Naomi Wolf is an author and essayist whose works have appeared in The New Republic, Wall Street Journal, Glamour, Ms., Esquire, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. She also speaks widely to groups across the country.
Her first book, The Beauty Myth, was an international bestseller. She followed it with Fire With Fire: The New Female Power and How It Will Change The 21st Century; Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood; Misconceptions, critique of pregnancy and birth in America; The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot; and Give me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries.
Wolf is also co-founder of the Board of The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, an organization devoted to training young women in ethical leadership for the 21st century. She is a graduate of Yale University and completed her graduate work at New College, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.
Wolf: We’ve done more than lost a generation of people watching America’s behavior in the last eight years. We’ve done everything possible in some ways to inflame sentiment against us. I mean the footage from Abu Ghraib and more and more detainees’ stories that are actually not being reported in the US. But people are being released, you know, some people have been released and they’re publishing books and these stories are very well known around the world. This… and, you know, what we’re doing in Iraq and jailing journalists in Iraq and threatening the families of suspected insurgents in Iraq with kidnap, you know, contractors murdering civilians in cold blood in Iraq and then not being accountable to the rule of law, it’s almost like you couldn’t design actions to guarantee hostility toward the US and, you know, legitimate hostility toward the US. And sometimes and I spell this out in the “End of America,” it’s almost like you couldn’t design conditions more likely to guarantee more terrorism and, you know, I pointed it out in the “End of America” that there’s an economic value to corporations that no longer have a market for Cold War weapon systems but have a market for surveillance and security technologies. There’s a value to them in extending the war in terror and, you know, finding any global enemy. Now, are we stuck with this for the next 30 years? No. We have a lot of powers. I hope readers of “Give Me Liberty” will really understand each of us has so much power. We have the power to restore not only our constitution but our values and we have the power to hold the criminals who have committed these crimes accountable and that would, you know, like the Nuremberg trials that would do so much to restore a prestige in the international world. To show the world that we are a nation of lost, again, I think we have the power with wise leadership under the next president to engage in an open way with people who are horrified about what we’ve done and show that we understand how we’ve gone astray from our mission in the world. You know, I’m Jewish, you know, we just finished the 10 days of Awe when you’re supposed to kind of examine yourself and make things right and there’s a great deal of power. You know, I think nations have relationships to each other just like people do and right now we like torched and burned everybody’s house and we’re not acknowledging it. We’re like a total alcoholic, abusive dad, you know, and there’s a great deal of forgiveness out there for America that could wake up from this nightmare and say, you know, I am sorry for what we’ve done and here is how I’m making it right and here’s I’m committing too, you know, be a light unto nations again. I think we’d experienced a great deal of goodwill and bridge building and more of peace and stability and stronger economy if we took that route, I think there’s a lot of hope there but again it’s up to us.