Sex with Presidents: The Ins and Outs of Love and Lust in the White House

Eleanor Herman. Morrow, $27.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-297056-5
Historian Herman (The Royal Art of Poison) examines the love lives of U.S. politicians in this gossip-fueled account. “The same compulsions that send a man hurtling toward the White House,” Herman writes, “can also send him into a foolhardy tryst with a woman.” She draws on tell-all memoirs, letters, court records, and media reports to document political sex scandals, including Treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton’s affair with Maria Reynolds, and Maria Halpin’s rape accusations against Grover Cleveland. According to Herman, Woodrow Wilson had a “raging libido.” She also claims that Dwight Eisenhower dropped his wartime lover, Kay Summersby, because divorcing his wife, Mamie, would have cost him the presidency in 1952, and that Lyndon Johnson had a buzzer system installed after Lady Bird caught him and one of his secretaries “in flagrante delicto” on an Oval Office couch. Self-admitted philanderer Bill Clinton learned from Gary Hart’s downfall in the 1988 campaign to ”address the issue [of his infidelity] right off the bat” in the 1992 campaign, according to Herman. Packed with colorful character sketches and bawdy puns, Herman’s mélange of facts, rumors, and innuendo is more salacious than scrupulous. Still, this ribald and richly detailed history entertains. Agent: Stephen Barbara, InkWell Management. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/09/2020
Release date: 09/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-297057-2
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-0-06-302895-1
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