Mothers: An Essay on Love and Cruelty by Jacqueline Rose

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Jacqueline Rose, the author of Women in Dark Times, offers a daring, provocative book-length essay on why society romanticizes and vilifies mothers.

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A simple argument guides this book: Motherhood is the place in our culture where we lodge, or rather bury, the reality of our own conflicts—and what it means to be fully human. By making mothers the objects of licensed cruelty, we blind ourselves to the world’s iniquities and shut down the portals of the heart.

Mothers are the ultimate scapegoat for our personal and political failings, for everything that is wrong with the world, which becomes their task—unrealizable, of course—to repair. Unless we recognize the role that we are asking mothers to perform in the world, and for the world, we will continue to tear both the world and mothers to pieces.

Jacqueline Rose’s Mothers is an incisive, rousing call to action from one of our most important contemporary thinkers.

Jacqueline Rose is the author of numerous books about psychoanalysis, literature and culture, feminism, and the Middle East. She is the codirector of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, cofounder of Independent Jewish Voices, and a fellow of the British Academy. Rose is a frequent contributor to the London Review of Books and The Guardian, among many other publications.

Mothers: An Essay on Love and Cruelty by Jacqueline Rose
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