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The Patriarchs by Angela Saini
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The Patriarchs

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The Patriarchs by Angela Saini
Hardcover $26.95
Feb 28, 2023 | ISBN 9780807014547

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    Feb 27, 2024 | ISBN 9780807093337

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Product Details


“A useful resource for scholars and students of gender studies and cultural anthropology.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Saini makes a persuasive case that patriarchy is more vulnerable to change than it appears. It’s a game changer.”
Publishers Weekly

The Patriarchs . . . shows that more equal societies are possible and do thrive – historically, now and everywhere.”
The Guardian

“In The Patriarchs, Angela Saini [turns] to archaeology, anthropology, and ancient history to warn readers that neither gender equity nor patriarchy is preordained.”

“The great value of this slim and accessible volume is the sweeping story it tells about how ‘men came to rule’ in a world that was once much more diverse in its social structures.”
—Kristen R. Ghodsee, Jacobin

“Angela Saini is one of today’s most incisive and important writers about humanity’s troubling turns, twists, and biases. The Patriarchs, a book that is at turns myth-busting, startling, enraging, surprisingly hopeful, and addictively readable, wholly underlines that point. Don’t miss it.”
—Deborah Blum, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection

“Based on extensive interviews with leading experts, this wide-ranging book injects new life into debates on the origins of patriarchy. Saini shows how much theorizing about the roots of gender inequality is a ‘racket,’ resting on shaky assumptions about human biology and social norms, and serving to naturalize what it should seek to question: the penetration of household and family relations by predatory systems of power and exploitation.”
—David Wengrow, coauthor of The Dawn of Everything

“Gripping and beautifully written, Saini’s The Patriarchs is mind-bending. The Patriarchs compels us to look beyond what is and what was, and imagine what could be.”
—Jennifer Shahade, author of Chess Queens: The True Story of a Chess Champion and the Greatest Female Players of All Time

“In a world sewn together by the myth of permanence, The Patriarchs offers a portal to possibility: the way things are is not necessarily how they could have been. Male supremacy was never inevitable; it was a political choice. Once again, Angela Saini has the receipts. She is scientific journalism at its best—equally engaging and enraging in her forensic denaturalization of power.”
—Alok Vaid-Menon, author of Beyond the Gender Binary

“The prose is sparkling, the information is richly textured, and the insights are plentiful. The Patriarchs is essential reading for anyone interested in how the legacy of the past continues to shape the relations between women and men, and how women have struggled to throw off its yoke.”
—David Livingstone Smith, author of Making Monsters: The Uncanny Power of Dehumanization

The Patriarchs cements Saini’s status as a writer of the highest caliber. . . . The reader is sure to be informed, infuriated, inspired, and spurred to action by her thorough investigations of how and why bad ideas are recycled and gender-based injustice persists.”
—Dr. Amy Parish, primatologist, University of Southern California

“Saini deftly interweaves interviews with experts in genetics, archaeology, history, sociology, and literature, as well as social and legal activists, with nuanced interpretations of key moments in the history of women to understand how oppression becomes normalized and patriarchy almost inevitable. Filled with important stories and the data underlying them, The Patriarchs helps us grapple with the big questions about the deep histories and present battles over power, gender relations, and women’s experiences in a world that often seems bent on keeping us down.”
—Rebecca Futo Kennedy, chair of Classical Studies, Denison University

“A deep and incisive look at the historical origins of patriarchal structures we are still fighting today. A must-read for every feminist.”
—Rafia Zakaria, author of Against White Feminism

“Bold, incisive, and beautifully told, The Patriarchs is a truly riveting investigation into the origins and consequences of structural power. The depth and originality of Angela Saini’s thought and research are breathtaking and world changing. A phenomenally important and deeply enjoyable book.”
—Elinor Cleghorn, author of Unwell Women: Misdiagnosis and Myth in a Man-Made World

Table Of Contents

Time Line
Map of Matriliny


CHAPTER 1: Domination

CHAPTER 2: Exception

CHAPTER 3: Genesis

CHAPTER 4: Destruction

CHAPTER 5: Restriction

CHAPTER 6: Alienation

CHAPTER 7: Revolution

CHAPTER 8: Transformation


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