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Make Love, Not War: The Sexual Revolution: An Unfettered History Paperback – April 7, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
MAKE LOVE NOT WAR (2000) is almost completely a compendium of popular, mass press and periodical feature story and news coverage of sexual theme material which appeared during the 1960's and 1970's. The mentality of most material reported is almost all airheaded, intentionally salacious stuff (as indeed is the final phrase of the book's subtitle..."An Unfettered History"). Hugh Hefner's "Playboy Philosophy" reflects this mentality best and exemplifies it importantly, and it is no accident author Allyn zeroes in on the phenomena of Hefner, Playboy Magazine and its imitators, and similar slick stuff of those times which appeared.
Hugh Hefner's opinion of the sexual revolution and its signifigance is not the stuff of which important scholarship and social and philosophical insight should be based, regardless of how profitable his magazine was in the 60's and 70's and still is.
Meanwhile, issues of supreme importance such as the impact sexual behavior and sexually related human needs have on individual health are entirely ignored. The term "health" does not appear in the book's index because, indeed, it is not discussed or investigated as a central topic.
The management and intellectual investigation of sexual needs and behavior is an important but ignored subject, mostly outlawed and forbidden throughout recorded history. The Sexual Revolution of the 1960's and 1970's, clumsy and temporary as it was (and as poorly documented and analyzed as it was), was a landmark exception to this dreary situation, an exception we are not likely to see repeated in the life time of the people who lived through it. Those people are now entering their 60's. They are still with us, still available to be interviewed.
Hopefully, some future writer/researcher will consider this subject in the future carefully and skillfully. When and if that happens (as it did not happen with MAKE LOVE NOT WAR), human society will be the better for it.
A broad, fast-paced, and fascinating overview of an often neglected part of United States history. Provides plenty of food for thought for students of history or the would-be revolutionaries of more recent generations.
Irrespective of the reader's own personal judgement, Allyn contends the sexual revolution was not solely one large orgy. but the creative work of many different movers and shakers that allowed us to enter into a dialog on the meaning and worth of sex outside childbearing. His history of the sexual revolution differs from earlier works such as Playboy's own (largely self-indulgent volume) because it readily gives credit where it is due to women and non-heterosexuals.
While the sexual revolution was supposed to be for the benefit of everybody in young America, the continued difficulty of securing contraception, the illegality of abortion, and loco parentis policies in Colleges made the concept an intially hollow promise for many women. Others, working in the new left quickly discovered they were expected to be little more than a Housewife/Sex object with an armband and picket sign to their male counterparts. Sexism was so pervasive the doublestandard was just repackaged in psychedelic garb.
The author points out it was feminists and gay liberationists who challenged narrow defintions of sexuality and brought the sexual revolution closest to accheiving it's utopian vision.
Because most other conventional histories of the 60's ignore or marginalize the contributions of these groups, this book should be required reading as part of a college course on the 1960's. Far from being monolithic, the sexual revolution had many unsung leaders, and we could not have the discussions on safe sex today were it not for these pioneers.