The erasure of a book that describes problems with adolescent and teenage girls transitioning to males

I was amazed to read, in the Qullette article below, this sentence:

Between 2016 and 2017, the number of females seeking gender surgery quadrupled in the United States.

But the reference cited did indeed show this (the actual increase was 3.88-fold), while the number of males seeking gender reassignment surgery was not only absolutely lower, but increased much less (41%) over a year. If you go back further, the rise is even more dramatic (graph below):

Here’s a plot from a paper in the Archives of Sexual Behavior showing the number of people referred each year to the UK’s Gender Identity Development Service. It shows the strong rise in referrals of adolescent females compared to males, and some rise in children as well. In the last 7 years it seems to have gone from fewer then 40 to over 1700 in adolescent females—a roughly 43-fold increase! Clearly, some phenomenon is happening that needs an explanation.

 

 

These kinds of surgeries are manifestations of gender dysphoria: the distress caused when one’s felt gender identity conflicts with one’s sex at birth. The rate of this dysphoria in adolescent and teenage women has risen to the extent that it could be considered an epidemic, which is what some people  think it is: a manifestation of cultural influence that drives many young girls to not only identify as males, but to undergo medical treatment to become hormonally and physically more like males. Shrier’s thesis is that many of these woman would have become lesbians, or reversed their desires, had not gender dysphoria constituted a sort of fad, one seen as a heroic syndrome supported by all kinds of medical and psychological professionals.

In the new book below, which has just entered the Amazon top 100 list, Abigal Shrier, a writer for the Wall Street Journal who also has degrees from Columbia and Oxford and a law degree from Yale, is raising the alarm not about adults who are transgender and undergo medical treatment—Shrier’s fine with that—but about adolescent and teenage girls who claim a different gender identity and then are universally “affirmed” by psychologists, sociologists, and doctors, many undergoing transitions before or while they’re in their teens. It’s undeniable that many of these who transitioned later have second thoughts or regrets about the process, but many of the medical procedures, including hormonal treatments, cause irreversible and injurious changes in the body.

You can get the book, which I’m doing, from Amazon, despite their refusal to take paid ads for it (more on that below).  And its popularity, and overall positive customer reviews, come despite the refusal of mainstream media to advertise or even review this book, which seems to me an important one.

 

Shrier, as I said, deals only with gender dysphoria in young girls and teenage girls, and only one form: “Rapid onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD). Her thesis, as laid out in the Quillette article below (click on screenshot), is this:

What I aim to do, as a journalist, is to investigate cultural phenomena, and here was one worth investigating: Between 2016 and 2017, the number of females seeking gender surgery quadrupled in the United States. Thousands of teen girls across the Western world are not only self-diagnosing with a real dysphoric condition they likely do not have; in many cases, they are obtaining hormones and surgeries following the most cursory diagnostic processes. Schoolteachers, therapists, doctors, surgeons, and medical-accreditation organizations are all rubber-stamping these transitions, often out of fear that doing otherwise will be reported as a sign of “transphobia”—despite growing evidence that most young people who present as trans will eventually desist, and so these interventions will do more harm than good.

The notion that this sudden wave of transitioning among teens is a worrying, ideologically driven phenomenon is hardly a fringe view. Indeed, outside of Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, and college campuses, it is a view held by a majority of Americans. There is nothing hateful in suggesting that most teenagers are not in a good position to approve irreversible alterations to their bodies, particularly if they are suffering from trauma, OCD, depression, or any of the other mental-health problems that are comorbid with expressions of dysphoria. And yet, here we are.

As I said, Shrier has no issue with adults who, after deciding they’re transgender, decide to have surgery and assume the non-birth gender. She’s solely concerned with the young: why is this suddenly happening, who is supporting it among adults, and what harms can it cause?

Because even raising these questions is considered taboo in today’s political climate, there has been a concerted effort to “erase” Shrier’s book—to pretend it never existed by refusing to advertise or review it. It came to public attention largely because Shrier was interviewed by Joe Rogan on his wildly popular podcast. Even Spotify, which hosts those podcasts, called the interview (as well as Rogan and Shrier) transphobic and threatened to walk out. (See the Rogan-show video here; I recommend it as a substitute for the book if you want to hear about the controversy).

