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Topless Jihadis: Inside Femen, the World's Most Provocative Activist Group (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Jeffrey Tayler , The Atlantic Books
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A dramatic story of rage, revolution, and the daring young woman at the center of a new fight for the future of feminism.

They came for Inna Shevchenko in the middle of the night—thugs sent by Ukrainian authorities to arrest the beautiful and angry young activist. When she jumped out of her apartment’s back window and into a speeding car, Shevchenko’s life changed forever. The 22-year-old, who had inspired the Russian activists Pussy Riot, fled to Paris and, almost overnight, built a movement that now spans Europe and beyond.

Femen—the self-ordained “shock-troops of feminism” and “the watch-bitches of democracy”—today boasts more than 5,000 members, with branches in 10 countries. It has quickly become the most provocative and daring activist organization in the world, thanks in part to its audacious topless demonstrations. Physically attacking world leaders, brawling with police, and enduring beatings and arrests in its militant fight against the oppression of women, Femen is impossible to ignore, but—until now—difficult to fully understand.

Granted extensive and exclusive access to Shevchenko and her inner circle in Paris and Venice, Jeffrey Tayler, The Atlantic’s longtime Russia correspondent, takes readers deep inside the movement and paints a powerful, revealing portrait of the women waging an urgent, angry battle to shape the future of feminism.

Jeffrey Tayler is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and has, since 1993, reported from Moscow for publications including National Geographic, Harper's, Condé Nast Traveler, Smithsonian, and Men’s Journal. He is the author of seven books, including River of No Reprieve and Facing the Congo, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2036 KB
  • Print Length: 94 pages
  • Publisher: The Atlantic Books (18 Dec. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HEVK7F6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #97,549 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an amazing book from the frontline of feminism 27 Dec. 2013
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An engrossing and illuminating book detailing the first few years of femen, the good and the bad. Femen are the SAS of the feminist movement and this book shows how courageous and determined their members are.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 16 Nov. 2014
By lizzyv
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Impossible to put down, written with shocking detail and surprise. This is not feminism as we know it but do much more. I felt like I was reading a the history of the future. Extraordinary lives, that I'm in awe of, albeit not necessarily agreeing with all of Femen's ideas. A must read for all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and well-written 9 Jun. 2015
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Jeffrey Tayler's little book seems to be a balanced account of the doings of FEMEN—I have no way to judge other than by his reputation and the tone of the writing. Taylor spent several months with the key characters in FEMEN. The book describes their protests and motivations.It's clear that Tayler is more pro than anti, but he doesn't pull any punches that I could see.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars grrl power! 25 Mar. 2014
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Engaging story of Femen a group that might be otherwise considered too radical or strange to be profiled in mainstream press.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring story about courage 26 Dec. 2013
By Wade Sikorski - Published on
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This is a fascinating book. It is about how a small group of young women found the strength to confront a brutal and corrupt police state, and moved on to create an international movement for social justice. I found their story inspiring. It shows that even in the worst of circumstances (and if Ukraine isn't quite that, you can see what it would be like from there) there are nonviolent ways to draw attention to horrible injustices. Not everyone is going to agree with Femen's tactics, but not everyone has gone through what these young women have. Tayler's book is important, I think, because it makes it possible to understand what it is like to be truly desperate, needing the world to change, but finding no one willing to listen. Tayler's book is about how these remarkable young women nevertheless found a way to make the world listen.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good analysis of the Femen Movement 1 Mar. 2014
By Jack Quinn - Published on
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I had read several news articles on French news sites about demonstrations held by members of the Femen movement, but I had no real idea of what the movement was about until I saw an advertisement for this ebook in The Atlantic magazine, I decided to check the book out by visiting the Amazon Web site to see what others had to say about it.

I only found two reviews of the book, one strongly positive and one strongly negative. Both seemed to imply that the book was not impartial but rather slanted in favor of the movement, to the delight of one of the reviewers and to the dismay of the other. Nevertheless, I decided to gamble a couple of bucks and purchase the book. I'm glad I did.

Jeffery Tayler is an excellent writer, as one would expect of a contributing editor of The Atlantic, and he does a superb job of describing the Femen movement and its history in a short book that can be read in a few hours. His treatment of the movement is as impartial as one can expect of an author who spent many hours with the movement's members and leadership. On the negative side, he mentions for example, that the movement has been accused of being ruled by the iron fist of its leader, Inna Shevchenko, and of being a dictatorial organization dedicated to fighting dictatorial organizations.

Whatever your opinion of the small, anti-patriarchal Femen movement and its tactics, I highly recommend that you read this ebook if you want to know more about it. This is the only publication that I am aware of that discusses the Femen movement in depth. -- Jack Quinn
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking book, not a jeremiad nor hagiography 23 April 2014
By T. G. Cline - Published on
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Tayler's work, while fairly short, seems to be an accurate and balanced look at a controversial sociopolitical movement. It doesn't seem overly effusive with praise, nor in condemnation, and it will definitely hold your attention while you have it in hand.
5.0 out of 5 stars A fair and awesome profile 18 Sept. 2014
By Manifesta - Published on
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I am a supporter and follower of Femen. I don't agree with everything they do, but I'm immensely gratified that they're out there, pushing the envelope. I think Tayler has captured both the wonderful and the problematic aspects of Femen, which will help those of us who hope to improve the organization from within. Viva Femen, and kudos to Tayler.
5.0 out of 5 stars Emergence of a Protest Movement 29 Mar. 2014
By Carole Sue Taylor - Published on
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A well balanced account of the emergence of a protest movement that uses feminine beauty combined with performance art to point a finger at abuses of power.
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