Praise for Penis Politics


“Elegantly Elucidates”

…a wonderful shift of tone occurs as she moves from the eloquence of a press person, reporter, and teacher that she has been, to the vernacular of the former major college athlete that she also was. Her feet are on the ground as she tells us what men are like at the pinnacle of political power…. her odd and tricky title for this memoir is a word coinage with gives
forth a cascade of neologisms.

— Gerry Weaver, Author of Gospel Prism and The First First Gentleman
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“Immensely thoughtful”

Impressively candid, immensely thoughtful and thought-provoking…an extraordinary and riveting read from first page to last.
— Mary Cowper’s Bookshelf, Midwest Book Review
MBR Bookwatch


“Fascinating, Rich Images”

Fascinating . . . I loved the metaphors . . . a cautionary tale . . . rich images of what life is like in a small town (like Soso). . .  very interesting on a human level
— Errol Louis, CNN Political Expert, NY1 Anchor
Listen to podcast:
Karen Hinton: Politics with a “P” and the men who abuse their power


“Accomplished and entertaining writer”

Touted as ‘a memoir of women, men and power’ it is so much more…

Hinton is an accomplished and entertaining writer, juxtaposing bad and good, sorrow and hope…

(an) immensely readable memoir…Hinton shares stories of shame, sorrow, successes,
surprises and egos.”
— Sherri Daley for BookTrib, the leading source for book news and reviews
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“Prose is sharp and incisive”

A timely, engaging political account about the consequences of saying nothing and speaking up. Hinton’s prose is sharp and incisive. She is adept at setting a scene and
bringing people to life on the page.

— Kirkus Review
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“Truly Brilliant Novel”

I bought Penis Politics because I try to buy at least one copy when a colleague writes. That’s my confession. The surprise is that it reads like a truly brilliant novel & in many ways reminds me of Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half.
Don’t just buy Penis Politics, read it!

— Stu Loeser, NYC Media Consultant


“Helps illuminate”

A memoir that uses the power dynamic of men & women as a through line…It talks about things during a time…(Penis Politics) helps illuminate why women made the choices they made.

— Up Next/Host Gabriella Mirabelli


“Next thing I knew…”

Started reading the book last night. Thought I would read a chapter (maybe the intro) before falling asleep. Next thing I knew, it was 4:14 am.

— From a Mississippi friend after buying my book


“Powerfully written…Incredible…Women feel
seen and heard”

Powerfully written to include women of all creeds, ages, backgrounds, and experiences. As if she were telling you this story from across the table. Women will feel “seen” and “heard” because (Karen Hinton) spoke the truth about this and so many male-laden industries.

— Running Girl on Amazon Reviews


“Disarmingly honest”

“A vivid, clear-eyed glimpse into American politics from a woman who grew up in the hinterlands of Mississippi and against all odds propelled herself into the rooms of power in Washington and New York City. Disarmingly honest, Hinton has invited us into her extraordinary life, from her complicated relationship with the Mississippi Delta of her youth, to the famous—too often, infamous—men she met along the way in her career in Democratic politics. Hinton’s first book, Penis Politics, is brimming with the steady perseverance, relentless ambition and maddening frustrations of a talented woman who found her way in a world dominated by men less talented than she. Now, it’s her turn to tell her story.
And Hinton, a longtime keeper of secrets, spares no one.”
— Mara Gay, New York Times Editorial Board Member and MSNBC Political Analyst.



“By sharing her experiences as a woman in the high-stakes world of politics, Karen Hinton offers readers a riveting account of how she managed to courageously navigate what she calls ‘the toxic brew of ego, entitlement, testosterone and bro-culture’ that permeates corridors of power.”
— Betsy Fischer Martin, Executive Director, American University Women & Politics Institute; former Executive Producer of Meet the Press


“Principled, unafraid and honest”

“In a writing style reminiscent of Eudora Welty, author Karen Hinton unabashedly takes us on her sexual journey. Penis Politics is a memoir of an innocent girl from Soso, Mississippi, who learned way too early that male advances are more about dominance and less about sex. Throughout the memoir there is common refrain: whether it’s the head coach in small-town Soso, or a powerful Governor from Albany, its all still only about power and control. Hinton’s Penis Politics is principled, honest to a fault and unafraid.”
— Mike Espy, former Congressman from Mississippi and former Cabinet Secretary. He is derisively described as “a black man from a small state” by former HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo in Penis Politics


“A wake-up call….compelling…..Hinton is brave and generous…a masterful storyteller”

“Karen Hinton’s book Penis Politics is a wake-up call in the form of a compelling memoir. She takes us to places that few get to see and even fewer talk about openly. As a senior aide to powerful men like Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio, she shows us how political might is deployed and the effect masculinity in its most toxic form can play – how it can impact women who work in government and politics (and anyone who cares about them) and its effect on government itself. Throughout the book, Hinton is brave and generous in telling us not just about her work, but also about her life – coming of age in the Deep South and then learning to navigate the corridors of power in Washington and New York. Hinton is a masterful storyteller who has told an important, true story.”
— Ross Garber, government investigations and impeachment lawyer and legal analyst (CNN, Washington Post, Politico, The Daily Beast)



“This is not just another white woman’s memoir. It’s a story of how race and politics and sex combine to keep the status quo in power. And it is told from the point of view of those who have the least hope that things will ever change. Growing up in the Klan-infested Piney Woods, Karen Hinton helps elect the first Black congressman from Mississippi since Reconstruction. Traveling with him to Congress, she begins her own journey through the corridors of power from Washington, D.C. to New York city, fueled by the ongoing injustices in her state and her nation. Repeatedly she confronts a male-centered politics, from ‘good ole boys’ to ‘bro culture,’ that prefers loyalty to competence. Her frustration echoes that of voters, who wish that politicians could see beyond their own noses (Hinton refers to another body part) long enough to solve problems for the people who elected them.

Penis Politics also is a coming-of-age story of working-class girls, growing up with the promise of Title IX and the reality of rape by male coaches. Hinton’s ‘coterie’ navigates sexual liberation and traditional gender roles together. How they join forces to punish their perpetrator, despite the laws of Mississippi that still exist allowing adults to sexually abuse children, teaches Hinton the art of high-stakes negotiation, which propels her to a national career. At last readers have a true-life version of Stand By Me for girls.

With her first book, Penis Politics, Karen Hinton takes her seat at the table of exceptional Mississippi writers. This fellow Mississippian is damn proud of her.”
— Linda R. Monk, J.D.
Constitutional Scholar & Award-Winning Author, The Bill of Rights: A User’s Guide


“Hard Hitting”

Penis Politics is hard-hitting and unrelenting. Hinton shows girls forced to learn penis politics from childhood. It is everywhere; it never stops; they never escape. Women’s lives and careers are determined by it. Slamming more than half the population, penis politics distorts every company, every organization. Worldwide. These distortions cost us all real money. Staggering losses in market share and economic growth. Hinton shows that it’s time for a reset.”
— Francis McInerney, leading global expert on corporate restructuring and author of six books on how to rebuild companies to compete.