reviewed and discussed by women but that should certainly be read by men…realistic and compelling…Traister eloquently highlights the challenge of blaming not just forces and systems, but individuals.”—WASHINGTON POST
"While the anger of men is seen as 'stirring' and 'downright American,' women's is 'the screech of nails on our national chalkboard,' asserts journalist Traister in this invigorating look at the achievements of angry women from Carrie Nation to Beyoncé to the Parkland high school students. Through this lens she revisits the 2016 election, #blacklivesmatter and the #metoo movement (including her own Harvey Weinstein story) and cites a study showing you can tolerate pain longer - damn! - if you curse. Perfectly timed and inspiring.”—PEOPLE (BOOK OF THE WEEK)
“Traister specializes in writing about feminism and politics, and she knows the turf…especially astute in emphasizing the ways in which black women laid the cornerstones for women’s activism in this country…Feminism forces certain complexities into the stream of our daily lives, and Traister has a great gift for articulating them.”—TIME MAGAZINE
"Cathartic...a celebration of a catalytic force that burns ever brighter today."—O MAGAZINE
“From suffragettes to #MeToo, Traister’s book is a hopeful, maddening compendium of righteous feminine anger, and the good it can do when wielded efficiently—and collectively.”—VANITY FAIR
"An admirably rousing narrative."—ATLANTIC
"A resounding polemic against political, cultural, and personal injustices in America...With articulate vitriol backed by in-depth research, Traister validates American women's anger.... Traister has meticulously culled smart, timely, surprising quotations from women as well as men. The combined strength of these many individual voices and stories gives the book tremendous gravity.... A gripping call to action that portends greater liberty and justness for all.”—KIRKUS REVIEWS (STARRED REVIEW)
“A trenchant analysis… Traister argues forcefully that women are an ‘oppressed majority in the United States,’ kept subjugated partly by racial divisions among the group. Traister closes with a reminder to women not to lose sight of their anger—even when things improve slightly and ‘the urgency will fade... if you yourself are not experiencing’ injustice or look away from it.”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED REVIEW)
"Timely and absorbing, Traister's fiery tome is bound to attract attention and discussion. Traister takes a deep dive into the current political climate to explore the contemporary and historical relationship women have with anger and the ramifications of expressing and suppressing feminine rage. Traister uses…startlingly obvious double standard[s] to explore how attaching negative connotations to women's anger has always been used to silence and dismiss them."—BOOKLIST (STARRED REVIEW)
“Good and Mad is Rebecca Traister's ode to women's rage—an extensively researched history and analysis of its political power. It is a thoughtful, granular examination: Traister considers how perception (and tolerance) of women's anger shifts based on which women hold it (*cough* white women *cough*) and who they direct it toward; she points to the ways in which women are shamed for or gaslit out of their righteous emotion. And she proves, vigorously, why it's so important for women to own and harness their rage—how any successful revolution depends on it.”—BUZZFEED
"Women are angry, and Rebecca Traister is just the person to chart the topography of their rage, its causes, and its effects....A galvanizing, timely study of righteous rage.”—ELLE
"With Traister’s incisive prose and a topic that couldn’t be more timely, this book is sure to be a fiery read.”—HUFFINGTON POST
"A deeply research treatise on female anger - its sources, its challenges, and its propulsive political power.”—ESQUIRE
"Brilliant and bracing."—THE NATION
"[Traister] writes with convincing clarity...a feel-good book."—JEZEBEL
"A bracing, elucidating look at how transformative it can be for women to harness our rage, and how important it is to use that anger, that energy, for revolution." —NYLON
"Brilliant and impassioned and, yes, angry." —MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE
"Good and Mad comes out at just the right time...the [Kavanaugh] hearing and its aftermath just proved the point Traister was making all along."—MOTHER JONES
"Traister's reported manifesto on feminism after Trump...offers a forceful...inventory of the ways in which women’s anger in the public sphere is exaggerated, pathologized, and used to discredit them in a manner unimaginable for men."—BOOKFORUM
"An exploration of the transformative power of female anger and its ability to transcend into a political movement…Read this."—PUREWOW
"One of our country’s wisest writers on gender and politics."—PORTLAND MONTHLY
“Every fifty years since the French Revolution there’s been an uprising on behalf of women’s rights—we’re in the middle of one right now—and each time around a fresh chorus of voices is heard, making the same righteous bid for social and political equality, only with more force and more eloquence than the time before. Among today’s strongest voices is the one that belongs to Rebecca Traister. Deeply felt and richly researched, her new book, Good and Mad, is one of the best accounts I have read of the cumulative anger women feel, coming up against their centuries-old subordination. Read it!”—VIVIAN GORNICK
“Rebecca Traister has me convinced in this deftly and powerfully argued book that there will be no 21st century revolution, until women once again own the power of their rage. Righteous fury leaps off every page of this book, with example after example, from the present and the past, coaxing, chiding, and indeed reminding us, that the political uses of women's anger have been good for America. As I read, my blood started pumping, my fist tightened and my spirit said, "hell yeah! We aren't going down without a fight." Women's anger rightly placed and soundly focused can be good for America, once again. In fact, it is essential. Tell the truth: We're all sick and tired of being sick and tired. It's high time we got good and mad.”—DR. BRITTNEY COOPER, author of Eloquent Rage