Susan Faludi

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Susan Faludi
File:Susan Faludi.JPG
Born (1959-04-18) April 18, 1959 (age 59)
Queens, New York, U.S.
Education Harvard University
Occupation journalist
Notable credit(s) Pulitzer Prize-winner

Susan Charlotte Faludi (born April 18, 1959) is an American humanist, journalist and author. She won a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism in 1991, for a report on the leveraged buyout of Safeway Stores, Inc., a report that the Pulitzer Prize committee commended for depicting the "human costs of high finance".

Biographical information

Faludi was born to a Hungarian Jewish family in Queens, New York in 1959 and grew up in Yorktown Heights, New York. Her mother was a homemaker and journalist and is a New York University graduate. Her father is a photographer who had emigrated from Hungary, a survivor of the Holocaust. Susan graduated from Harvard University in 1981, where she wrote for The Harvard Crimson, and became a journalist, writing for The New York Times, Miami Herald, Atlanta Journal Constitution, San Jose Mercury News, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. Throughout the eighties she wrote several articles on feminism and the apparent resistance to the movement. Seeing a pattern emerge, Faludi wrote Backlash, which was released in late 1991. In 2008-2009, Faludi was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study,[1] and during the 2013-2014 academic year, she was the Tallman Scholar in the Gender and Women's Studies Program at Bowdoin College.[2] She is married to fellow author Russ Rymer.[3] Since January 2013, Faludi has been a contributing editor at The Baffler magazine in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


  • Faludi's 1991 book Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women argued that the 1980s saw a backlash against feminism, especially due to the spread of negative stereotypes against career-minded women. Faludi asserted that many who argue "a woman's place is in the home, looking after the kids" are hypocrites, since they have wives who are working mothers or, as women, they are themselves working mothers. This work won her the National Book Critics Circle Award for general nonfiction in 1991.[4] The book has become a classic feminist text, warning women of every generation that the gains of feminism should not be taken for granted. In July 2014, Matter and launched the [5] Over the course of the summer, high-profile women such as journalists Jill Abramson and Katha Pollitt, actress/writer Lena Dunham, and feminist novelist Roxane Gay, among many others, reread each of the chapters of the book and examined their contemporary relevance. In September 2015, included Backlash amongst its list of "25 Bestsellers from the last 25 years you simply must make time to read.".[6]"
  • In her 1999 book Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man Faludi analyzes the state of the American man. Faludi argues that while many of those in power are men, most individual men have little power. American men have been brought up to be strong, support their families and work hard. But many men who followed this now find themselves underpaid or unemployed, disillusioned and abandoned by their wives. Changes in American society have affected both men and women, Faludi concludes, and it is wrong to blame individual men for class differences, or for plain differences in individual luck and ability, that they did not cause and from which men and women suffer alike.[7]
  • In The Terror Dream Faludi analyzes the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in light of prior American experience going back to insecurity on the historical American frontier such as in Metacom's Rebellion. Faludi argues that 9/11 reinvigorated in America a climate that is hostile to women. Women are viewed as weak and best suited to playing support roles for the men who protect them from attack.[8][9] The book was called a "tendentious, self-important, sloppily reasoned work that gives feminism a bad name" by the New York Times principal book reviewer Michiko Kakutani.[10] Sarah Churchwell in the Guardian says, "Ultimately Faludi is guilty of her own exaggerations and mythmaking, strong-arming her argument into submission."[11] On the other hand, Kirkus Reviews claimed that the book was a "rich, incisive analysis of the surreality of American life in the wake of 9/11" and that it was "brilliant, illuminating and essential."[12] Reviewing the book for Fresh Air, Maureen Corrigan praised Faludi for her "characteristic restraint and depth of research" and for her "rigorous insistence on truth."[13]

Faludi and feminism

Faludi has rejected the claim advanced by critics that there is a "rigid, monolithic feminist orthodoxy", noting in response that she has disagreed with Gloria Steinem about pornography and Naomi Wolf about abortion.[14]

Like Gloria Steinem,[15][16] Faludi has criticized the obscurantism prevalent in academic feminist theorizing, saying, "There's this sort of narrowing specialization and use of coded, elitist language of deconstruction or New Historicism or whatever they're calling it these days, which is to my mind impenetrable and not particularly useful."[17] She has also characterized "academic feminism's love affair with deconstructionism" as "toothless", and warned that it "distract[s] from constructive engagement with the problems of the public world".[14]

See also


  1. Susan Faludi's Radcliffe Webpage:
  2. "Bowdoin Welcomes Writer Susan Faludi as Tallman Scholar,"
  3. "AT HOME WITH: Susan Faludi and Russ Rymer; Sympathy for Men, Empathy With One" -
  4. Faludi, Susan (October 1, 1991). Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. Crown. ISBN 0-517-57698-8. 
  5. The Backlash Book Club:
  6. 25 Bestsellers from the last 25 years you simply must make time to read:
  7. Faludi, Susan (October 1, 2000). Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man. Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-380-72045-0. 
  8. Faludi, Susan (October 2, 2007). The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America. Metropolitan Books. ISBN 0-8050-8692-7. 
  9. Faludi, Susan (September 7, 2007). "America's Guardian Myths". The New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  10. New York Times Book Review, 10-23-2007
  11. "We're at war, sweetheart". The Guardian. 22 March 2008. The Terror Dream by Susan Faludi, a persuasive analysis of post-9/11 sexism, is in danger of losing its way, says Sarah Churchwell 
  12. "Review: The Terror Dream". Kirkus. 
  13. Corrigan, Maureen (6 November 2007). "Susan Faludi Slams Media, Myths in 'Terror Dream'". NPR. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Slate, May 13, 1997. "Revisionist Feminism"
  15. Mother Jones. "Gloria Steinem"
  16. "Feminism? It's Hardly Begun"
  17. Conniff, Ruth. The Progressive, June, 1993. Susan Faludi Interview

External links