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Insecure at Last

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  784 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
“Why has all this focus on security made me feel so much more insecure? Nothing is secure. And this is the good news. But only if you are not seeking security as the point of your life.”–Eve Ensler

When her stage play The Vagina Monologues became a runaway hit and an international sensation, Eve Ensler emerged as a powerful voice and champion for women everywhere. Now the b
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by Villard (first published January 1st 2006)
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Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When I picked this book up randomly at the library, I was expecting to read something about a woman and her struggles with her body image and then her just saying the hell with it and liberating herself and getting to a point where she says: fuck you all. You know, first world problems. Boy was I so wrong. This book kicked my ass. it knocked me off of my center. it will be a book that will change me for a long time, and hopefully forever. And it's not even a bible, go figure. Well most fiction I ...more
Jan 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book has a terrible title and a terrible cover (in my opinion, obviously). But, I picked it up because of Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologue fame. I completely misread what this was going to be about. I thought it was about living in an increasingly insecure world - and what to do when the fear of terrorists and WMDs and incomprehensible world-ending catastrophes overtake us. I assumed it would be only of these hysterical threats are all around us viewpoints, with the ultimate conclusion that we ...more
Jan 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
To be honest, I didn't finish the book. I'd picked it up hoping to find in-depth studies on women in war zones, but instead found a bunch of hyper-self-awareness in the first few pages. I think it's crap to say that you 'understand' what someone's been through when you haven't actually experienced it, especially things as horrifying as what these women have lived through. But what do I know; I haven't actually been to those places.
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Si bien me esperaba una historia completamente distinta, no me gusto lo que encontre. Muchas historias me hicieron derramar una lagrimita y odiar el mundo en el que vivimos pero no me hizo querer hacer algo. No me senti tan apelada ni me llamó tanto lo que estaba leyendo.
Apr 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-read, nonfiction
This book is part memoir and part political manifesto. The parts of the books that described the author's experiences around the world working with women to end violence and create community were moving and beautiful. Interwoven with these stories were the author's own story of putting her life together after having been abused by her stepfather when she was a child and having been a heavy drinker/meth addict as a young adult. These personal memoirs were compelling, but much less interesting tha ...more
Katy Johnson
May 10, 2007 rated it liked it
This book tore my heart apart and put so much into perspective. In a world where women are being gang raped by their husbands and friends, where children walk the riverbanks looking for dead siblings, and women face public execution for eating ice cream, it is Americans who are paralyzed by their fears and insecurities. Eve Ensler has the amazing ability to poetically slap you in the face with the reality of matters.
Aug 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Eve Ensler gets to the heart of issues of insecurity and unhappiness in the world today. She explores how fear, hatread, and discontent often stem from our own striving for security and prefection. OF course, no matter how rich we are or how big our house, or how loving our family, we are never, ever completely secure, and our striving just leads to misunderstanding and hate.
Nov 10, 2007 rated it it was ok
I really petered out on this one. It had some interesting ideas about people feeling unsafe and insecure but then just went into typical feminist blah blah... don't get me wrong, I consider myself a feminist, but the party line can get a bit repetitive...
Nov 09, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: memoir
I finished it, but only because it was so short. I'm sick of Eve Ensler somehow becoming the star of her book when it shouldn't be about her at all. There's a line between self-awareness and complete self-obsession, and she's definitely crossed it. (And I cried through the entire thing.)
At a certain point, you have to wonder if Ensler really has anything to say or if she's being published because people think she's relevant. For more:
Dec 13, 2008 rated it liked it
i think it's a pretty awesome book, that everyone should read. it's a memoir but not just about her. it's about women, it's about being an american, it's a memoir about humans.
Dysmonia Kuiper
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-352
Excellent book, but it's disheartening that the personal journey Ensler experiences seems possible mostly because of her financial resources.
Dorinda Violante
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The power of insecurity and power itself

I started this book thinking it was something else entirely. What I found were heart wrenching stories, insights on power, and glimpses to where insecurity/security plays out in my own little world.
Sarah Janes
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Challenging to read and difficult to put down. Everyone should read this book. Now.
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Nobody will surprise and confront you quite like Eve Ensler.
Ралица Генчева
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Обожавам Ева Енслър и всичко, което пише! От жена за жена. Лично, естествено. Без захар и консерванти.
Jami Zehr
Oct 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Titled her political memoir, Ensler shares thoughts and feelings about the world tragedies she travels towards; the tsunami in Sri Lanka, Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans, the women’s camps in Kabul, Afghanistan, Kosovo. She hypothesizes that the hunt for security has instead led to a failure to protect people. I would recommend reading this book as both enlightenment of how other people live outside of our often isolationsist American lives, and how our fears of security only end ...more
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
From pp. 165-167 -
“Each night that I stood onstage, I stood in the center of this storm. I stood in the center of a country that had been sold a lie about security and had, since September 11, allowed our government to destroy our environment, our democracy, our education, our health care, our morality, our standing in the world, our freedom, and our idea of ourselves for this illusion. I stood on a platform and felt how deeply distracted Americans were by their corporate-rigged self hatred, by
Lindsay Wilson
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm always a fan of Eve Ensler's books. Her writing style is beautiful, and her message is always powerful. This book is no exception, despite the fact that I'm a bit late to the party in reading it, so it's a bit dated at this point. Nonetheless, the sections where Eve discusses her conversations and experiences with women in war-torn (or to put it in the terms of this book, insecure) places are poignant and inspiring. She has encountered such amazing women around the world, doing unbelievable ...more
Mar 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Each of the stories that Eve Ensler retold about women in these various locations was an eye-opener for me. You hear about the political turmoil, killings, and bombings on the news but oftentimes it just comes across as facts and numbers, and it's difficult to really comprehend the horrors that are taking place in these countries. I admittedly was - and still am - rather ignorant of the situations of the countries, so it definitely helped to put a human face to them so that I could actually get ...more
I am proposing that we reconceive the dream. That we consider what would happen if security were not the point of our existence. That we find freedom, aliveness, and power not from what contains, locates, or protects us but from what dissolves, reveals, and expands us. (Introduction)[return]Theater insists that we inhabit the present tense-not the virtual tense or the politically correct tense. Theater demands that we truly be where we are. By being there together, we are able to confront the se ...more
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Much of it is disturbing, the way in which woman are mistreated and abused throughout the world, but, also, inspirational. She makes a strong argument how we are NOT safer, in our security-obsessed post 9-11 world, and counter-intuitively, the safest she ever felt was among hardcore female prisoners, in a writing class she gave them. I wish there were more woman like Eve Ensler in the world.

