Top positive review
Reviewed in Australia on 22 October 2019
I’m a fan of crime fiction but this leaves fiction for dead. Ronan Farrow says he didn’t make anything up, so he must have recorded every phone conversation presented here. At the end, he thanks all the fact checkers who worked on the book. As a lawyer, speech writer for Obama and Hillary and now with a PhD in political science from Oxford, which he attended as a Rhodes scholar, his intelligence and ability is not in question. We know now that Harvey Weinstein got his comeuppance but the tale of getting to that point makes for extraordinary reading. The predatory behaviour of Weinstein and others was an open secret in the media industry but such was the power of these men that it took a lot of brave doggedness to uncover it. Farrow himself was surprised by the revelations about his own network, NBC. It would be nice to think that in the #MeToo era this kind of sexual thuggery has become obsolete, or will soon, but old habits die hard. What is pitiful to think about is the lives ruined by men who think they can take what they want when what they want is bad: not another person’s joy, success, fulfilment or serenity but her fear, degradation, self-loathing; the shutting down of a life, not opening it up to express and grow her talents. How come we have a society where this utter disrespect for half of humanity is the norm? And to go off piste, should we link this attitude to the rape of the planet, which is now showing us that our lack of care, respect and understanding have serious consequences? Ultimately, you do not have dominion, guys. Regardless, Farrow has done a fine job in bringing us the tale of a takedown of monsters.