Adventures in the Orgasmatron

How the Sexual Revolution Came to America

Author: Christopher Turner

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 142996748X

Category: Psychology

Page: 544

View: 8366

One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year A Boston Globe Best Nonfiction Book of 2011 Well before the 1960s, a sexual revolution was under way in America, led by expatriated European thinkers who saw a vast country ripe for liberation. In Adventures in the Orgasmatron, Christopher Turner tells the revolution's story—an illuminating, thrilling, often bizarre story of sex and science, ecstasy and repression. Central to the narrative is the orgone box—a tall, slender construction of wood, metal, and steel wool. A person who sat in the box, it was thought, could elevate his or her "orgastic potential." The box was the invention of Wilhelm Reich, an outrider psychoanalyst who faced a federal ban on the orgone box, an FBI investigation, a fraught encounter with Einstein, and bouts of paranoia. In Turner's vivid account, Reich's efforts anticipated those of Alfred Kinsey, Herbert Marcuse, and other prominent thinkers—efforts that brought about a transformation of Western views of sexuality in ways even the thinkers themselves could not have imagined.
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The Happiness Fantasy

Author: Carl Cederström

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1509523847

Category: History

Page: 200

View: 6082

In this devastatingly witty new book, Carl Cederström traces our present-day conception of happiness from its roots in early-twentieth-century European psychiatry, to the Beat generation, to Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. He argues that happiness is now defined by a desire to be "authentic", to experience physical pleasure, and to cultivate a quirky individuality. But over the last fifty years, these once-revolutionary ideas have been co-opted by corporations and advertisers, pushing us to live lives that are increasingly unfulfilling, insecure and narcissistic. In an age of increasing austerity and social division, Cederström argues that a radical new dream of happiness is gathering pace. There is a vision of the good life which promotes deeper engagement with the world and our place within it, over the individualism and hedonism of previous generations. Guided by this more egalitarian worldview, we can reinvent ourselves and our societies.
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The Boundaries of Desire

A Century of Bad Laws, Good Sex, and Changing Identities

Author: Eric Berkowitz

Publisher: Catapult

ISBN: 1619026465

Category: Law

Page: 476

View: 390

“A bracing look at the often-strange relationship between sexuality and the legal system over six tumultuous decades” (Booklist). Society’s acceptance of sex and the grasp of its many variables are in constant flux. Switch a decade, cross a border, or traverse class lines and the harmless pleasures of one group become the gravest crimes in another. Combining meticulous research and lively storytelling, this “eye-opening history of sexual legislation” traces the fast-moving blood sport of sex law over the past century. It challenges our most cherished notions about family, power, gender, and identity, and proves that nothing sparks intolerance—on the left and the right—more than sex (Publishers Weekly Starred Review). Starting when courts censored birth control information as pornography and let men rape their wives, and continuing through the “sexual revolution” and into the present day (when sexual assault, gay rights, sex trafficking, and sex on the internet saturate the news), legal scholar Eric Berkowitz explores how the law has remained out of synch with the convulsive changes in sexual morality. “In lively, passionate prose, [he] shows how irrational, unjust, and destructive even well-intentioned attempts to legislate lust can be. This controversial book is as mind-blowing as it is heart-opening” (Christopher Ryan, author of Sex at Dawn).
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Love in the Time of Algorithms

