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Sex, Violence, History

List Price: $19.95

June 9, 2009 | Paperback |  6 x 9, 576 Pages | ISBN 9781582434667
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"Disciplined and chilling." —The Guardian

Joanna Bourke takes the issue of rape out of the academic ghettos and distills the truth so often exploited to sell newspapers. Neither prurient nor overly sympathetic toward any party, she investigates rape from a historical standpoint, examining the history of sexual aggression, the idea of rape as a social construct, and the often-ignored idea of embodiment, and analyzes the physical response of rapists as well as the theory that rape is “about” power.

Indebted to a growing body of sophisticated feminist analyses about rape victims, Bourke here shifts the emphasis from the victims to the perpetrators in order to place rapists in their historical context. An invaluable study, this book delivers the hard truth that if we are to imagine a world free of unwanted sexual violence, then we must consider the issue of rape from every angle.

JOANNA BOURKE has published seven books on Irish history, working-class cultures, the male body, and modern warfare. Her books have been translated into Chinese, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish. Frequently interviewed for radio and television, Joanna Bourke lives in London, where she is a professor of history at Birkbeck College, University of London.


“[A] provocative, well-argued exploration.” —Publishers Weekly

“Thought-provoking at every turn.” —The Independent 

“Disciplined and chilling.” —The Guardian

“[A] brilliant social and cultural history.” —Ms. Magazine

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