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25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom Hardcover – October 1, 2009
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"Sexually progressive cultures gave us literature, philosophy, civilization and the rest, while sexually restrictive cultures gave us the Dark Ages and the Holocaust". (Alan Moore)"
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So in a sense, this book is a plea for sanity and tolerance in the way we think about sex. The difference Moore notes between erotica and pornography is usually the amount of money the purchaser makes. So pornography should be restored to its proper place as art and not relegated to some marginal standard-less cellar. Moore diligently chronicles the prejudices exacted on erotic expression in art (mainly since the 19th century, which is why I give the book a 4) with humor and style. Reading the book is great experience, it challenges many assumptions about what is considered acceptable and what is not. If you have read Moore's work before than this is an excellent supplement to his work, it is also wonderful it own right if you're interested in art, sex, or both.
Furthermore, the book is poorly organized, with pictures just distributed willy-nilly throughout, with no real relationship to the text. For example, a discussion of nineteenth-century erotic art is accompanied by pictures of fourteenth-century paintings.
25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom is at its best when it examines erotic artists in some depth, as it does with the author of The Yellow Books. Furthermore, it has some interesting arguments about the role of pornography in society, providing an all too necessary counterbalance to the arguments of religious and feminist fanatics. However, these arguments would have held more weight if they had been strengthened with more detail.