- Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Friedman begins with pagan attitudes: ancient Greeks considered the penis a measure of a man's proximity to "divine power," while the Romans, whose generals were known to promote soldiers based on penis size, saw it as an indicator of earthly strength. Thanks to the spread of Christianity, the "sacred staff became the demon rod"--a fearful manifestation of the devil. Theology gave way, grudgingly, to science. In the Renaissance, anatomical discoveries allowed for the possibility that this "agent of death" was, in fact, only a "blameless instrument of reproduction." Subsequent chapters discuss the penis's role as a racial yardstick; its "defining role in human personality" as asserted by Freud; its politicization; and finally, through the likes of Viagra, its objectification as a "thing ... impervious to religious teachings, psychological insights, racial stereotypes and feminist criticism."
Friedman's study of what he calls the "symbolic muscle" is filled with fascinating side trips (castration cults, ancient graffiti, the anti-masturbation "semen-retention movement," aphrodisiacs through the ages, and, to modern eyes, risible medical practices with the likes of monkey glands), as well as a rich cast of characters (Leonardo da Vinci, John Kellogg of cornflake fame, Kate Millet, Clarence Thomas, and Walt Whitman). The book is informal, but well researched (and documented), entertaining but not cute, wide-ranging but not sketchy, and simultaneously irreverent and respectful. --H. O'Billovitch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
David M. Friedman gives us a fairly detailed and accurate cultural and scientific history of things related to the human penis. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Joschka
A book which offers deep insight and can change your basic beliefs and attitudes. I feel very lucky for having found it, thanks to the glorious god of SerendipityPublished 5 months ago by Kostas Bousbouras
Wish I could present a hardback edition to every invested person. A Stiff Fun read.Published 7 months ago by skip faulkner
Not sure what I was expecting when I bought this book, but this isn't it. It's still informative and humorous, though.Published 14 months ago by Cobbler
A popular anthropological study of the penis, especially how it has been demonised for more than 1500 years. It is in six long chapters:
1. Read more
Flea market Quality, book condition equate $2 - $3 high end. I was lead to believe I was getting near new quality. The book pages are yellow from age.Published 18 months ago by Spencer M. Fisher
such a fun read! I think this makes a great companion for 'The Story of V: A Natural History of Female Sexuality. Read morePublished on November 11, 2013 by Amy
With chapter titles such as The Demon Rod, The Gear Shift, The Measuring Stick, The Cigar, The Battering Ram--how can you loose with giving this book as a gift to yourself, if you... Read morePublished on November 8, 2013 by Dan E. Nicholas
I am not positive -- but this must be from a dissertation -- it is extensive, beautiful, irreverent, and makes fun of itself a lot. Read more