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She Said summary

Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey

Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story that Helped Ignite a Movement

4.8 (41 ratings)
33 mins

Brief summary

She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey is a journalistic account of how they broke the Harvey Weinstein story and sparked the global #MeToo movement. It highlights the power dynamics of abuse and inadequacy of institutions in redressing it.

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    She Said
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    The investigation into Harvey Weinstein began with an email exchange.

    The investigation began in May 2017 with a tentative email exchange between New York Times investigative reporter Jodi Kantor and actress Rose McGowan. 

    McGowan, an A-list film and television actress, was known for her outspoken Twitter feed documenting everyday sexism in the media industry. Kantor, who had worked at the Times for 14 years, had a track record of covering gender discrimination at major corporations like Starbucks and Amazon. 

    McGowan had recently tweeted a personal story about her rape at the hands of a Hollywood producer. She had not named names, but rumors hinted that the perpetrator was the media mogul, Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein, an industry powerhouse, was known for turning young talents, such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Michelle Williams and Jennifer Lawrence, into superstars. He was also politically connected, raising money for prominent Democrats, including Hillary Clinton.

    After some initial reluctance, McGowan told Kantor her full story, but only off-the-record. The details were shocking. According to McGowan, she met Weinstein in 1997 at the Sundance Film Festival, where he invited her to his hotel room under the pretext of talking business. After a brief exchange in the room, he forced himself on her without consent. Frightened and caught off guard, McGowan was unable to escape. 

    A few days later, McGowan received a message from the producer, hinting that the two could have a special arrangement. Disgusted with the offer, the actress hired a lawyer, who extracted a $100,000 settlement from Weinstein on the condition that the matter would be kept private. 

    Kantor had no reason to doubt the account, but such explosive allegations would have to be corroborated, otherwise the incident could easily become a case of “he said, she said.” With this in mind, she sought the advice of her editor, Rebecca Corbett, who suggested digging deeper before publishing anything. 

    Corbett also suggested enlisting the help of one of the Times’s newest reporters, Megan Twohey. Twohey, who joined the paper in February 2016, had already made waves reporting on numerous sexual assault allegations against then-presidential candidate, Donald Trump. The reporting had set off a media circus, and many of the women she interviewed experienced harassment for coming forward. 

    Kantor called Twohey, who was on maternity leave, and the two reporters discussed the challenge ahead. If they worked together, maybe they could find a way to expose the widespread harassment faced by so many women, as well as the system that protected the powerful men who committed it. 

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    What is She Said about?

    On October 5, 2017, the New York Times ran an exposé detailing years of sexual misconduct by famed film producer Harvey Weinstein. She Said (2019) tells the story behind the story, tracing how two investigative journalists, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, uncovered one of the biggest news events of the decade and helped galvanize the #MeToo moment. Told by the journalists themselves, this book recounts how tenacious reporting can transform decades of abuse into a worldwide movement.   

    She Said Review

    She Said (2019) is a harrowing account of the journalistic investigation that led to the exposure of Harvey Weinstein's decades-long history of sexual abuse. Here's why this book is a must-read:

    • Through meticulous research and courageous reporting, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey offer a powerful insight into the #MeToo movement and its profound impact on our society.
    • The book sheds light on the determination and perseverance of the journalists involved, showcasing their relentless pursuit of truth and justice.
    • With its compelling narratives and firsthand accounts from survivors, the book humanizes the experiences of the victims and highlights the importance of speaking up.

    Who should read She Said?

    • Anyone interested in the story behind the #MeToo movement
    • People intrigued by the world of investigative journalism
    • Those seeking inspiration on how to fight abuses of power and other injustices

    About the Author

    Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey are Pulitzer-prize winning journalists best known for their in-depth reporting for the New York Times. Kantor has covered news and politics for major outlets and published the best-selling The Obamas (2012)Twohey’s investigative work has appeared in Reuters, the Chicago Tribune and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 

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    She Said FAQs 

    What is the main message of She Said?

    She Said is a powerful book that exposes the culture of silence around sexual harassment and encourages speaking truth to power.

    How long does it take to read She Said?

    Reading She Said takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is She Said a good book? Is it worth reading?

    She Said is a must-read that sheds light on the #MeToo movement and the importance of investigative journalism.

    Who is the author of She Said?

    She Said is written by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey.

    What to read after She Said?

    If you're wondering what to read next after She Said, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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