When God Was a Woman

Merlin Stone

“Here, archeologically documented, is the story of the religion of the Goddess. Known by many names—Astarte, Isis, Ishtar, among others—she reigned supreme in the Near and Middle East. Beyond being worshiped for fertility, she was revered as the wise creator and the one source of universal order. Under her, women’s roles differed markedly from those in patriarchal Judeo-Christian cultures. Women bought and sold property, traded in the marketplace, and the inheritance of title and property was passed from mother to daughter. How did the change come about? By documenting the wholesale rewriting of myth and religious dogmas, the author details a most ancient conspiracy: the patriarchal re-imaging of the Goddess as a wanton, depraved figure. This is the portrait that laid the foundation for one of culture’s greatest shams—the legend of Adam and fallen Eve.”

Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
Paperback: 265 pages

Extremes: Reflections on Human Behavior

A.J. Dunning

This is the perfect “gift book” for the Amok enthusiast. “It is meant to instruct and to entertain and the reader should not expect morals or explanations.” Loosely divided into four categories of extremes: “the heart,” “men and knives,” “faith” and “the senses,” this little volume is all over the map. Topics include Gilles de Rais and Joan of Arc, the satanic verse of Baudelaire, castrati, the invention of Braille, and body snatching for science in England. Translated from the original Dutch, the prose is spare but intelligent. One is allowed the guilty pleasure of a lurid thrill in a setting which does not compromise the sense of scholarship. Each piece includes a bibliography, which displays an amazingly obscure list of source material. SA

Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
Paperback: 209 pages