KINSEY: Public and Private

Bill Condon, Author, Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy, Editor, Linda Wolfe, Editor KINSEY: Public and Private Intro. by Jonathan Newmarket $19.95 (351p) ISBN 978-1-55704-647-5

Beyond sex researcher Alfred Kinsey's motives—to enlighten people about sex and thereby sweep away crippling fear and ignorance about it—lay a troubled individual whose research helped him conquer his own psychological demons. In this companion book to the film on Kinsey's life currently in theaters, Kinsey biographer Gathorne-Hardy, Newsweek editor Wolfe and director/screenwriter Condon cover these facts and others with fascinating detail. Both Wolfe's biographical essay and Condon's script dramatize Kinsey's struggle with a puritanical father and his romance with graduate student Clara McMillen, who became his lifelong partner and support. Their relationship survived a difficult early sexual adjustment, as well as Kinsey's homosexual liaisons, while Kinsey's 1948 report Sexual Behavior in the Human Male made waves across the country. The book's second half is devoted to the shooting script, which offers a dramatic contrast to the precise, academic nature of Gathorne Hardy's introduction and Wolfe's essay. In a q&a, Condon talks of his affinity for portraying misfits and outsiders and his decision to adopt a classical Merchant/Ivory filmmaking approach. No biographical work—print or film—can capture all aspects of such a contradictory person, but this book certainly ranks as one of the most illuminating studies ever published about its complex, groundbreaking subject. 32 pages of color photos. (Nov.)

Correction: In our review of Faithful (Forecasts, Nov. 29), we misidentified the book's publisher. The correct publisher is Scribner.

Reviewed on: 12/06/2004
Release date: 11/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 160 pages - 978-1-55704-654-3
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