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No More Nice Girls

Countercultural Essays

2012
Author:

Ellen Willis

No More Nice Girls

Insightful, persuasive essays on feminism and identity politics

With characteristic intelligence, wit, and feminist insight, Ellen Willis addresses democracy as she sees it: “a commitment to individual freedom and egalitarian self-government in every area of social, economic, and cultural life.” Willis confronts the conservative backlash that has slowly eroded democratic ideals and advances of the 1960s as well as the internal debates that have frequently splintered the left.

Convincingly casts the early 1990s as a crucial moment in the history of women's sexual freedom.

The Nation

With characteristic intelligence, wit, and feminist insight, Ellen Willis addresses democracy as she sees it: “a commitment to individual freedom and egalitarian self-government in every area of social, economic, and cultural life.” Moving between scholarly and down-to-earth activist writing styles, Willis confronts the conservative backlash that has slowly eroded democratic ideals and advances of the 1960s as well as the internal debates that have frequently splintered the left.

No More Nice Girls

Ellen Willis (1941–2006) was the first pop music critic for the New Yorker and an editor and columnist at the Village Voice. A groundbreaking radical leftist author and thinker, she contributed to numerous publications, including Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and the Nation, and was the founder of the Cultural Reporting and Criticism program at New York University. Her work is published in three other books of essays: Out of the Vinyl Deeps, Beginning to See the Light, and Don’t Think, Smile!

No More Nice Girls

Convincingly casts the early 1990s as a crucial moment in the history of women's sexual freedom.

The Nation

Essays on the issues of parental responsibility in an age of reproductive choice and on the war on drugs demonstrate [Ellen Willis’s] ability to communicate strong, rational arguments for emotionally charged liberal philosophies.

Publishers Weekly

Reimagines a world committed to a democracy that values individual happiness and self-development.

Library Journal

No More Nice Girls offers the closest thing to unalloyed feminist intellectual pleasure that anyone as inherently contentious as a feminist intellectual is likely to come across.

Voice Literary Supplement

Now that the University of Minnesota has issued three of Ellen’s finest anthologies, we are afforded an excellent opportunity to evaluate her writing over the course of 30 years. She covered a lot of ground, beginning with rock, and its place in the culture. In later years, she had moved away from popular culture, and much further into deeper sociological concerns. . . There really is something for everyone in them--she was a writer with strong opinions, and these collections are a rare treat.

Blogciritcs.org

A welcomed revelation of insightful and brave writings. . . I’m convinced that Willis was without a doubt one of the finest essayists of the last fifty years.

Vol. 1 Brooklyn

Her essays are long arcs toward an answer—an answer that sometimes eludes her. As the political and social battles she fought have either faded away or changed shape, her humility remains startling. In our world of binary polemics and Likebutton activism, to suggest that thought is a process and ideas the result of a narrative is startling, energizing—countercultural, even.

Slate Magazine

Since reading Out of the Vinyl Deeps, I’ve become convinced that Ellen Willis was the best music critic of her time (and possibly any time…). Now that I’ve read No More Nice Girls, itself another enlightening collection, I’m convinced that Willis was without a doubt one of the finest essayists of the last fifty years.

Vol. 1 Brooklyn

Willis’ writing encourages rule breaking and the destruction of socially sanctioned norms and policing.

PopMatters.com