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Speaking Truth to Power

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  140 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
After her astonishing testimony in the Clarence Thomas hearings, Anita Hill ceased to be a private citizen and became a public figure at the white-hot center of an intense national debate on how men and women relate to each other in the workplace. That debate led to ground-breaking court decisions and major shifts in corporate policies that have had a profound effect on ou ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 20th 1998 by Anchor (first published September 15th 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 572)
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Anita Hill changed everything. Harassment in the workplace, whether sexual or not, became instantly recognizable, and everyone could see instances of it in their own lives or in those of their colleagues. Hill’s testimony was a watershed from a moment in time when even senators did not know what sexual harassment was to a time when we all could recount instances of pressure in the workplace, even men. An easily imaginable scenario is one where a family man takes a job where he is supposed to spe ...more
Apr 19, 2008 Jackie rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
This book offers Anita Hill’s personal account of Clarence Thomas’s sexual harassment of her and the professional, personal, and media backlash she experienced upon reporting his misconduct. It analyzes professional, academic, political, and societal attitudes about women generally and about sexual harassment claims and other abuses of power (e.g., “Women who accuse men, particularly powerful men, of harassment are often confronted with the reality of the men’s sense that they are more important ...more
I have a lot of respect for Anita Hill, for being willing to step up and speak up at a time when things like sexual harassment were not really openly talked about. She was basically crucified by the Senate, and smeared through the mud for no reason, but she gave a voice of courage to women, and changed things for other women who spoke up after her about sexual harassment that happened to them. Kudos to you, Anita!
Deborah Bowman
Jul 31, 2014 Deborah Bowman rated it it was amazing
Anita Hill tells her story with courage and heart. Her incise arguments to every sexist and racist claim made against her had me riveted. Her stories were both moving and offered insight into several generations of an African-American family meeting degradation with strength and unrelenting dignity. The recent documentary film, Anita, is a great compliment to her writing and helps us understand the tenor of the Hill-Thomas hearing of 1991 by the power of it's visual impact. We also have the oppo ...more
Nov 09, 2013 Ruth rated it it was amazing
Completely amazing. It is astounding to read this detailed account of the effects on her life that came came simply from stepping forward to tell the truth. Absolutely incredible what our nation is willing to do to someone through a situation like this. Certainly hers is not a one of a kind case. I sure hope we have made some progress since her testimony in 1991. I remember being riveted to the TV but had forgotten that her testimony was just a few days out of a life that became a firestorm. Won ...more
Oraynab Jwayyed
Jun 22, 2014 Oraynab Jwayyed rated it liked it
"Speaking a truth to Power" is Anita Hill's coming out testimony to her traditional Oklahoma upbringing, her experience with the Civil Rights era, and her later relationship with Clarence Thomas. It is a comprehensive book, at times too through and detailed, but successfully supports her claims of the sexual harassment she endured while working under Clarence Thomas.

However, the same question that persisted during her trial still persists in her book. Namely, how can a Yale Law School graduate a
Aug 07, 2016 Tonya rated it it was amazing
My interest in the facts behind the Senate confirmation hearings became rekindled after the recent HBO movie aired. I am so glad I decided to read this book. I came away with even more respect for the strength and character Anita Hill displayed throughout the hearings, despite the deplorable, biased behavior of certain male Senate members (Arlen Spector's comments throughout were completely unacceptable). It was obvious that so many people attempted to use her race and gender to dismiss what occ ...more
Apr 02, 2016 Julii rated it really liked it
Anita Hill spends many words describing her very limited family history, she can barely name her great-grandparents. I thought, why bother... but it makes sense given what follows. Because her people were hardened to endure with quiet dignity in spite of huge injustice. And yet to take opportunities for a better life when they were presented. Understanding her background makes sense of her way of handling the storm of publicity & personal attacks that she endured from 1991 onwards.

