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Jodi Kantor's book on Obama marriage is 'chick nonfiction'? Take it back, Douglas Brinkley!

Barack_and_Michelle_Obama_at_the_Home_States_BallLiterary and journalistic women are up in arms today, after a New York Times book reviewer referred to Jodi Kantor's well-regarded new book on the Obamas' marrage as "chick nonfiction."

Historian Douglas Brinkley's review of "The Obamas" appeared in Sunday's New York Times Book Review and -- while generally positive -- managed with that demeaning little phrase to tick off women across the land.

The implication, of course, is that a book about the president's marriage would only appeal to women, since they love all that frothy stuff about relationships and are too busy getting their hair streaked to worry their heads about serious policy matters.

Huffington Post Women's Editor Margaret Wheeler Johnson offers this entertaining summary of the dust-up.

Meanwhile, Salon's Rebecca Traister issued this lacerating tweet: "Metrics: multiply author's femininity by subject's femininity, divide by book sales? Dunno. Math's hard."

The Washington Post's Ezra Klein added his (lower-pitched) voice to the dissent: "Jodi Kantor’s ‘The Obamas’ is among the very best books on this White House. It’s a serious, thoughtful book on the modern presidency in general. So no, I’m not going to call it 'chick nonfiction.'

With all the cleverness and outrage flying about, Twitter quickly began a new hashtag: [email protected]

Here's the offending review itself. The key sentences are in the second paragraph: "Call it chick nonfiction, if you will; this book is not about politics, it’s about marriage. ..."

Now, ladies, do be careful while you're doing all this heavy reading. You don't want to muss your French manicures.

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