I was able to find only one long-form review of Shrier’s book—one by a feminist writing in Feminist Current, who, despite a few quibbles, praises the book highly. Click on the screenshot to read Megan Mackin’s review:

Between Mackin’s and Shrier’s pieces, you can read about all the attempts by the media (and others) to pretend Shrier’s book doesn’t exist. They include these:

  1. Amazon refuses to host paid ads for the book on its site, though it allows paid ads for books praising medical transitions for teenage girls.
  2. The book wasn’t even reviewed by Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus, two of the most important pre-publication venues for calling attention to books.
  3. As I mentioned, Spotify employees, calling both Rogan and Shrier “transphobes”, threatened to walk out. Fortunately, the Rogan show episode is still up.
  4. The National Association of Science Writers removed Sean Scott from their discussion group because he had said, without having read the book, that it “should hopefully shed some overdue light on a very sensitive, politically charged topic that potentially carries lifelong medical consequences.” Really offensive and transphobic, right?
  5. Parents started a GoFundMe account to support Shrier, but GoFundMe closed the account twice, though they’re happy to host fundraisers for teenage girls who want transition surgery.
  6. As Mackin notes, “Shrier contributes frequently to the Wall Street Journal, and among her degrees is a Juris Doctor from Yale University. She is a skilled writer who offers complex ideas with accessible delivery. It is possible the media would have covered her work had she resorted to obfuscating postmodernist jargon. Shrier has received no reviews from the established liberal press — not from the New York TimesThe Atlantic, the Kirkus Review, nor any other mainstream online publications. Amazon, which still sells and thus profits from Irreversible Damage — garnering rave reviews there — has refused to allow sponsored ads to promote the book.

And, finally, this just happened. Someone beefed to Target that they were carrying Shrier’s book, and Target removed it.

Here’s the beefer, who apparently removed the tweet:

And some pushback:

At any rate, despite the lack of media support for Shrier’s bestselling book, she is not casting herself as a victim; in fact, her ending of the Quillette piece is measured and rational, but passionate as well:

I want to be clear about something. I don’t believe that I’ve been harmed by these suppression efforts. I am not entitled to book reviews by any media outlet. I sold plenty of books without Amazon’s “sponsored ads.” Joe Rogan (and Megyn Kelly, who also had me on) have much larger platforms than the outlets that pretended this book doesn’t exist. And while this topic has become a fascination of mine, I am no activist. I will pursue other subjects and write other books.

But there is a victim here—the public. A network of activists and their journalistic enablers have largely succeeded in suppressing a real discussion of the over-diagnosis of gender dysphoria among vulnerable girls. As you read this, there are parents everywhere being lectured to by authority figures about how they have to affirm their daughter’s sudden interest in becoming a boy—no questions asked. From Amazon to I Am Jazz, everyone is telling them that transition is the path to happiness, and those who question this narrative are bigots. So they stare at their shoes and let the conversion therapy take its toll.

This is what censorship looks like in 21st-century America. It isn’t the government sending police to your home. It’s Silicon Valley oligopolists implementing blackouts and appeasing social-justice mobs, while sending disfavored ideas down memory holes. And the forces of censorship are winning. Not only because their efforts to censor leave almost no trace. They are winning because, thus far, most Americans have been content to surrender virtually every liberty in exchange for the luxury of having products delivered to their door. Most would happily submit to the rule of Big Tech, so long as their Netflix isn’t disrupted.

At some point, it will cross each of our minds to question an item on the ever-growing list of unsayables. We will find ourselves smeared, or blocked, or the target of a woke campaign. And we will look for support from those with only a dim recollection of why they once cared about free speech. Those who will note tyranny’s advance with the pitiless smile of a low-level bureaucrat already anticipating the door-delivered Cherry Garcia and hours of uninterrupted streaming: “You brought this on yourself, didn’t you?”

Here’s the end of Mackin’s review, the only thoughtful and longish review I could find anywhere (there are, of course, short reviews on Amazon and GoodReads):

Shrier — not a radical feminist — understands the need for a transfer of feminist ideas, which may encourage other women to take a deeper look. Girls’ lives matter. I give Shrier credit for authoring this necessary book. It is the first to put the many pieces together clearly and accessibly. Read Irreversible Damage and share it with others — it is a brave and daring book that ought to be part of the public discussion.

