Not All Dead White Men
A disturbing exposé of how today's alt-right men's groups use ancient sources to promote a new brand of toxic masculinity online.A virulent strain of antifeminism is thriving online that treats women's empowerment as a mortal threat to men and to the integrity of Western civilization. Its proponents cite ancient Greek and Latin texts to support their claims--arguing that they articulate a model of masculinity that sustained generations but is now under siege.Donna Zuckerberg dives deep into the virtual communities of the far right, where men lament their loss of power and privilege, and strategize about how to reclaim them. She finds, mixed in with weightlifting tips and misogynistic vitriol, the words of the Stoics deployed to support an ideal vision of masculine life. On other sites, pickup artists quote Ovid's Ars Amatoria to justify ignoring women's boundaries. By appropriating the Classics, these men lend a veneer of intellectual authority and ancient wisdom to their project of patriarchal white supremacy. In defense or retaliation, feminists have also taken up the Classics online, to counter the sanctioning of violence against women.Not All Dead White Men reveals that some of the most controversial and consequential debates about the legacy of the ancients are raging not in universities but online.

Not All Dead White Men Details

TitleNot All Dead White Men
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 8th, 2018
PublisherHarvard University Press
ISBN-139780674975552
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Feminism, History, Politics, Philosophy, Gender

Not All Dead White Men Review

  • Hadrian
    January 1, 1970
    Investigation of some of the more abrasive figures on the Internet (The Red Pill, the manosphere, etc.), and their appropriation of classics and classical history in order to justify their violent and aggressive views towards women. From my understanding of her argument, the extreme misogynists latch on to classical antiquity to justify their own extreme views towards women, as part of a 'natural order', or 'the way it always was'. The book continues with an explanation of their errors, and of t Investigation of some of the more abrasive figures on the Internet (The Red Pill, the manosphere, etc.), and their appropriation of classics and classical history in order to justify their violent and aggressive views towards women. From my understanding of her argument, the extreme misogynists latch on to classical antiquity to justify their own extreme views towards women, as part of a 'natural order', or 'the way it always was'. The book continues with an explanation of their errors, and of the mistakes that are often made from selective readings, misquotations, etc. While earlier sources reveal a society that treats women from indifference to outright hostility, their crude citations belie how much they believe what they prefer to be true.I am assuming this book is addressed to those who work in, or have some fondness for, the classics. (I'm just a visitor here.) The point would be more vigilance, and a willingness to fight entrenched myths about ancient history and society. All well and good. I'm impressed by the author's toughness to discuss the vile subject at length. But as too many women know, you don't need to actively search it out in order to find such entrenched prejudice in men.
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  • Olivia
    January 1, 1970
    A highly disturbing read about white men who appropriate Classics - stoicism, Ovid, and the myth of Phaedra - to prove that we live in a gynocentric society biased against men and that autonomous women will be the downfall of Western civilization. These assertions justify their vitriolic attacks against women online and their manipulation or sexual assault of women in person. Although many feminists are aware of the Red Pill and Pick-up Artist communities, many may not be aware of the misuse of A highly disturbing read about white men who appropriate Classics - stoicism, Ovid, and the myth of Phaedra - to prove that we live in a gynocentric society biased against men and that autonomous women will be the downfall of Western civilization. These assertions justify their vitriolic attacks against women online and their manipulation or sexual assault of women in person. Although many feminists are aware of the Red Pill and Pick-up Artist communities, many may not be aware of the misuse of antiquities. Yet Zuckerberg suggests that the political left may inadvertently allow this abuse to occur insofar as the so-called "Western canon" is criticized for its overabundance of rape and gender inequity. Zuckerberg concludes that "Both sides of that debate agree that the study of ancient literature perpetuates white male supremacy; they differ only on the question of whether that is a consequence that should be celebrated" (p. 187). Her Conclusion also discusses how the Red Pill community lashed out at her and this raises many interesting questions about feminist engagement with the Classics, whether there is value in them and how we make sense of them from the present.
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  • Ryan Mishap
    January 1, 1970
    First, I have little interest in Greek or Roman authors, thought, history, and only a passing knowledge of their myths. That said, I was way into this book as she lifts up the internet rock these toxic grubs have been hiding under and exposes not only their venality and misogyny, but there misuse of ancient texts and schools of thought to justify their loathsome beliefs and behavior.Whew! That was a long sentence. You should go read this.
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  • Colin
    January 1, 1970
    A cogent, readable defense of the field of Classics from those who would appropriate, or rather, misappropriate, our studies for the promotion of foul agendas in service of white nationalism and the "Alt-Right" . . . a must-read for anyone in the field of Greek, Latin, and Classical Humanities!