She has a new book out, and I missed her at Sixth & I last night. Here is a summary:

From the bestselli
Jul 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book made me think, it made me cry and it made me so proud. It was a very hard book to get through because every time I picked it up, I was in tears. Eve Ensler doesn't spare you anything, which was why I felt that it HAD to continue reading. I couldn't put it down just because the words were painful, because her words were true. Eve beautifully weaves together stories from her life with the stories of women all over the world. These stories are such amazing stories of strength. Eve talks a ...more
Oct 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Eve Ensler is a little much at times, but I think it's the right kind of "much"-- much outrage at the injustices of the world, much compassion for fellow human beings, much need to change it. This is her first book book, and it tells the story of her own activism and how she found herself and her beliefs in the world. Although the passion she feels has always been evident in her work, it's fantastic to really get to see what would motivate someone to live at such extremes and do so much good.
Deborah Schuff
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Eve Ensler is probably best known for her Vagina Monologues and her promotion of V-day. In this book she talks of travels throughout the world facing both her fears and the continued violence of women. This is NOT a downbeat book, however. It shows the strength and resilience of these women as well as their beatings, rapes, humiliations. She herself suffered from a violent, alcoholic father and a non-supportive mother. She dismisses the idea of national security as practiced by George W. Bush's ...more
missy jean
Oct 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I read most of this book while riding a stationary bike at the gym, tears rolling down my face. I kept feeling like I was going to black out while reading the accounts of women who were raped and oppressed and beaten in Bosnia and Afghanistan; I've read about these things before, but I find it impossible to acclimatize myself to the violence of it. I kept looking up and around at the artificial light of the gym, feeling disoriented and confused about where I was and who I was. I kept remembering ...more
Jun 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sarah O
If we are willing to sacrifice anything in favor of this concept of security we'll stay in jobs that make us miserable but have good benefits, we'll stand for international policy guidelines that isolate us but don't actually make us any safer.

I don't necessarily agree with Ensler's point that personal security lies in the utter chaos of things- I do appreciate the bit of normalcy I can manage in my life. But there are precious few things in life that we have control over and there is a huge am
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is powerful. Have you felt an increasing need for SECURITY and SAFETY in the last 10 years? Remember hurricane Katrina? WHERE WAS THE HELP? WHERE WAS THE SECURITY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WERE PROMISED?

Paranoia and isolation is escalating. And it's not our fault. We're all going through this, together. We all are fighting for security that is falsely promised and advertised. The result is that we hate ourselves and feel like losers, stupid, etc.

Eve celebrates the LACK of security in this w
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
A memoir of places of torture and terror that she has visited in the course of her professional work and also about the place of terror that her own home was as she was growing up. she makes a strong case that our relentless pursuit of "security" comes at a great price for our souls. She advocates that we should pursue kindness far more than security. A powerful last chapter where she makes recommendations on what the US should pursue... "If we are truly interested in security, let's begin by se ...more
Maery Rose
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I didn't expect this book to go so much into Eve's personal experience but I'm glad it did. Even if I can't fully understand the horror and oppression that women in war torn countries or areas destroyed by natural disasters experience, having those stories told and related to Ensler's own experiences helped give me some level of how all suffering relates, no matter the degree. And that seeing someone's situation as too horrible to imagine or do anything about doesn't help anyone. What I took mai ...more
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English 11 Nonfic...: student paragraph andrea kazmierczak 1 2 Dec 07, 2012 08:08AM  
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Eve Ensler is an internationally bestselling author and an award-winning playwright whose works include The Vagina Monologues, The Good Body, Insecure at Last, and I Am an Emotional Creature, since adapted for the stage as Emotional Creature. She is the founder of V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls, which has raised more than $90 million for local groups and activis ...more
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“…find freedom, aliveness, and power not from what contains, locates, or protects us, but from what dissolves, reveals, and expands us.
“I think of the security of cages. How violence, cruelty, oppression, become a kind of home, a familiar pattern, a cage, in which we know how to operate and define ourselves…” 41 likes
More quotes…