(Mackin also discusses the many people who profit financially and professionally from affirming, both psychologically and medically, the self-diagnoses of girls as gender dysphoric.)

It’s shameful that a book like Shrier’s is publicly erased by mainstream media and stores like Target because it somehow is seen as “transphobic”.  No matter what your preconceptions are, or what you’ve read about girls transitioning before or as teenagers, this book seems like a must-read. It’s a dereliction of duty that major journalistic outlets haven’t reviewed it and that medical associations so readily affirm medical treatment of gender dysphoria in the young. This is how deeply cowed we have become by wokeness, part of which is the universal glorification of gender dysphoria, whose sufferers are seen as heroes. (That may, in fact, partly account for its rapid spread.) When those sufferers are in their teens, though, society should be moving a lot more carefully than it’s doing now.

All too often our Cancel Culture tries to eliminate discussion of issues that are vital in deciding how we should think and act as social beings. The attempts of many to pretend that this book doesn’t exist, and therefore avoid Shrier’s difficult questions, is a reprehensible example of that culture.

 

63 thoughts on “The erasure of a book that describes problems with adolescent and teenage girls transitioning to males

  1. I hate to say it, but doesn’t it feel like we’re all way too late now? If people were too scared to deal with the smears from activists 10 years ago, how do we expect people to do so now, given that they have the establishment and the general public willing to do their book-burning and witchhunting for them?

    I remember sounding the alarm on all of this woke takeover of intellectual spaces almost 15 years ago, and even then, it was fear of social repercussions which dictated who was willing to stand up to it. Heck, I got scolded by even you Jerry for coming down hard of feminists in academia.

    I’m happy to promote people like yourself Jerry, or Abigail and others willing to make some stand… but it feels like the wave will crash regardless.

    A relevant question to ask yourselves… if your younger family member asks you about the issues at the centre of the culture war, do you want them to even indulge? Do you want them to be in line with reality when it might lead to social ostracization? And if you deem it in their best interest to avoid the shitshow entirely, are we not essentially admitting the game is over?

    Someone convince me to not be such a pessimist please.

  2. There was a recent radio programme about numbers of female to male transitioners, changing their minds & going back to being female. I will see if I can find it…

      1. Thanks for the link. In the light of the pro-transition cancel culture described above, its good to hear some opposite voices from actually affected persons that can’t be so easily dismissed by the typical “you aren’t allowed to talk about it if you don’t have it yourself” killer argument. (Thought out thoroughly, this would mean that only doctors suffering from an illness themselves should be allowed to teach about it or treat it.)

  3. Even Spotify, which hosts those podcasts, called the interview (as well as Rogan and Shrier) transphobic and threatened to walk out.

    Wasn’t it more that some Spotify *employees* demanded that the episode be pulled, but that so far Spotify — to their credit — have refused.

  4. Agreed that this is another chilling example of stealth censorship and tamping down of free speech in doing so.

    It’s also why I have mixed emotions watching the media (mostly Left), including social media, tamping down and censoring right wing and Trumpster claims about the election.

    It’s a fountain of dangerous bullsh*t coming from the “the election was rigged!” side, and on one hand it feels comforting to see such strong pushback in the form of “we aren’t even going to tell you what they are saying because it’s all lies.”

    On the other hand, it gets down to the free speech aspect “who decides when they have The Truth such that they dictate who gets to speak?” The pleasure I may feel at having lies stopped in their tracks is fine while it’s “My side” wielding that power.

    But the scenario around Shrier’s book and the woke brigade’s attempt at censoring it, removing it’s view from the table, is a reminder that we have to be careful about cheering the silencing of an opinion we think is wrong because: “at some point, they may come for you too.”

  5. If a book on the subject cannot even get the light of day it may be necessary for some big time investigative reporting on the matter. Target should get lots of gas about this also. I did not know Target even sold books.

  6. Well, I just bought it. The reviews on Amazon, as you said, are very good, and quite moving. As far as Target goes…well, it’s never had a very good selection of very good books to start with, but it’s honestly shameful that they responded to isolated tweeters as if they were the voice of the human race (which some of them seem to think they are). They are acting like moral cowards.

    1. Note that the “isolated Tweeter” in question calls themselves a “transifa activist” and declares “ACAB”. Not exactly a “Mr Everyman”.

