Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire

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9781619021556: Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire

The raging frenzy” of the sex drive, to use Plato’s phrase, has always defied control. However, that’s not to say that the Sumerians, Victorians, and every civilization in between and beyond have not tried, wielding their most formidable weapon: the law. At any given point in time, some forms of sex were condoned while others were punished mercilessly. Jump forward or backward a century or two (and often far less than that), and the harmless fun of one time period becomes the gravest crime in another. Sex and Punishment tells the story of the struggle throughout the millennia to regulate the most powerful engine of human behavior.

Writer and lawyer Eric Berkowitz uses flesh-and-blood cases much flesh and even more blood to evoke the entire sweep of Western sex law, from the savage impalement of an ancient Mesopotamian adulteress to the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde in 1895 for gross indecency.” The cast of Sex and Punishment is as varied as the forms taken by human desire itself: royal mistresses, gay charioteers, medieval transvestites, lonely goat-lovers, prostitutes of all stripes, London rent boys. Each of them had forbidden sex, and each was judged and justice, as Berkowitz shows, rarely had much to do with it.

With the light touch of a natural storyteller, Berkowitz spins these tales and more, going behind closed doors to reveal the essential history of human desire.

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About the Author:

Eric Berkowitz is a writer, lawyer and journalist. He has a degree in print journalism from University of Southern California and has published in the Los Angeles Times and The Los Angeles Weekly, and for the Associated Press. He was an editor of the West Coast’s premier daily legal publication, The Los Angeles Daily Journal. He lives in San Francisco.

Review:

'I don't think I've ever read such an entertaining historical work. It has the wisdom granted by perspective, without the condescension of someone who thinks we're wiser than our ancestors. Whether you want to fuel your indignation, or simply furnish yourself with enough jaw-dropping data to galvanise a hundred party conversations, you really must shell out for this book. It's worth every penny.' Nick Lezard, Guardian 'This enlightening and hugely entertaining book tells the long and often astounding story of western sexuality and the endless attempts to repress it - At once broad-ranging and rich in detail, Berkowitz's cross-examination of human sexuality is both exciting and impressively relentless.' James McConnachie, Sunday Times 'A fascinating and gruesomely compelling study of human sexuality' Mail on Sunday 'From the Code of Hammurabi to the Wilde Trial, Eric Berkowitz finds any amount of entertaining evidence to support his thesis that sex law has been "as passionate and mercurial as the sex drive itself."' The Scotsman 'A wonderfully well-written, well-organised and accomplished book - Berkowitz has achieved a perfect balance between case study and analysis, and between narrative and reflection. - But it comes with a health warning. 350 pages of sex resulting in impalement or a barbed fish up the bottom may have a deleterious effect on the libido.' Sara Wheeler, Literary Review 'Throughout Berkowitz smoothly straddles the divide between the explicit and the subtle, the ridiculous and the sublime - Sex and Punishment constantly reminds us not to be complacent about past victories - nor to rest until genuine equality has been won, from the barricades to the bedroom.' Socialist Review 'A wonderful exposure of the illogicality of so much legislation that attempts to regulate sexual activity' Mary Beard, author of Pompeii 'Sex and Punishment is built on solid scholarship and spiced with plenty of sordid details that will make you the hit of any cocktail party.' Christopher Ryan, author of Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

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Descripción COUNTERPOINT, United States, 2013. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The raging frenzy of the sex drive, to use Plato s phrase, has always defied control. However, that s not to say that the Sumerians, Victorians, and every civilization in between and beyond have not tried, wielding their most formidable weapon: the law. At any given point in time, some forms of sex were condoned while others were punished mercilessly. Jump forward or backward a century or two (and often far less than that), and the harmless fun of one time period becomes the gravest crime in another. Sex and Punishment tells the story of the struggle throughout the millennia to regulate the most powerful engine of human behavior. Writer and lawyer Eric Berkowitz uses flesh-and-blood cases--much flesh and even more blood--to evoke the entire sweep of Western sex law, from the savage impalement of an ancient Mesopotamian adulteress to the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde in 1895 for gross indecency. The cast of Sex and Punishment is as varied as the forms taken by human desire itself: royal mistresses, gay charioteers, medieval transvestites, lonely goat-lovers, prostitutes of all stripes, London rent boys. Each of them had forbidden sex, and each was judged--and justice, as Berkowitz shows, rarely had much to do with it. With the light touch of a natural storyteller, Berkowitz spins these tales and more, going behind closed doors to reveal the essential history of human desire. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9781619021556

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Descripción COUNTERPOINT, United States, 2013. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The raging frenzy of the sex drive, to use Plato s phrase, has always defied control. However, that s not to say that the Sumerians, Victorians, and every civilization in between and beyond have not tried, wielding their most formidable weapon: the law. At any given point in time, some forms of sex were condoned while others were punished mercilessly. Jump forward or backward a century or two (and often far less than that), and the harmless fun of one time period becomes the gravest crime in another. Sex and Punishment tells the story of the struggle throughout the millennia to regulate the most powerful engine of human behavior. Writer and lawyer Eric Berkowitz uses flesh-and-blood cases--much flesh and even more blood--to evoke the entire sweep of Western sex law, from the savage impalement of an ancient Mesopotamian adulteress to the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde in 1895 for gross indecency. The cast of Sex and Punishment is as varied as the forms taken by human desire itself: royal mistresses, gay charioteers, medieval transvestites, lonely goat-lovers, prostitutes of all stripes, London rent boys. Each of them had forbidden sex, and each was judged--and justice, as Berkowitz shows, rarely had much to do with it. With the light touch of a natural storyteller, Berkowitz spins these tales and more, going behind closed doors to reveal the essential history of human desire. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9781619021556

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