Book Review #20: She Said by Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey (2019)

Review – 4 out of 5 ⭐️
Title: She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement
Authors: Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey
Published: 2019 (Penguin Press, New York)
Pages: 310 (Hardcover)
Genres: Nonfiction, Journalism, Feminism, Social Justice, True Crime
Link Here

My borrowed copy of She Said hanging outside on a particular lovely day

Hey all, this is my 20th Book Review! That is, if my short reviews don’t count… But it is still a milestone to write my 20th. I’ve really enjoyed writing about and sharing what I read so thank you to whoever reads these reviews!

“’There isn’t ever going to be an end,’ she said. ‘The point is that people have to continue always speaking up and not being afraid’ – Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey, She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement

At first, I was not sure about giving this book a chance. I previously read Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow, which I also wrote a review for here, and I found the content to be strikingly too similar. Both books focus on Harvey Weinstein and his take down, and how powerful men use their power against women from the film industry to the White House. But after reading a few other reviews and comparisons of both books, I decided to read this one with an open mind.

Jodi cut to the point: The United States had a system for muting sexual harassment claims, which often enabled the harassers instead of stopping them. Women routinely signed away the right to talk about their own experiences. Harassers often continued onward, finding fresh ground on which to commit the same offenses – Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey, She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement

In the end, I really enjoyed this book. Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey are investigative reporters for The New York Times. Their book is about the research and events surrounding their 2017 breaking news story that exposed Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment pattern. She Said is written like a long news report based on their findings and interviews for the article and future articles. This book focuses on specific counts from victims of Harvey Weinstein, and the story of Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh of assault after his initial nomination.

Everyone from corporate boards to friends in bars seemed to be struggling to devise their own new guidelines, which made for fascinating conversation, but also a kind of overall chaos. It was not clear how the country would ever agree on effective new standards (for sexual harassment claims) or resolve the ocean of outstanding complaints. Instead, the feelings of unfairness on both sides just continued to mount – Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey, She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement

Kantor and Twohey broke the story through The New York Times before Farrow did in his New Yorker article, but they both contributed greatly to the conversation of sexual assault. The main difference I found like several others between She Said and Catch and Kill is in their titles. She Said focuses on the specific accounts of women who experienced sexual assault and investigative reporting of all parties involved, while Catch and Kill focuses on corporate espionage and the scandal when it came to Farrow’s reporting and findings on Harvey Weinstein. Both books specify certain assault accounts more than the other. Also, She Said spoke about Christine Blasey Ford in depth, while Catch and Kill focused on Trump’s scandals and Black Cube in depth. Catch and Kill also reads more like a fictional spy novel, while She Said reads more like a newspaper and more matter-of-fact language.

I honestly recommend reading both as they each have their own merits and cover the topic fairly well. Kantor and Twohey tell the story of women who have experienced sexual assault in an in-depth and sensitive way. They outline the difficult process of their reporting, and how they had to acquire all the facts and make sure every single party involved was on board before anything was published. Overall, if you enjoy factual books outlining controversial issues such as sexual assault covered up by a powerful film producer and executive, then She Said is the book for you.

I give this book a 4 out of 5!

_Elizabeth

*Warning – this book contains sensitive topics such as sexual assault*

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