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  • Ryan Denson
    January 1, 1970
    This book is part of a larger movement among classicists in recent years to combat the misappropriation of classics and ancient works by the alt-right. It catalogs and responds to some of the ways that the misogynistic ‘red pill’ online forums misinterpret and twist ancient concepts and ideas to try to legitimize their own ideas. Zuckerberg particularly focuses on the way the different factions of the alt-right has appealed to Stoicism and Ovid’s Ars Amatoria. She convincingly shows that what th This book is part of a larger movement among classicists in recent years to combat the misappropriation of classics and ancient works by the alt-right. It catalogs and responds to some of the ways that the misogynistic ‘red pill’ online forums misinterpret and twist ancient concepts and ideas to try to legitimize their own ideas. Zuckerberg particularly focuses on the way the different factions of the alt-right has appealed to Stoicism and Ovid’s Ars Amatoria. She convincingly shows that what these groups are actually appealing to are merely shallow imitations of classical ideas, which bear only a tenous connection, especially with Stoicism, to actual beliefs in the ancient world. Zuckerberg also argues for a more inclusive and progressive form of classics that departs from the traditionally conservative nature of the field. Overall, it is an interesting read that highlights some of the ways classics has been abused to justify hateful ideologies and, more generally, some of the ways that ancient texts are occasionally misread by those without a thorough background in classics. Zuckerberg’s book also shows the need to respond and denounce other types of misuse of classics, such as being used in an attempt to support xenophobic, white nationalist, or Eurocentric ideologies.
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    Donna Zuckerberg has provided us with a succinct look at the ways the Red Pill community uses the works of Stoic philosophers to justify their worldview. The book is accessible - I had no issue understanding anything, and I came to the book without any knowledge of Stoic philosophy - and Zuckerberg is an insightful guide. She skillfully illustrates the contradictions of Red Pill arguments, that they use little more than the intellectual brand-name recognition of Marcus Aurelius, Ovid, and others Donna Zuckerberg has provided us with a succinct look at the ways the Red Pill community uses the works of Stoic philosophers to justify their worldview. The book is accessible - I had no issue understanding anything, and I came to the book without any knowledge of Stoic philosophy - and Zuckerberg is an insightful guide. She skillfully illustrates the contradictions of Red Pill arguments, that they use little more than the intellectual brand-name recognition of Marcus Aurelius, Ovid, and others to provide cover for their concepts of masculinity and gender roles.Long enough to be academically rigorous and informative, but short enough that the relatively dry subject matter and writing don't get wearing.
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  • Becca
    January 1, 1970
    This is a carefully written, thoroughly researched look into how ideas are disseminated (and around them communities formed) on social media. Zuckerberg discusses a specific—though hardly harmonious—community: the manosphere. Many subgroups fall under this umbrella: men’s rights activists (MRAs), pickup artists (PUAs), Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW), incels, the Alt-Right, etc. Within in the manosphere there is much overlap, but also much conflict. Zuckerberg argues that the strongest commonali This is a carefully written, thoroughly researched look into how ideas are disseminated (and around them communities formed) on social media. Zuckerberg discusses a specific—though hardly harmonious—community: the manosphere. Many subgroups fall under this umbrella: men’s rights activists (MRAs), pickup artists (PUAs), Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW), incels, the Alt-Right, etc. Within in the manosphere there is much overlap, but also much conflict. Zuckerberg argues that the strongest commonality is antifeminism. Not All Dead White Men looks at how members of the manosphere invoke ancient Greece and Rome to justify their worldview.The contradictions fracturing the manosphere really interested me. The manosphere men hate women and especially feminism, but sometimes they get in their own way trying to do both at once. For example, most adopt an essentialist view of gender. They argue women have certain innate traits, and those traits cause societal ills. But they also argue that social progressivism and especially feminism are responsible for societal ills. Which is it? Does feminism turn women bad, or are women irrevocably bad?In a sense, it doesn’t really matter, because their solution in either case is to disempower women. And I think that's a central takeaway: the manosphere can fiddle with framing and cherry pick ancient texts all they want, but ultimately, they aspire and feel entitled to control women. When they don't get to control women (for example, if a woman rejects their advances), they get angry. But they draw on warped Stoicism to reclassify that anger as rationality, and in fact, rationality of a caliber exclusive to their demographic. It's a horrifying cocktail. As a whole, Not All Dead White Men is equal parts fascinating and disturbing. Zuckerberg draws attention to a salient contemporary issue, and does so with a lot of context and nuance. However, it’s pretty dense, so getting through it wasn’t exactly a blast. I would read this if you have prior interest in and knowledge about the topic. It’s not an accessible primer on feminism, antifeminism, communication in the digital age, or any combination of the three.
