In 2004, the American author Susan Faludi received an email from her father, a retired commercial photographer. They had had little contact for the past quarter-century and Steven Faludi had been living in Hungary, the country of his birth, for several years. Their separation, however, was not the cause of the long estrangement between Faludi, a well-known feminist, and her 76-year-old parent. She records matter-of-factly in this harrowing book that her father was a violent abuser, who almost killed his wife’s new boyfriend after their marriage ended in 1977.
Even before the attack, which put the victim in hospital with multiple stab wounds, Steven Faludi treated his family appallingly. When his wife suggested one evening that she might get a part-time job, he swept the dinner dishes to the floor and slammed his fists on the table. When his