Front Men and Back Women
MetadataShow full item record
On April 7, 2000, the New York Times printed a thirty-six paragraph-long obituary of Tunisia’s former president, Habib Bourguiba. While it described Bourguiba as a leader who “did much to enhance women’s rights in Tunisia,” it is not until the twenty-first paragraph that we learn he had a first wife, a Frenchwoman, whom he divorced in 1961. In that same year, we are finally informed in the second to last paragraph, he married his second wife, Wassila ben Ammar, “a Tunisian from a prominent family” and someone who “came to be seen as a power within the presidency.” But how much of a power? And with what consequence? How are we to know?
Literary review of: Milosevic: Portrait of a Tyrant, by Dusko Doder & Louise Branson. New York: The Free Press, 1999. America’s Boy: A Century of Colonialism in the Philippines, by James Hamilton-Paterson. New York: Henry Holt, 1998. 462 pp. Mandela: The Authorized Biography, by Anthony Sampson. New York: Knopf,1999. 672 pp.