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  • Phi Beta Kappa Authors
    January 1, 1970
    Donna ZuckerbergΦBK, University of Chicago, 2007AuthorFrom the publisher: A disturbing exposé of how today's alt-right men's groups use ancient sources to promote a new brand of toxic masculinity online.A virulent strain of antifeminism is thriving online that treats women's empowerment as a mortal threat to men and to the integrity of Western civilization. Its proponents cite ancient Greek and Latin texts to support their claims--arguing that they articulate a model of masculinity that sustaine Donna ZuckerbergΦBK, University of Chicago, 2007AuthorFrom the publisher: A disturbing exposé of how today's alt-right men's groups use ancient sources to promote a new brand of toxic masculinity online.A virulent strain of antifeminism is thriving online that treats women's empowerment as a mortal threat to men and to the integrity of Western civilization. Its proponents cite ancient Greek and Latin texts to support their claims--arguing that they articulate a model of masculinity that sustained generations but is now under siege.Donna Zuckerberg dives deep into the virtual communities of the far right, where men lament their loss of power and privilege, and strategize about how to reclaim them. She finds, mixed in with weightlifting tips and misogynistic vitriol, the words of the Stoics deployed to support an ideal vision of masculine life. On other sites, pickup artists quote Ovid's Ars Amatoria to justify ignoring women's boundaries. By appropriating the Classics, these men lend a veneer of intellectual authority and ancient wisdom to their project of patriarchal white supremacy. In defense or retaliation, feminists have also taken up the Classics online, to counter the sanctioning of violence against women.Not All Dead White Men reveals that some of the most controversial and consequential debates about the legacy of the ancients are raging not in universities but online.
    more
  • Leah
    January 1, 1970
    Prescient and thorough exploration of how the alt right / MRA movements co-opt and reduce classics to serve their own warped ideas about gender and sexuality.
  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Finally finished this book! At roughly 190 pages, this is a pretty short book. However, it took me more than a month to get through (though I have been reading other books). Zuckerberg’s writing reads between blog post and PhD thesis; it is a compelling mixture of analytical and accessible. In her book, Zuckerberg talks about the Red Pill community’s alarming appropriation of the Classics as justification for their belief that society is unfair to men, particularly heterosexual white men, and is Finally finished this book! At roughly 190 pages, this is a pretty short book. However, it took me more than a month to get through (though I have been reading other books). Zuckerberg’s writing reads between blog post and PhD thesis; it is a compelling mixture of analytical and accessible. In her book, Zuckerberg talks about the Red Pill community’s alarming appropriation of the Classics as justification for their belief that society is unfair to men, particularly heterosexual white men, and is designed to favor women. Zuckerberg dissects Stoic ideas, Roman epic poetry, and myths. Through this against-the-grain analysis, she reveals not only the patriarchal misogyny that is often prevalent in, but also the extent to which they have been falsely distorted by the Red Pill community. Even though I am a feminist, there were some moments in the book where I felt that Zuckerberg went too far in her critique of ancient texts. Yet, what I loved the most about this book was that it forced me to be more critical than I had been before. It is easy to enjoy Ovid’s poetry without thinking about the problematic implications it has (esp. the grotesque and violent portrayal of Daphne and Apollo). Our past remains an integral part of the present. Indeed, classical texts remain the bulwark of the cultural legacy of Western civilization. As problematic as their narratives of misogyny, abuse, and sexual assault may have been, it is our duty to reconcile and grapple with them.Zuckerberg ends the book on an optimistic note: “The idea of a vibrant, radical, intersectional feminist Classics - one that uses the ancient roles to enrich conversations about race, gender, and social justice - is anathema to [the Red Pill community]. And that is why feminist Classics today is more exciting and necessary than ever.”
