Picks and Pans Review: Are Men Necessary?

updated 11/28/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/28/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Maureen Dowd

[STARS 3]

Watch out when you read this on the subway, chickadees—with its crime-noir-style cover and saucy title: Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide, Maureen Dowd's latest announces itself as a manifesto for the fed-up. But even if you feel self-conscious diving into Dowd's neon rehash of flash points in gender politics, don't desert her; she'll keep you (and maybe some of your best male friends) turning pages. Author of the bestselling Bushworld, the New York Times columnist examines topics including the humbling of Hillary Clinton, new courtship rituals ("romantic Googling can be as dangerous as drunk text messaging") and the paradoxical role of intelligence in romance. Researchers at four British universities, she notes, found that a high IQ boosts a man's chances of getting married but hampers a woman's. She does lob in too many quotes from Times-folk and her pun-pocked style is irksome, but no matter: Dowd has a voice that carries.

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