  7. I miss the days when, if you didn’t like a book, you wrote a critical review of it. Or skipped over it and read something else. (I also miss the days when liberals were the one against banning books.)

    1. Yeah, it disturbs me that Target removed it. My answer would be, “the book may offend you but it doesn’t mean we are removing it. That’s the point with books.” It’s bad that this is how the world seems to work now. I guarantee there are a lot of books in the bookstore and libraries I find offensive and I’d never ask that they be removed.

  8. Are we really supposed to believe that all the people who want to change are not being affected by environment rather than it being somehow normal to find this? I mean I can get that there might be a combination of psychological AND environmental things going on in the past, so there will always have been some sort of gender dysphoria, but now it seems a lot more people have that. In-utero environment has to be important in this? The chemical cocktail of the modern world – is that a key cause?

  9. I think the book’s title and subtitle bear some blame here. The words “damage” and “…transgender craze seducing our daughters” are loaded with judgment, and would appeal more to transphobes looking to buttress what they already believe than it would to people genuinely curious about the increase in gender transitioning among teen girls. It certainly doesn’t strike me as an objective look at the phenomenon.

    Still, even with a more neutral title I’ve no doubt the woke mob would pounce, just as they have with J.K. Rowling. Just to question the roots of the phenomenon is wrongthink.

    But if we’re going to correct this trend to illiberalism, we need liberal people to read books about controversial issues like this. And I think they’d be more likely to read this book if the title was more neutral.

    1. For example, I am very interested in an exploration of the increase in gender dysphoria and teen transitioning. Could it be a variation on mass psychogenic illness, where entire schools of kids have come down with symptoms of an illness, only to all be found free of any disease? Is it merely more reflective of the actual baseline rate of dysphoria, and it had merely been suppressed due to cultural opprobrium in the past? Something else?

      But I look at the title, and I don’t think I’m going to get a fair analysis of these possibilities. I feel like the author had a conclusion, and that the book is a polemic aimed at presenting evidence and argument for that conclusion only.

    2. Presumably venues like Publisher’s Weekly, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews, and so on, would not reject reviewing a book simply because of its title.
      It’s the absence of those reviews that constituted the major “erasure” of the book.

      1. True. On the other hand, do we know that those outlets have rejected reviews of the book? The NYT can’t review every book that’s published, after all.

        1. Yes, but Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly does. So yes, they rejected reviewing the book because they review nearly every new book that comes out (in a short take) and certainly would have done this one.

          Based on my own reviewing for major media like the NYT, WsPo, New Republic, TLS, etc., I would have guessed that this book would have been deemed important enough to have been reviewed in at least one or two of these places.

          You’re determined to diss this book because of the title, aren’t you?

    3. My understanding from talking with my teens is that there are lots of Tumblr blogs (with a lot of followers) dedicated to helping teens with complicated feelings about their social and sexual lives (in other words, pretty much everyone) to resolve those feelings into a trans identity. I haven’t read the Shrier book, but I guess that’s part of the “craze” that’s referred to in the subtitle.

      1. The Internet communities of course play a big part.

        And here’s an example of the sort of thing a teenage might run across: an online“Gender Dysphoria Test.” Could you be transgender?

        Take the test. And then take the test and answer “no” to every question.

        1. That’s hilarious. “Your answers suggest a mild to moderate indication that you are experiencing symptoms common among people with gender dysphoria.”

          It seems there is no way to NOT have gender dysphoria!

  10. I suspect much of this ‘woke stuff’ is social contagion. People adopt it to be ‘fashionable’ – and fashionable people are highly sensitive to the inferred criticism of someone else not going along with their ridiculous views.

    There are plenty of real issues in the world to deal with, including racism and gender issues, but being criticised for not clutching at the ‘special’ imaginary pearls… it’s the Emperors New Clothes, all over again.

  11. The above-described problem surrounding gender dysphoria – that surgeries and hormonal treatments are increasing and there are numbers of young people who later regret having done it- is one of the core issues brought up by J.K. Rowling.

