(while I’m on vacation, I’m republishing some old book reviews from 18+ months ago at my now-defunct blog. Enjoy.)

This is a chronological collection of Pollitt’s columns from The Nation over the past ~5 years, dating back to shorthly before 9/11 and concluding in February of this year.

Her writing is sharp, wry, witty, incisive. Virginity or Death! is a oneof the most enjoyable books I’ve read this year for sure. Each essay is very interesting and self-contained, about 3 pages long (good for traveling!). Her columns cover a wide swath of political and social issues, and in general she’s got something to say that is very worthwhile. Some essays that stand out are about

  • Bill Bennett’s gambling
  • the idiocy of welfare policies that discourage poor single mothers from seeking an education in addition to working
  • why she refused to put out an American flag after 9/11
  • a smattering of columns about Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich (who, I learned, has a surprisingly anti-woman voting record) and other 2004 election issues
  • the title essay, of course, about the Christian right’s insane opposition to the HPV vaccine
  • The Passion of the Christ
  • the New York Times’ irritating tendency to write “women don’t really want careers” articles and other feminist backlash topics

There are only a few so-so columns, usually ones where she’s out of her depth on the science (evolution vs. intelligent design, for example) but they’re few and far between.

Bottom line: Recommended