What Technology Does to Meeting and Mating

Author: Dan Slater

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101608250

Category: Psychology

Page: 272

View: 9216

“If online dating can blunt the emotional pain of separation, if adults can afford to be increasingly demanding about what they want from a relationship, the effect of online dating seems positive. But what if it’s also the case that the prospect of finding an ever more compatible mate with the click of a mouse means a future of relationship instability, a paradox of choice that keeps us chasing the illusive bunny around the dating track?” It’s the mother of all search problems: how to find a spouse, a mate, a date. The escalating marriage age and declin­ing marriage rate mean we’re spending a greater portion of our lives unattached, searching for love well into our thirties and forties. It’s no wonder that a third of America’s 90 million singles are turning to dating Web sites. Once considered the realm of the lonely and desperate, sites like eHarmony, Match, OkCupid, and Plenty of Fish have been embraced by pretty much every demographic. Thanks to the increasingly efficient algorithms that power these sites, dating has been transformed from a daunting transaction based on scarcity to one in which the possibilities are almost endless. Now anyone—young, old, straight, gay, and even married—can search for exactly what they want, connect with more people, and get more information about those people than ever before. As journalist Dan Slater shows, online dating is changing society in more profound ways than we imagine. He explores how these new technologies, by altering our perception of what’s possible, are reconditioning our feelings about commitment and challenging the traditional paradigm of adult life. Like the sexual revolution of the 1960s and ’70s, the digital revolution is forcing us to ask new questions about what constitutes “normal”: Why should we settle for someone who falls short of our expectations if there are thousands of other options just a click away? Can commitment thrive in a world of unlimited choice? Can chemistry really be quantified by math geeks? As one of Slater’s subjects wonders, “What’s the etiquette here?” Blending history, psychology, and interviews with site creators and users, Slater takes readers behind the scenes of a fascinating business. Dating sites capitalize on our quest for love, but how do their creators’ ideas about profits, morality, and the nature of desire shape the virtual worlds they’ve created for us? Should we trust an industry whose revenue model benefits from our avoiding monogamy? Documenting the untold story of the online-dating industry’s rise from ignominy to ubiquity—beginning with its early days as “computer dating” at Harvard in 1965—Slater offers a lively, entertaining, and thought provoking account of how we have, for better and worse, embraced technology in the most intimate aspect of our lives.
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The Life of Saul Bellow

To Fame and Fortune, 1915-1964

Author: Zachary Leader

Publisher: Knopf

ISBN: 1101874678

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 832

View: 3061

For much of his adult life, Saul Bellow was the most acclaimed novelist in America, the winner of, among other awards, the Nobel Prize in Literature, three National Book Awards, and the Pulitzer Prize. The Life of Saul Bellow, by the literary scholar and biographer Zachary Leader, marks the centenary of Bellow’s birth as well as the tenth anniversary of his death. It draws on unprecedented access to Bellow’s papers, including much previously restricted material, as well as interviews with more than 150 of the novelist’s relatives, close friends, colleagues, and lovers, a number of whom have never spoken to researchers before. Through detailed exploration of Bellow’s writings, and the private history that informed them, Leader chronicles a singular life in letters, offering original and nuanced accounts not only of the novelist’s development and rise to eminence, but of his many identities—as writer, polemicist, husband, father, Chicagoan, Jew, American. The biography will be published in two volumes. The first volume, To Fame and Fortune: 1915–1964, traces Bellow’s Russian roots; his birth and early childhood in Quebec; his years in Chicago; his travels in Mexico, Europe, and Israel; the first three of his five marriages; and the novels from Dangling Man and The Adventures of Augie March to the best-selling Herzog. New light is shed on Bellow’s fellow writers, including Ralph Ellison, John Berryman, Lionel Trilling, and Philip Roth, and on his turbulent and influential life away from the desk, which was as full of incident as his fiction. Bellow emerges as a compelling character, and Leader’s powerful accounts of his writings, published and unpublished, forward the case for his being, as the critic James Wood puts it, “the greatest of American prose stylists in the twentieth century.”
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Screening the Dark Side of Love

From Euro-Horror to American Cinema

Author: Karen A. Ritzenhoff,Karen Randell

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN: 0230341543

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 256

View: 3475

This edited collection unpicks the ways in which love can be understood globally as a problematic and often violent transgression rather than the narrative of 'happy endings' that Classical Hollywood has offered. The contributors utilize varying methodologies of history, textual analysis, psychoanalytic models, and cultural critique and engage with films that have been made from the margins to the mainstream of cinema to explore issues surrounding gender identity and spectatorship.
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