Reviewing a Book Review

August 27, 2012 | Sarah

For the September issue of The Atlantic, Hanna Rosin wrote about the hook-up culture and its necessity in the feminist movement. In the summary that appears before the article, she writes:

The hookup culture that has largely replaced dating on college campuses has been viewed, in many quarters, as socially corrosive and ultimately toxic to women, who seemingly have little choice but to participate. Actually, it is an engine of female progress—one being harnessed and driven by women themselves.

The article sees the hook-up culture as empowering for women. Per usual, it caused quite a fuss.

That wasn’t the only thing Hanna Rosin wrote recently. Over the weekend she reviewed the new book Sex and God at Yale by Nathan Harden for the New York Times. Written by a student who attends Yale and was appalled and dismayed by Yale’s annual “Sex Week.” For Harden, the classes, seminars and programs that came along with the school-sponsored event were beneath the high academic tradition that one normally associates with Yale.

Rosin however, sees his book as more of a conservative overreaction. With every quote she has from his book, she essentially responds with a “what’s the big deal?” His outlook on the hook-up culture at Yale does not correspond with her views presented in The Atlantic, and as a result she ridicules the book and the author’s arguments.

The author and his book.

I read the review in the book review yesterday and was surprised by its negativity and dismissive demeanor. It led me to want to learn more about the book and about Harden’s intent. I found an interview with the author on National Review Online, which is worth a listen if you have a chance.

Have you read the book or any other articles/reviews related to this topic recently? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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