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  • Paul
    January 1, 1970
    Read this on a whim, thought it might be interesting given my onetime study of Latin and my current hatred of internet misogyny. It's a bit dry and academic at times, but it goes by pretty quick and there are interesting lessons to be learned.At its core, this is an analysis of how the creeps of the "manosphere" use the Classics to give their misogyny a veneer of historical legitimacy. By citing Greek & Roman literature and philosophy, they indicate that they are the heirs of that legacy and Read this on a whim, thought it might be interesting given my onetime study of Latin and my current hatred of internet misogyny. It's a bit dry and academic at times, but it goes by pretty quick and there are interesting lessons to be learned.At its core, this is an analysis of how the creeps of the "manosphere" use the Classics to give their misogyny a veneer of historical legitimacy. By citing Greek & Roman literature and philosophy, they indicate that they are the heirs of that legacy and promote the idea that the social (especially gender) norms of 2000+ years ago are natural/immutable and should be restored. Zuckerberg doesn't shy away from recognizing that there's a "there" there – Classical texts were written in an oppressively patriarchal society and reflect that in some heinous ways. It takes subtlety to appreciate the good in these texts without condoning the bad.Her conclusion is that "nuanced, feminist interpretation of the Classics can counteract Red Pill distortions". While there's hope in that, it also seems like a long shot in a world that's not particularly interested in nuance at the moment. And that's especially true if the left concedes the ground entirely:"The men of the Red Pill believe that the Classics are only (or at least especially) meaningful to reactionary white men, and those with progressive politics who seek to upend or replace the Western canon tacitly cede this point."It's an interesting tension, the need for greater representation in the canon versus the need to articulate (in wider society rather than solely in academia) a progressive interpretation of the Classics. No easy answers here, but it's something to chew on.
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  • Gustav Dinsdag
    January 1, 1970
    Angela Nagele’s pamphlet Kill All Normies raised my awareness of alt-right ideas spreading on internetfora like Reddit and 4Chan. If you don’t visit fora on which the likes of the ‘red pill’ thrive, if you’re (like me) not a very intensive user of these kinds of ‘social’ media at all, you’d never know about the (new) forms this discourse takes on. In the Netherlands we have some notorious websites like GeenStijl, who delight in being politically incorrect, aggresive and more then a little misogy Angela Nagele’s pamphlet Kill All Normies raised my awareness of alt-right ideas spreading on internetfora like Reddit and 4Chan. If you don’t visit fora on which the likes of the ‘red pill’ thrive, if you’re (like me) not a very intensive user of these kinds of ‘social’ media at all, you’d never know about the (new) forms this discourse takes on. In the Netherlands we have some notorious websites like GeenStijl, who delight in being politically incorrect, aggresive and more then a little misogynistic and sexist if it so suits them. I’m pretty sure these guys take part in groups like the ‘red pill’. Certainly interested in the Classics but not a scholar, I read the book as a more general perspective on the political state we’re in and the ongoing alt-rightization of mainstream politics. A highly readable book, even if you’re not a classisist.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I sincerely appreciate the informed and thoughtful reviews of this book from other readers, many of whom are obviously intelligent and well-credentialed to speak on the subject. But I want to say that I also thought this book was great and I’m kind of a fckn idiot! I definitely didn’t know much of anything about the Classics before reading this one, but it was totally accessible and really interesting, even to someone who is, again, kind of a fckn idiot. Probably a more elegant way to say this i I sincerely appreciate the informed and thoughtful reviews of this book from other readers, many of whom are obviously intelligent and well-credentialed to speak on the subject. But I want to say that I also thought this book was great and I’m kind of a fckn idiot! I definitely didn’t know much of anything about the Classics before reading this one, but it was totally accessible and really interesting, even to someone who is, again, kind of a fckn idiot. Probably a more elegant way to say this is that if you’re on the fence about this one because you’re like “oh, what do I know about Classics, I probably won’t be able to follow along” or something, I think you will be able to! You should check it out!
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Not All Dead White Men is a fascinating read and a well-crafted argument for classicists to raise their voices when the alt-right misappropriates the works of Ancient Greek and Roman philosophers, poets, and dramatists. This book provided a thorough ethnography of Red Pill groups, including a glossary of terms to familiarize readers with their lingo. Zuckerberg's detailed knowledge of the classics provides readers with a strong foundation to clearly understand how and why the alt-right miscasts Not All Dead White Men is a fascinating read and a well-crafted argument for classicists to raise their voices when the alt-right misappropriates the works of Ancient Greek and Roman philosophers, poets, and dramatists. This book provided a thorough ethnography of Red Pill groups, including a glossary of terms to familiarize readers with their lingo. Zuckerberg's detailed knowledge of the classics provides readers with a strong foundation to clearly understand how and why the alt-right miscasts the Classics to validate their ideas.
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  • Kevin Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Informative and disturbing book. I wasn't familiar with the "red pill"/"manosphere", so this was an eye opener. Being a student of Stoicism I found their use of Stoicism repulsive, but not unexpected. It's well researched and worth the read. Donna Zuckerberg went places on the Internet I'd rather avoid; basically she gets dirty so you don't have to.
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  • Anuja
    January 1, 1970
    [4.5]
  • Phillip
    January 1, 1970
    I'm writing a professional review, so I won't be reviewing the book here.
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