The second sex

by Simone de Beauvoir

Paper Book, 1952




New York, Knopf, 1953 [c1952]


Newly translated and unabridged in English for the first time, Simone de Beauvoir's masterwork is a powerful analysis of the Western notion of "woman," and a groundbreaking exploration of inequality and otherness. This long-awaited new edition reinstates significant portions of the original French text that were cut in the first English translation. Vital and groundbreaking, Beauvoir's pioneering and impressive text remains as pertinent today as it was sixty years ago, and will continue to provoke and inspire generations of men and women to come.


½ (487 ratings; 4)

User reviews

LibraryThing member sweetmarie9
Great book but a bad translation. The historian who originally translated TSS into English obviously knew less about existentialism than I (and I know very little). He also cut out quite a bit of information about women in history (which is mentioned in the introduction to the Vintage edition).
Show More
Never fear, though; I have it on good authority from a de Beauvoir scholar that a new translation is in the works and should be out in a few years. The people who are working on it are knowledgeable in philosophy as well as women's history. I do highly recommend this book and for the time being, this edition is all we have (unless you can read French), but get ready to throw away your current copy for a more complete and accurate translation of The Second Sex sometime soon.
Show Less
LibraryThing member ben_a
Reading after what amounts to a dare. Slow going.
LibraryThing member Katie_Lou
A life changing book for me. Read and discussed it for my Soc III class at school, and the strength and passion of De Beauvoir's arguments led to my signing up for a feminist theories class the following semester. Fascinating, compelling, and definitely deserving of Great Books stature.
LibraryThing member tole_lege
This book was groundbreaking in terms of the second wave of feminism. De Beauvoir is the author of such phrases as, "man has removed women's wings, and then chastises her because she can not fly". There is much here today's women and men may disagree with but the power of the book remains.
LibraryThing member maxbuehler
Full of wisdom. A great place to start in learning about the history of feminism.
LibraryThing member experimentalis
a defining book, worth reading again and again, and aging very well
LibraryThing member Zohrab
The classic manifesto of the liberated woman, this book explores every facet of a woman's life.
LibraryThing member HadriantheBlind
Very incisive stuff. Although some of the biological tracts are slightly outdated, the attacks on past social thinking and psychoanalytic theory are very prescient. Societal influences as a role on psychology. Women as the 'great other', submitted to contradictory insults and demeaning conditions.
Show More

A very powerful and scathing book.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Lucy_Skywalker
I read it when I was ten, just because it was on my mother's shelf, and of course at that age you find everything very thought-provoking, but I think I wouldn't like it now.

Hm, don't remember right now how Adrian Mole liked it. =)
LibraryThing member Beholderess
A powerful and groundbreaking book on feminism. To me it's main value lies in defining the relationship between biology and social norms, and how biology definitely influences social norms but in no way excuses them.
LibraryThing member bethie-paige
FINALLY, I finished it. This book seemed to take forever and I'm so glad I finished it. I was pretty much skim reading it by the end of it.
It was a really interesting book and that's why I gave it 4/5 stars. The writing was really good and I was really captivated in the subject. It seemed to ramble
Show More
on but I think that is just because it had so much to cover. I'm not really one for non-fiction so that is why to took me so long to read and why it felt tedious.
Overall, really interesting book.
Show Less
LibraryThing member pathogenik
I read this book back in 2012. I have used this book as a reference in essays for my English and Sociology classes when I was an undergraduate student in Education. It is insightful on many accounts since it tells about how things used to be - and some continue to be - for women. Back when I picked
Show More
it up, I was quite into feminism and all for sticking it to the man etc... The more I learned about De Beauvoir, the less I was impressed by her. I am no fan of her unhealthy relationship with Sartre, too à-la-Osho for my taste. But that is besides the point. Back to this book, some passages were a bit like a rant, so I skimmed through and felt annoyed. This quote is one that I absolutely love:
'One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.'
Show Less
LibraryThing member MarthaJeanne
I've given up on this. The biology and development of culture that start the book as a base for the rest of it are just so outdated that I can't stand it.
LibraryThing member brakketh
Powerful and well argued book.



Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

xxx, 732 p.; 25 cm
Page: 0.1569 seconds