The Second Sex (Vintage Feminism Short Edition)

Simone de Beauvoir


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  • Vintage Classics
  • 2015
  • ISBN 9781784870386
  • 144 pages
  • Softcover
  • 18 × 11 × 1 cm

Vintage Feminism: classic feminist texts in short form


When this book was first published in 1949 it was to outrage and scandal. Never before had the case for female liberty been so forcefully and successfully argued. De Beauvoir’s belief that ‘One is not born, but rather becomes, woman’ switched on light bulbs in the heads of a generation of women and began a fight for greater equality and economic independence. These pages contain the key passages of the book that changed perceptions of women forever.

Simone de Beauvoir (1908-86) was a French philosopher, novelist, and essayist, and the lifelong companion of Jean-Paul Sartre. De Beauvoir’s first book, L’Invitée, was published in 1943. In 1945 she published Le Sang des autres, a novel dealing with the question of political involvement. Beauvoir’s breakthrough work was the semiautobiographical Les Mandarins (1954), which won the Prix Concourt. Roman Catholic authorities banned it and de Beauvoir’s feminist classic The Second Sex (1949), in which de Beauvoir argued that „one is not born a woman; one becomes one“.

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