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Insecure at Last: Losing It in Our Security-Obsessed World Kindle Edition

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 224 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 345 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1400063345
  • Publisher: Villard (3 Oct. 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #465,204 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i love eve enslers work. this is particularly brilliant in highlighting why women spend so much time agonising about their bodies even though their are far more important issues in the world. i love that it makes you realise that different body shapes are considered attractive in different culture and by different people
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x93bca8c0) out of 5 stars 19 reviews
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9370742c) out of 5 stars A Miracle of Human Connection 4 Oct. 2006
By a reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is the most honest, open and at the same time powerfully revolutionary book I have ever read. Not only because of the masterful truth-telling that leaps from its pages, but also because of the unique weave of Ensler's deeply personal story with her experiences from around the world. It is a moving convergence of emotional nakedness, fierce and factual reportage and the pure wonder of witnessing the miracles created by those who have learned, as Eve says, "to find freedom, aliveness, and power not from what contains, locates, or protects us but from what dissolves, reveals, and expands us." This book is one of those miracles.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By RealGrrl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Even though I don't feel like reviewing much these days, I knew I had to write about this book I just finished. It's a political memoir by Eve Ensler, most famous for her play `The Vagina Monologues'. It deals with her travels to war torn countries visiting women who have been raped, had their families murdered, & for some, living under fundamentalist rule. Basically, all the women have unstable, insecure futures. They don't know what will happen next to them, but a strong few are rising up to challenge the status-quo.

Throughout the book Ensler speaks of her own need for security & reveals her troubled childhood with an abusive father & submissive mother who always seemed to be there, but never offered aid. She speaks in a somewhat rushed tone about how Americans seek out security, how 9/11 disrupted that, & goes on a rant about how the wars in Afghanistan & Iraq were unnecessary. I'll agree with her on many points, because cultural problems/conflicts can rarely be solved with arms (see Vietnam for example). I'll also agree about how Americans as a whole search for security & have been blinded by the government into a singular way of thinking about how we can achieve it.

What I didn't understand was her approach to how we can address the problems in the world. For example, she visits Afghanistan while it was under Taliban rule & mentions how women are treated poorly, even beaten, raped, & murdered. I wonder, in her mind, what would have been the proper approach to removing the Taliban if invading with a military was wrong.

Overall, I was touched by the personal stories she shared & how she allowed to feel for the women, rather than maintaining a more distant, icy approach to the crimes against them. But I would have liked to hear her solutions or proposals to what should have been the proper response to 9/11 & how we in the West can better serve the interests of the third world & the oppressed.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9342e8d0) out of 5 stars Soul baring 8 Sept. 2008
By Jennifer J. Timmons - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Eve Ensler bares her soul in this book. Weaving her personal history and thoughts about her abusive father along with interviews with women from around the world who have been violated, you get a sense of the magnitude of the problem of violence against women around the globe. Her writing is so vivid that you feel like you are there with her or with the women she has interviewed with respect and compassion. It is difficult not to be affected: you can almost see their pain, fear, rage, and hope.

She explores the subject of security, via her reporting of the women whose stories you read, who have been violated, either individually or their loved ones. From Bosnia to Pakistan to Mexico to our own US prisons, Ensler brings you into the lives of women who've been violated, often with little or no safety net. She also shares the stories of Hurricane Katrina survivors, as well as activist Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son in the Iraq War. All are equally compelling stories, combined with Ensler's own thoughts on her relationship with her father and the notion of security. Or insecurity.

Like The Vagina Monologues, this book has ignited my indignation at the ongoing problem of violence against women. Thanks to Ensler, TVM and V-Day have awakened the world to stop the violence. She has inspired many activists and activists-to-be, such as myself, to bring about change in small and big ways. Her work is for everyone who respects and values the women in her/his life.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9342bec4) out of 5 stars dads should read this book 14 Jun. 2010
By Dan E. Nicholas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Insecure. She's 52 before she finds lasting comfort in letting go, being OK with being insecure. She takes loss in equal parts, as much opening as wound. But before she gets to that place, well...there's a lot of interviews with women. And a lot of rage and intensity that has always been with her.

I stopped cold at the last page of Ensler's book, a chapter that most writers put in the beginning: acknowledgements. One week before father's day I finished this book and I here's what I found on the last page: "To my father, Arthur, who broke me...open." This theme is a two edged bookend from page one.