  12. My teenage daughter has two friends (as in, people her own age that she has met and spent time with in real life, one of them a pretty close friend) who have changed their gender identity. I’ve no idea if surgery is/was something either of them have considered, but one of the two has already reverted to their original (male) identity now. A child in my son’s year group (about 100 kids; my son is in the school year below his sister) also swapped gender – they’re no longer at the same institution so I don’t know how that panned out, but they did twice change the new name they wanted to go by. The kids hardly bat an eyelid at this stuff. It’s very hard to know if gender dysphoria was a hidden problem that is now being seen or if there is a cultural driver behind this behavio(u)r.

  13. I am less pessimistic that the forces of woke censorship will win. The backlash, and avenues for communicating it, are growing.

    1. But to me at least those forces come mainly from the conservative right (our esteemed host being one of the exceptions, of course). But since so much of the opposition in main-stream media come from the right, activist supporters on the left can dismiss the criticisms rather than consider them.

      1. Quite true. But just as lefties might be nervous about sharing space with the right, the right should be nervous about the increasing number of lefties criticizing the woke. When the left seizes the anti-woke mic, or half of it, the wokes will be forced to heed. Step aside, Alan Colmes, I see in my crystal ball a Hannity-Coyne radio hour!

    2. A little backlash hardly matters as long as wokeism rules in education (!), the media, tech, about every big business and academia. Conservatives have almost no influence there.

  14. My understanding is that the vast majority of the increase is seen in young girls, which strongly suggest that the answer is not exclusively a more tolerant culture. Wouldn’t we see more diversity at least with regards to age in the trans population, where this the case?

  15. Shrier’s book commits the offense of challenging the woke doctrine that gender dysphoria is not merely perfectly fine, it is actually sacred. One has to wonder how the doctrine of trans sanctification came to be so pervasive, so culturally powerful. The whole woke package—the wholesale rejection of the Enlightenment, the fondness for other ways of knowing, the Islamophilia, the trans worship, the post-modern gobbledegook—all seem so odd. Are hallucinations also more common in our brave new cultural environment? Could it be that legalizing pot (and now meth and heroin and everything else) wasn’t such a great idea after all?

  16. This is happening to a friend’s pre-teen daughter. I’ve known her since she was a little girl and she’s always been a very girly girl-dolls, princess dresses, tea parties. Now she’s changed her name to a masculine one and goes by they/them pronouns. Her parents are being supportive but are somewhat skeptical and I think they’re playng for time by trying to stall her on any medical procedures.

  17. As a gay man, one of the things that concerns me about this trend is what might be happening to gay kids. Sissy gay boys and lesbian tom-boy girls are being told that they’re not gay they’re transgender.

    1. I hear you….as a 60 year old lesbian who has watched this trend increase I still come back to the same question….if sexuality and gender are on a spectrum what’s the rush to either pole about? Some of this IS a fad…I’ve seen butch dykes become gay boys and femme girls become men. What would be more helpful to everyone, IMO, is to accept people where they are on any spectrum.

    2. Although I’m neither trans nor gay, so I don’t know what I’m talking about from a personal pov, this does seem like a reasonable concern. By persuading a perfectly normal lesbian that she is actually a boy, activists are engaging in a kind of conversion therapy that could have really awful consequences.

      I fear that people in the near future will look back in horror at all this and view it the way we now view early 20th century medical eugenics (some good intentions, mostly terrible results).

      1. A few years ago my lesbian friends started raising concerns about this but were roundly condemned as “transphobes”, even (especially?) by gay men. Many of my gay male friends have hopped on the trans bandwagon (although if you ask them in private they generally admit that they wouldn’t sleep with a trans man (F to M).

        I keep thinking this situation bears a lot of similarities to the satanic ritual abuse panic of the 1990s.

    3. I wonder the same. People grapple with who they are especially when they are young. I have a friend who I met when she identified as gay. Later, she realized she was bi-sexual and she is married to a man now. I shudder to think if someone led her to believe she needed surgeries. Perhaps she would have been psychologically able to resist something like that as she’s a very strong person with a supportive family but jeez, it does concern me.

  18. Gad Saad had a short podcast today on this subject. If I accurately recall, he reflected to the effect that progressives hold that young girls are fully empowered to make such an irreversible decision, while simultaneously holding the opposite view in the case of a seventeen year-old murderer, his youth and incomplete prefrontal lobe development apparently causing him to not have the cognitive wherewithal of the girl.