I liked th
Raquel Nweze
Aug 24, 2016 Raquel Nweze rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-review
Learning about the life of Anita Hill reminded me of situations where I have been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace. Just like Anita Hill I experienced fear and confusion. The individual who harassment me I highly respected, and confided in him personal information that he later used to his advantage. The sexual harassment went on for about 6 months. I felt out of control and even though there was a sexual harassment policy in place at the company I worked, I felt powerless and did ...more
Mar 23, 2015 sologdin rated it did not like it
autobiographical and an apologia regarding the thomas/hill imbroglio. she definitely comes across as sympathetic, especially with respect to her time in tulsa. doubtful that she was wrong during the thomas/hill affair, especially after brock admitted that his character assassination was dishonest. all that said, presentation here is annoying, self-absorbed, &c.
Donna Kubiak
Jun 29, 2013 Donna Kubiak rated it it was amazing
Loved this book because I learned why we still need to work hard to eliminate racial and sexual stereotypes in the world today. Not only was Anita treated horribly during the Clarence Thomas hearing for the SCOTUS, but I learned that her treatment did not improve afterwards. She is a brave and eloquent woman who should be admired by all women.
Dec 24, 2015 Melinda rated it liked it
It was most interesting to read this book so many years after the hearing and after its publication. When I purchased the book (the late 90s to show support for Ms Hill) I thought it was going to be more overarching than it is. But reading it some 20+ years later was interesting. Ms Hill gave a view that only she could made me angry all over again to read of the way she (and women in general) were treated so dismissively. And my disgust at the then Senate Judiciary committee for sendi ...more
Aug 16, 2015 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every adult in this country
All I want to do right now is move to Massachusetts and work for Anita Hill. Doing ANYTHING. Because I am not much of a TV watcher, I did not follow the Senate confirmation hearings of Scalia's lapdog Clarence Thomas closely. I followed them in print news, and largely shook my head in disgust because I saw it as a larger issue: a disenfranchised person going up against the establishment to right a wrong, and being torn to shreds (figuratively, although she was threatened with physical violence ...more
Feb 12, 2016 Edward rated it really liked it
Those looking for salacious details about the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings will not find it here. Those looking for poor anti-women behavior by powerful politicians (no the least trained lawyers such as Senator Arlen Specter) engaging in vicious partisanship will find it here. And those looking for a law professor presenting reasoned facts and arguments relating to her personal experience with sexual harassment and the fallout of the hearings coming out with integrity intact will defini ...more
Randall Pratt
Aug 10, 2011 Randall Pratt rated it liked it
After having recently read (and reviewed) Clarence Thomas's memoir, I find this book as difficult to review as Mr. Thomas's. As one who witnessed the judicial hearings leading to the confirmation of Justice Thomas, I found it impossible to read these books without constantly asking the question, "which one is telling the truth about this part?". (At the time of the hearings I was living and ministering in a predominantly African American neighborhood and, as a white man, was dealing with my own ...more
Jul 30, 2016 Marco rated it it was amazing
In Speaking Truth to Power, Professor Hill extends a fairness to her accusers and detractors which was never extended to her. Her arguments are clear and well-reasoned. The restraint exercised is an astonishing act of courage in a life filled with many such acts. Her experience stands as an indictment of the absurdity of the sequence of events which ended with Clarence Thomas sitting on the Supreme Court. Reading the book in 2016, it is difficult to imagine a judge in a similar situation rising ...more
Faith Gray
Jun 20, 2015 Faith Gray rated it really liked it
I found this book very enlightening as it relates to sexual harassment but also the political arena in Washington DC.

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face....You must do the thing you cannot do." Eleanor Roosevelt

"....conditioning teaches us to deny both the nature of the behavior and the harm we feel from it."

A book well worth reading.
Dawn Wells
Mar 13, 2013 Dawn Wells rated it really liked it
Well you didn't expect me to read Clarence Thomas and not Anita Hill. Read them the same night. This book I enjoyed as well. It was well written and was very, open, honest and to the point. What's interesting in this book to me is how we are all different in our description of sexual harassment. Anita speaks about how Justice Thomas would ask her on dates and talk about pornography. To me this would be straight sexual harassment but I asked a group of friends. Different races, similar financial ...more
Oct 06, 2008 jimstoic rated it really liked it
I'd just read Clarence Thomas's memoir and needed to balance it. This book is much more engaging than Thomas's, for a couple reasons. First, the language makes it flow more smoothly. But more important, where Thomas seemed to be protecting himself, Hill is open. Where the former was opaque, the latter is transparent.

The books are similar insofar that they both dig into the past and describe African American childhoods in the mid-Twentieth Century south of the USA. Otherwise the books are differe
Oct 05, 2008 Katrina rated it liked it
It's not the best written book that I've ever read - but it's fascinating to hear about the struggles she overcame in finally doing her civic and ethical duty of trying to prevent the country from allowing a person with little regard for women to be seated on the highest court in the land.
Dec 14, 2007 Saarika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
This is not a diss to Anita Hill, since I'm sure she is an extraordinary woman with an important story to tell. Unfortunately the writing was so dry and monotonous that it read like a law textbook and I dragged myself through most of it with difficulty then just gave up. Too bad...
Karen Murphy
Apr 08, 2014 Karen Murphy rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Karen by: Donna Kubiak
I really enjoyed this book for the important racial issues for women that it uncovered. Anita Hill is an articulate, direct and moving writer. I did find some of the details a bit difficult to navigate, perhaps because I read the book in two stages.
Oct 14, 2008 B rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
921 Hill Anita Hill's experiences during the Clarence Thomas' hearings for Supreme Court judge. Well written, obviously alot more went on then we could see from TV.
Mar 19, 2009 Wilhelmina rated it it was ok
May I suggest an alternative -- Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas? You will understand the depth of Anita Hill's feelings during this horrific ordeal.
Mar 13, 2009 Jean rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Anita Hill is coming to WSU in March 2009! I'm reading this book for a book discussion among friends and colleagues.
Jan 09, 2008 Lilah rated it really liked it
A perfect example of the struggles black women face from both racism and sexism.
Apr 05, 2011 Keely rated it liked it
I don't stray into nonfiction, but this was a very interesting book about.
Tracey Lantz
Jul 14, 2016 Tracey Lantz rated it it was ok
The material was interesting, it was just way too much detail.
Apr 14, 2010 Phyllis rated it liked it
Informative, read Clarence Thomas book at the same time.
I owe it to Professor Hill to finally read her book.
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anita hill 1 1 Nov 21, 2011 02:10AM  
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“Women who accuse men, particularly powerful men, of harassment are often confronted with the reality of the men’s sense that they are more important than women, as a group.” 1 likes
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