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Modern Sex: Liberation and Its Discontents [Kindle Edition]

Myron Magnet
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

These beautifully written essays add up to the deepest, most informative appraisal we have of how and why the sexual revolution has failed. Compelling and original.... Highly recommended. —Kevin White

Editorial Reviews


Fascinating...controversial, to say the least, and quite captivating. (ForeWord Reviews )

Brilliant. (Meghan Cox Gurdon The Wall Street Journal )

A compelling and original collection of deserves the widest possible audience. (Kevin White, author of Sexual Liberation or Sexual License? )

About the Author

Myron Magnet is editor of City Journal, the highly respected quarterly magazine published in New York by The Manhattan Institute. He has also written The Dream and the Nightmare and edited What Makes Charity Work? and The Millennial City.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1891 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ivan R. Dee (November 25, 2001)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004BKJ0BA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,113,276 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Critique of the Sexual Revolution January 21, 2002
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The basic premise of this book of collected essays by a handful of authors is that the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s promised individual freedom, unlimited sexual satisfaction, and personal fulfillment and that this promise was never fulfilled. To the contrary, this promise was a big lie that was a thin guise for a culture of protracted adolescence, selfishness, hedonism, and ultimately nihilism and despair. Looking back, it's almost easy to criticize the sexual revolution since we can see the zany pop psychology beliefs and appalling displays of selfishness that this so-called "Revolution" spawned. However easy the target, the sexual revolution is still considered the final word on sexuality for many and these essays for the most part offer an incisive and stimulating antidote to the excesses of the sexual revolution and make important critiques against the way we denigrate monogamy, the way children are inappropriately sexualized and exploited by pop culture, and the way certain "intellectuals" reduce human beings to science, removing the soul and its needs from any kind of discussion about family and sexuality. Bear in mind, these essays are written by writers who are members of a conservative think tank, so you're not exactly getting diverse opinions here. Nevertheless, considering how saturated our popular culture is with frenzied sex, these essays are an important call to pause and examine sexuality and its discontents in our society.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A revolution that failed July 21, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a book about sex. More specifically, it is about the sexual revolution, its promises, and its failure.

The sexual revolution, a subset of the 60s' cultural revolution, was one of the most significant social upheavals that the West has experienced. Indeed, the counter-culture movement as a whole made an impact perhaps as great as other global revolutions, such as the Industrial, the Russian, and so on.

It is because the sexual revolution offered so much, and made such great promises, that it needs to be critically examined. The authors of the essays found in this book do indeed cast a critical eye over this turbulent period, and unanimously argue that the revolution has been a monumental failure, even on its own terms.

The sexual revolution promised freedom, but resulted in captivity. It promised enlightenment, but led to new darkness. It was, in truth, a god that failed.

The authors featured here are well qualified to speak on this subject. They include some of our finest thinkers and cultural critics. Four American writers, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Wendy Shalit, Kay Hymowitz and Harry Stein are featured, along with two English heavyweights, Roger Scruton and Theodore Dalrymple. Together they offer twelve penetrating essays which analyse and dissect the sexual liberationists, their philosophy and practice.

A number of themes are discussed: the making and breaking of feminism, the divorce culture, the sexualisation of our children, the rise of the porn culture, sex education, the break-up of marriage and family, the meaning of love, and the importance of morality in our thinking and discussions of sex.

Everyone has been a loser in this revolution, as Magnet reminds us in his introduction.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vastly Underrated. July 11, 2004
The title looks racy, people give me odd looks when they see it on my shelf, but no work on the market better refutes the endless sexualization of America than "Modern Sex." We really shouldn't be surprised though. This book is a selection of the best of City Journal (which I recommend as a publication if you haven't read it before). Harry Stein's article on feminism is remarkable as are those of Roger Scruton-but practically everything that comes from his keyboard is top shelf. The authors of this book can, and do, stare down the sexual revolution. It's a must buy.
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More About the Author

Myron Magnet is an editor of City Journal, a winner of the National Humanities Medal, and a New Yorker. For more, please see


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