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From the introduction:

Rarely do people stay glued to their televisions in order to watch events they do not enjoy. But such was unquestionably the case with the Senate hearings on Clarence Thomas' nomination to the Supreme Court. There was widespread agreement on only one thing: Something had gone terribly wrong with the process. Right or left, feminist or not, pro-life or pro-choice, however one stood on the question of confirmation, the hearings defied simple analysis. Racism and sexism provided a troubling backdrop as the hearings reminded us how little we understand one another. Neither Thomas nor Hill were easily stereotyped. Thomas radiated real strength and confidence. But equally real was the feeling of vulnerability that accompanied the charge that his opponents had made him the victim of a high-tech lynching. And Thomas was not the only paradox. Anita Hill had a prim and fastidious appearance that made her solemn use of words like "penis" and "pubic hair" seem surreal and unaccountable. Thus, the hearings generated a confusing array of images; like a kaleidoscope, they reflected American political life from many strange and unfamiliar perspectives.