One Nation Under Sex: How the Private Lives of Presidents, First Ladies and Their Lovers Changed the Course of American History

Larry Flynt and David Eisenbach. Palgrave Macmillan, $25 (288p) ISBN 978-0-230-10503-4
Legendary Hustler publisher, First-Amendment crusader, and cultural provocateur Flynt joins forces with Columbia University professor Eisenbach to pull back the covers on key figures in American history, revealing in a heavily-annotated guide to presidential peccadilloes that sex scandals are nothing new. While most readers will be familiar with Bill Clinton's "sexual relations," J. Edgar Hoover's eccentricities, and JFK's fondness for women, they're likely to be surprised at the extent that the Kennedys' bed-hopping (including Jackie's) was kept quiet in favor of political and financial gain. And the raunchy public writings and private behavior Ben Franklin and other famous Americans will make some readers blush. The authors illustrate the extent to which politicians' private lives bleed into public policy that affects millions of Americans; FDR opened the door for Hoover to manipulate virtually every politician in office, for instance, and James Buchanan's 32-year affair with another man helped pave the way for the Civil War. 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. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-230-33992-7
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-230-12035-8
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