Books

Susan Bordo is an internationally known cultural historian, feminist scholar, and media critic. Her first book, The Flight to Objectivity, is considered a classic of feminist philosophy. In 1993, increasingly aware of our culture’s preoccupation with weight and body image, she published Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body, a book that is still widely read and assigned in classes today. During speaking tours for that book, she encountered many young men who asked, “What about us?” The result was The Male Body: A New Look at Men in Public and in Private (1999). Both books were highly praised by reviewers, with Unbearable Weight named a 1993 Notable Book by the New York Times and The Male Body featured in Mademoiselle, Elle, Vanity Fair, NPR, and MSNBC. Both books have been translated into many languages, and individual chapters, many of which are considered paradigms of lucid writing, are frequently re-printed in collections and writing textbooks. Her next book, The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England’s Most Notorious Queen, a controversial, ground-breaking examination of Boleyn’s life and how it has been represented in histories, fiction, and film, was published to critical acclaim and popular enthusiasm in 2013. Turning to contemporary politics and the events, personalities and media coverage of the 2016 presidential election, The Destruction of Hillary Clinton was published in hardback in 2017 and in paperback in 2018 with a major Afterword. Bordo’s post-election essays, Imagine Bernie Sanders as a Woman followed in 2020. TV, a volume in Bloomsbury Press’s “Object Lessons” series, is forthcoming in March 2021.
TV

TV

Weaving together personal memoir, social and political history, and reflecting on key moments in the history of news broadcasting and prime time entertainment, Susan Bordo opens up the 75-year-old time-capsule that is TV and illustrates what a constant companion and dominant cultural force television has been, for good and for bad, in carrying us from the McCarthy hearings and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet to Mad Men, Killing Eve, and the emergence of our first reality TV president.
Imagine Bernie Sanders as a Woman

Imagine Bernie Sanders as a Woman

and Other Writings on Politics and Media 2016-2019

Want more political Bordo? This follow-up and companion collection to The Destruction of Hillary Clinton travels the years from 2016-2019 through pieces and posts on the people, events, and issues that marked that momentous period, from Trump's inauguration to the beginnings of the 2020 Democratic primary contest.
The Destruction of Hillary Clinton

The Destruction of Hillary Clinton

Untangling the Political Forces, Media Culture, and Assault on Fact that Decided the 2016 Election

How did an extraordinarily well-qualified, experienced, and admired candidate come to be seen as a tool of the establishment and an untrustworthy and untalented politician? How could she possibly have lost the election to the likes of Donald Trump? Susan Bordo unpacks the Right’s assault on Clinton, how the Left provoked suspicion and indifference among young voters, James Comey's interference, questions about Russian influence, and media malpractice in covering the candidate.
Provocations

Provocations

A Transnational Reader in the History of Feminist Thought

Edited with M. Cristina Alcalde and Ellen Rosenman. The first collection of its kind, Provocations: A Transnational Reader in the History of Feminist Thought is historically organized and transnational in scope, highlighting key ideas, transformative moments, and feminist conversations across national and cultural borders. Emphasizing feminist cross-talk, transnational collaborations and influences, and cultural differences in context, this anthology heralds a new approach to studying feminist history.
The Creation of Anne Boleyn

The Creation of Anne Boleyn

A New Look at England's Most Notorious Queen

​Part biography, part cultural history, The Creation of Anne Boleyn is a fascinating reconstruction of Anne’s life and an illuminating look at her afterlife in the popular imagination. Why is Anne so compelling? Why has she inspired such extreme reactions? What did she really look like? Was she the flaxen-haired martyr of Romantic paintings or the raven-haired seductress of twenty-first-century portrayals? (Answer: neither.) And perhaps the most provocative questions concern Anne’s death more than her life. How could Henry order the execution of a once beloved wife? Drawing on scholarship and critical analysis, Bordo probes the complexities of one of history’s most infamous relationships.
Feminist Interpretations of René Descartes

Feminist Interpretations of René Descartes

(Re-Reading the Canon)

​Contributors are Susan Bordo, Stanley Clarke, Erica Harth, Leslie Heywood, Luce Irigaray, Genevieve Lloyd, Mario Moussa, Eileen O'Neill, Adrianna Paliyenko, Ruth Perry, Mario Sáenz, Karl Stern, Thomas Wartenberg, and James Winders.
The Male Body

The Male Body

A New Look at Men in Public and Private

​A fresh, unconventional look at the male body and contemporary notions of masculinity. The male nude is everywhere now, from mainstream movies to magazine covers. What do we see when men take off their clothes, in public and in private? Is the male body truly exposed? In this candid cultural analysis, Susan Bordo speaks to men and women alike, scrutinizing the images and experiences of everyday life.
Twilight Zones

Twilight Zones

The Hidden Life of Cultural Images from Plato to O.J.

​Considering everything from Nike ads, emaciated models, and surgically altered breasts to the culture wars and the O.J. Simpson trial, Susan Bordo deciphers the hidden life of cultural images and the impact they have on our lives. She builds on the provocative themes introduced in her acclaimed work Unbearable Weight—which explores the social and political underpinnings of women's obsession with bodily image—to offer a singularly readable and perceptive interpretation of our image-saturated culture.
Unbearable Weight

Unbearable Weight

Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body

​In this provocative book, Susan Bordo untangles the myths, ideologies, and pathologies of the modern female body. Bordo explores our tortured fascination with food, hunger, desire, and control, and its effects on women's lives.
Flight to Objectivity

Flight to Objectivity

Essays on Cartesianism and Culture

​The Flight to Objectivity offers a new reading of Descartes' Meditations informed by cultural history, psychoanalytic and cognitive psychology, and feminist thought. It focuses not on Descartes' arguments as "timeless," culturally disembodied events, but on the psychological drama and imagery of the Meditations explored in the context of the historical instability of the seventeenth century and deep historical changes in the structure of human experience.