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Patricia McBroom
Dance of the Deities: Searching for Our Once and Future Egalitarian Society

Adult; Memoir; (Market)

Anthropologist Patricia McBroom explores the ancient power of women with the aim of nourishing an egalitarian future. It is the only book to combine memoir and contemporary social analysis with a detailed foray into research on gender equality in human cultures, past and present. In a journey to cultural sites as old as 10,000 BCE, McBroom challenges conventional academic emphasis on male-dominant societies, resurrecting evidence of prehistoric goddess worship that had been erased by archaeologists over the past 20 years. She argues that a thriving human future on the planet is dependent on rebalancing the masculine and feminine in a science-based environmental sense of the sacred. The story takes place in the context of her own existential search, involving psychedelic medicines and new ways of living in community.

Quarter Finalist

Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.50 out of 10


Idea: This is a fascinating and unique read that challenges many cultural norms, blending personal narrative, gender studies, and anthropological treatise.

Prose: The writing is clean and professional with astute and engaging prose. McBroom imbues the narrative with warmth, while providing an intelligent, academic treatise.

Originality: The book’s blend of gender and ancient history with memoir results in a fully unique, well-sourced and stimulating work.

Character/Execution: The experience of reading this thoroughly researched book feels akin to auditing collegiate lectures with a charismatic lecturer. The book’s exploration of ancient female deities is expertly connected to modern gender studies through personal narrative.

Blurb: A fascinating anthropological read, tailored to the contemporary, that challenges many cultural norms.

Date Submitted: October 19, 2020

McBroom (The Third Sex: The New Professional Woman) uses her own experiences as an anthropologist, a science writer, and a woman navigating modern society to fashion a memoir of her “search for equality and the sacred female.” She examines the influence of goddess worship on human culture, establishing that many societies that worshipped female deities gave men and women equal power. She combines her research with her personal experiences to clearly demonstrate her view that society would function better with a more egalitarian structure. Her approach is compassionate, not militant; while grieving the effects of patriarchy in her own life, she asserts that women don’t want to rule over men, only to share their power.

Drawing on her several decades of science writing and archaeological research work, McBroom provides well-informed historical examples of egalitarian cultures that paid a steep price when male-dominated colonizers took over, examining the effects of European patriarchal structures on the Iroquois and the Maori. Her passion for female deities is clear throughout the narrative, but she’s careful to reinforce her personal opinions with informed analysis of ancient objects and other archaeological findings.

McBroom comfortably invites readers into her life. As she discusses the importance of goddesses in Neolithic cultures, she transitions seamlessly to examples of how a respectful view of women either did help or could have helped her. Sharing painful stories such as being scapegoated at work because she was a woman, and joyful ones such as living for 19 years in a cohousing community where everyone governs together, McBroom effectively illustrates the significance of recovering “the cultural history of the sacred female.” This mix of memoir, theory, and research will interest any reader who’s passionate about building a more egalitarian world.

Takeaway: Feminists and history buffs will be drawn to this passionate, well-researched memoir that explores the past and possible future of gender-equal societies.

Great for fans of Marija Gimbutas and Joseph Campbell’s The Language of the Goddess.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: -
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

"Dance of the Deities" is set for book launch

Save the Date: Book Launch 10/3 at 3 pm PST!

Have you ever wanted to travel back in time to some distant past in human life? If so, you will want to join me on a virtual journey to 10,000 BC, as I launch my new book 

Dance of the Deities: Searching for Our Once and Future Egalitarian Society.

My time machine departs on Saturday, October 3 at 3 pm PST and returns…well, I think it returns, later that day.  In the meantime, we will pass through ancient Europe and Turkey in towns of the Neolithic Age, finally reaching an amazing site full of enormous, mysterious monoliths created by people 12,000 years ago, who had not even started to build villages yet.

Register below and you will receive a zoom link as the event nears!