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One Nation Under Sex: How the Private Lives of Presidents, First Ladies and Their Lovers Changed the Course of American History Hardcover – April 26, 2011
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“Well reasoned, well written, and well documented.” ―Booklist
“Those looking for salacious details will find them, but Flynt and Eisenbach favor analysis over sensationalism, providing a new perspective of the men and women who have shaped our nation.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Dig into the unwholesome side of American history to uncover how the sexual peccadilloes of the men we elect have transformed the world for good and ill...Sometimes it takes an asshole like Flynt to tell stories that need to be told.” ―The Stranger
“Only liars will pretend that this book isn't absolutely fascinating.” ―Buffalo News
“Presidential hanky-panky is as old as the nation itself. But no one can bring it to life quite like Larry Flynt.” ―Steven E. Levingston, Washington Post
“It is amazing that this inherently salacious subject could be treated in such a thoughtful and documented fashion, scholarly even, and yet be such a great read.” ―Robert Scheer, author of The Great American Stickup
“Americans often like to think that extramarital sex – or even a strong libido – is somehow a sign of poor character in our presidents. One Nation Under Sex explodes that myth. From Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson onward, our most respected leaders have always engaged in bedroom behavior that would outrage the cultural commissars--at no harm to the republic. You don't have to agree with all of Larry Flynt's and David Eisenbach's readings of history to enjoy this sex-filled tour through more than 200 years of scandal.” ―David Greenberg, presidential historian, Rutgers University, and author of Nixon's Shadow
“Larry Flynt has waged a lifelong battle against hypocrisy and prudery: shattering every propriety and slaughtering every sacred cow. The political classes have never been safe from his special brand of satire. Now he turns his rabble-rousing sensibility backwards with a similar imperative. No more whitewashing! Smash decorum! Bring down the elites!” ―Laura Kipnis, How To Become a Scandal and of Against Love
“As a Washington, DC, investigative reporter for two decades, I was certain the secret personal lives of politicians had an unappreciated affect on public policy and, eventually, history. Here's the book that documents it.” ―Rudy Maxa, former Washington Post reporter and columnist
“Teaming up Larry Flynt with Columbia University historian David Eisenbach seems like an odd match but Flynt and Eisenbach have combined their talents and perspectives to produce a unique book that transgresses the holy empire of American history by providing a serious investigation of the sex lives of the Presidents. Be warned: this is not smut; this is an important and thorough historical excavation of how sex built the White House and our nation.” ―Jim Downs, Professor of History, Connecticut College
About the Author
Larry Flynt is the legendary publisher of Hustler magazine and has been a famous crusader for First Amendment and privacy rights for over three decades. His landmark Supreme Court case, Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, is taught in law schools throughout the United States. A former political candidate, Flynt remains active in his longstanding campaign to expose sexual hypocrisy in politics and transform the national political dialogue. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
David Eisenbach, Ph.D., is an award-winning historian who teaches American political history at Columbia University. He was the creator and host of the two-hour History Channel special, The Beltway Unbuckled, about how presidential sex shaped American history. He lives in New York City.
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Actually quite a brilliant book, in that it doesn't detract from any of the subjects because of their sexual orientation or sexual pastimes. In fact, I found the author(s) quite willing to credit true statesmen (and women) where credit was due, and to label a psychopathic loon a psychopathic loon ( with explanation)
I enjoyed the book, quite an easy read thanks to being very concisely written.
Certainly worth the price, very enjoyable and relaxing read.
Makes one wonder what good has come from America's inability to confront sexual issues openly without predjudice or shame. Puritanism has not been kind to us.
Even going back to the early days of American history, our political leaders were a randy lot. There was old Ben Franklin, whose flirtations with French women may have actually helped secured aid in the struggle to break free from England. And Thomas Jefferson, who hid his affair with slave girl Sally Hemmings even while he was writing the stirring words that would guide a nation. Sometimes the "affairs" of state paved the way for disasters, as when bachelor President James Buchanan allowed his life-long attachment to a Southern Senator to bring the U.S. to the brink of Civil War. And then there is the much debated controversy over Lincoln's alleged relations with men that add to the myth of the tragic hero president.
Flynt also casts an eye at the media and its changing definition of when a politician's sex life is fair game. The media, according to Flynt, were well aware of John Kennedy's numerous affairs, but actively conspired to keep JFK's womanizing out of the spotlight in order to gain access to the president. After the revelations of Watergate, politicians and the press became adversaries, a system that reached its peak in the Clinton administration and revelations of oral sex and stains on blue dresses. Flynt, who famously offered a bounty on information about straying politicians who were investigating Clinton, theorizes that while the branches of government were wallowing in Clinton's "bimbo eruptions," it became easier for terrorists to plot against America culminating in the 9/11 attacks.
Agree with Flynt's assertions or not, he has a very clear message: "We, the people, need to grow up." In Flynt's estimation, moralism, judgment and feigned outrage over a leader's sex life are distractions that have little to do with whether or not a leader is effective. While Flynt does come up with some compelling arguments, I can't imagine that his ideas will sway public opinion. Readers will take away from One Nation Under Sex what they want. For those who want an overview of how sex scandals have been perceivived during our history, this book is a good starting point.
I won't reiterate what others have said was included in the book but I do find it fascinating how one's sex life can influence the direction of a nation.
I have recommended this book to several people and many have thanked me for that.
Check it out. I would bet you'll find it quite interesting and worth the read (perhaps all in one night!).
I wonder if Larry had it all to over again would he. His second marriage in New Orleans gave him hope to build his empire in the sex business.
Most recent customer reviews
David Eisenbach, Ph.D., is an award-winning historian who teaches American political history at Columbia University.Read more
Helpful to understand the people at the ages and why those historical events happend.