  19. When one is a teenager, so much seems desperately important. So much seems “either/or” when it might be in between. The transition to womanhood is really tough (menstruation? sexual harassment? sexual attraction, whether to men or women?). It’s easy to envy men who seem to have it easier (and in my youth had more potential careers approved of by society). I can easily believe that teenagers would consider changing gender to be a good idea — to be absolutely sure it would a good idea for them. But it can look differently later.

  20. If Megan Mackin is a terf (trans-exclusionary radical feminist), then it is not surprising that she liked Shrier’s book.

    Gender identity (for example, trans identity) appears to be biological (because it would be determined by brain structures). Therefore, the hypothesis that it is a fad is implausible.

    1. Do you have any proof that Mackin is a TERF, or are you just looking for ways to dismiss her book? If you have evidence, give it.

      As for gender identity being determined by “brain structures”, you have no evidence for that at all. This is a science-oriented website and you just made two unsupported assertions.

      1. I have two quotes from the RationalWiki:

        1. Mackin is probably a TERF because her article appeared in Feminist Current: “Meghan Murphy (…) founded and operates the website Feminist Current (…) Among other things, she is notorious for (…) being a TERF.”

        2. “Neuroscience studies of trans people in recent years are increasingly suggesting that gender identity is a biological phenomenon rather than a purely psychological one, as transgender individuals’ brains have key structural differences, even before beginning hormone replacement therapy.” The references here:

        https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Transgender

    2. The insulting acronym “terf” simply refers to a feminist who believes that the roots of patriarchal oppression lie in the sex differences (the word “radical” in “radical feminist” refers to the Latin for “root,” and doesn’t mean extremism. Because women are physically weaker and bear offspring, men have historically exploited them for benefits. This is standard feminist theory. Replacing sex with “gender identity” isn’t either coherent or explanatory.

      It wasn’t somehow created for the purpose of excluding transwomen, as if feminists are mean girls forming a clique. By defining “women” as a biological category instead of a category of those with “womanly” ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving, sexism can be addressed and women aren’t tied to culturally-bound standards.

  21. If you would like to hear the other side of this argument about rapid onset gender dysphoria, as well as the critiques of the papers and studies which it is base on, the following video may help

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=em_daxMYW2E

    It is all audio so you can listen to it while doing something else but its downside is it is 40 minutes long. If your going to watch the Rogan one which is 100 minutes long you probably have the time. It also more than touches on the JK Rowling thing. Rowling’s tweets, Shrier book, as well as the articles written by Jessi signal all largely rely on the same studies.

    All the same, I DONT agree that Shrier’s book should be taken down or banned anywhere. Its in my view that people should be able to flaunt their ignorance as loud as they can.

  22. Dear Professor Ceiling Cat, thanks for reporting about this. Right after reading your article, I odered the book from a German book store chain. Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be a problem here (yet?)

  23. “All too often our Cancel Culture tries to eliminate discussion of issues that are vital in deciding how we should think and act as social beings. The attempts of many to pretend that this book doesn’t exist, and therefore avoid Shrier’s difficult questions, is a reprehensible example of that culture.”

    Exceptionally well stated Dr. Coyne!

  24. Happy to say I ordered this book last week when I read the Quillette article. Whether I read it or not is immaterial (I hope I shall), but some authors, and some books must be supported no matter what.

  25. The referral rate and the rest deserves discussion. And I don’t like the postmodernist trend of course.

    But this does Shrier no service:

    And we will look for support from those with only a dim recollection of why they once cared about free speech. Those who will note tyranny’s advance with the pitiless smile of a low-level bureaucrat already anticipating the door-delivered Cherry Garcia and hours of uninterrupted streaming: “You brought this on yourself, didn’t you?”

    Where is the statistics that says this is rampant? And free speech is a human right.

  26. When PCC(E) ran the story about the Trans police mobbing J. K. Rowling, I bought her latest Cormoran Strike book Troubled Blood and the first one, Cuckoo’s Calling. Mainly I just did it to support her (I’m not much of a novel reader).

    I loved the first book (not “great” literature, just excellent story-telling and characters). I ended up buying the whole series. I’m done with 3/5. And my wife just finished all 5 in about 2 weeks.

    As a prelude to: I just bought Shrier’s book.

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