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Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Garden Before Eden

Changing the story of Western civilization, according to Santa Fean Craig Barnes, would change the future. His new book, In Search of the Lost Feminine: Decoding the Myths That Radically Reshaped Civilization, is a pastiche of scholarship, creative reinterpretation of Greek myths, and personal passion. At the book's center is a cataloging of the artworks of Minoan Crete, an apparently woman-centered civilization that flourished from 2500 to 1500 B.C. and then disappeared.

What drove the former public-interest lawyer and arms-treaty negotiator to devote 12 years of his life to this feminist project? "There are a hundred things that come together in a life," Barnes said. "I spent a year in Athens when I was a high-school student. I tried a lawsuit in the 1970s in which the judge ruled against Denver's nurses in a wage case. He excluded evidence of the history of discrimination against women, and to prove the right of redress you have to prove the history of discrimination. Nothing in my family history had prepared me to encounter this kind of discrimination." Full Story

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