Review: Bitch Doctrine

Bitch Doctrine is Laurie Penny’s follow-up to Unspeakable Things, and it has all of the praiseworthy features of that work.  For all of those reasons, it is worth reading.  If nothing else, her comments on the 2016 election are a draw, though she did not include her reluctant and powerful endorsement of Clinton:

Any government leader must be considered an enemy to those who believe in radical change. Hillary Clinton is not yet that enemy but by damn. I hope she gets to be. Hillary Clinton is the sort of enemy I’ve been dreaming of over ten years of political work. She’s the kind of enemy you can respect. I look forward to fighting her on her commitment to climate protection, on workers’ rights, on welfare, on foreign policy. Bring that shit on.

Doctrine has significant structures and bones from Penny’s regular writing gig on the New Statesman (from which I took the quote above) and other places.  Because I follow her writing and social media presence, I’ve seen many of those essays.  My familiarity with them does not dilute their persuasiveness, but does rob some of the more impressive turns of phrase of their surprise.

Her work remains brilliantly composed and thought provoking.  She persuades with remarkable compassion, passion, and eloquence.  And recognizes that people will always disagree.

I found Unspeakable Things to be extremely powerful, but I think a reader can start with Doctrine as well.

Strongly Recommended.

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