Well, you're not going to want to be certain about dating this lady when you finish her book. She's driven. She's got angst and ennui for skin and fire for blood. She's a globe hopping sponge for pain. Mostly women's pain. But at least one memorable man--perhaps two if you count her dad--appear along the way. I got the feeling that the author's own unique therapy is reading the paper each week looking for a global tragedy to fly to so she can interview a wounded feminine soul face to face, tour in a Jeep and smell the burned and rotten flesh of loss, listen to the broken, suck up the sorrow and any meaning behind it as a reason to keep going.

She's an interviewer and a playwright story teller. This time she takes us beyond the down there and even shows us some of her soul privates, wellheads of grief. Most of them are around her father.

She interviews women. We know this from her monologues. I saw her give her last performance of V-M in SF years ago. As a reporter and performer, she brought me to tears back then. I took three women friends with me to see her V-M play when it first came to town and the local University hosted the event. It has now has made a $50 million dent in the global scourge of violence to women. I had to take women friends to the performance. My guy friends turned me down. Sad.

Her web Ted Talk on the illusion of security brought me back to my tears and I was happy to later find her book on the same topic at a spiritual retreat center. This woman is a would-be weeper's gold mine. If your spiritual path requires you finding your tears, you'll love this book.

The Ensler interviews with women take you to places like the rape camps in former Yugoslavia, the choking roadside dust of the Afghan countryside, the dark hopelessness of a Rochester women's prison. But I liked most the places where Ensler took me back to her foundation as an only child (she never says "only child" but she never mentions a sibling) of a drunk and hapless, angry would be father and a co-dependant mother. (Nothing quite cheers like hearing one worse off than you in the family department.)

Apart from that last line in the book about her dad, the second biggest moment for me there was when she held a weeping man in former Yugoslavia who had lost everything at the hands of the ethnic cleansing Serbs. She admitted, shaken by his convulsing sobs that would not end, all those years she had spoken out for wanting men to be vulnerable, to actually find their tears--well, they were Ensler lies. She confesses she wanted them to be strong, these men. To be, well, men. Or maybe she wanted them to be women. So she could better understand their pain.

By the last piece on the Katrina disaster I was weary of all the woe, and not a little political ranting. I guess this shows my prejudice against American suffering. That chapter came across less powerfully and was more like whining for me. I should be embarrassed to say this, but it's what I felt. And, again, the pain of women mattered most here, too. (Five stars when she can feel and write about the pain of a man who has caused a woman pain; and is still sad, very sad about it.)

But the weight of the book for me was in that last line that stopped me. Maybe because I'm a dad. Yes, her father broke her. Broke her open. Odd how the family of origin pain that came with the Ensler family has become a balm for so many around the globe, brought us in the last decade the gift of knowing more acutely the violence landing for too long on women. That she has taken a childhood full of beatings, dread, booze and failed parenting and given us an ear and heart for the cries of those less fortunate is indeed grace. The memoir form she takes also brings us the fresh air and light and simplicity available only at the threshold of her embracing brokenness. Yes, better than therapy. Buy this book.

She hammers us at times with her political rant against the Bush minded and the ditto head disease that fashions small people. The earlier chapters on this, however, are well done. After reading I thought, yes, everything we needed to learn we didn't get in Kindergarten. We got it at the point of loss much later. Happy are those who mourn, Jesus said. Ensler helps us believe it, helps us stop whining about loss in our lives and helps us take it as a starting place of greatness. Like the $50 million the Ensler V-Day work has brought us as a force that even yet moves the world away from many of the tragedies against and directed at women, including what we politely now call "cutting" (more like "chopping " if done to a guy); yes, being cut off from one's intimate and connecting future still so commonplace around the globe. Ensler's changing that.

Who could benefit from this book? Those among us working on a painful divorce, the death of a loved one, a business failure or a sexual violation that has almost gotten through to us. Ensler invites us to let it happen. I'd recommend this book if you feel banged up about something but not quite broken. As one songwriter friend once said, if you've ever let "the bitter get the better of you", then read this book. It will open you. Especially if you are a dad. It will make you grateful, help you wake up to the illusion of security, to finding, as she explains, that being lost and feeling insecure is an experience that contains within perhaps the better part of getting found.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9343157c) out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book! 18 Feb. 2007
By Pegi L. Chesney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Based on a true story this is a phenomenal book and educates the reader on the injustices of our world. Eve's descriptions of her experiences make one want to go and contribute to those way less fortunate than ourselves. It is definitely a worthwhile read.
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