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Sex the Measure of All Things A Life of Alfred C. Kinsey cover
  • ISBN: 9780253337344
  • ISBN10: 0253337348

Sex the Measure of All Things A Life of Alfred C. Kinsey

by Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy

  • List Price: $39.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Indiana Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 03/01/2000
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For Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy, Alfred Kinsey is primarily an artist, a collector, a novelist, a mythologist. He is a pioneer of modernism, along with D.H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, and Picasso, and a philosopher of sexuality, along with Foucault. These may sound like unexpected peers for the son of a strict Methodist family, who grew up in small-town America. But in making Kinsey part of a global 20th-century culture, Gathorne-Hardy looks beyond the eccentricities and personal foibles of this often discredited scientist and reasserts Kinsey's importance as a sexual philosopher and social reformer.

Alfred Kinsey was this century's first scientifically reputable and most influential researcher into sex. His Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (The Kinsey Report), published in 1948, was an explosive bestseller, followed in 1953 by his even more radical statistics on female sexuality. But his exploration went much further. Bisexual, Kinsey experimented with many of the behaviors he documented. His wife and close colleagues experimented too.

This fascinating biography describes Kinsey's strict Methodist upbringing, his love of minute observation (which he applied first to academic entomology and then to human sexuality), and the obsessive work ethic that contributed to his death. Kinsey is perhaps even more controversial today than he was when his books were first published. Some researchers and religious groups have attacked his work. The man himself has frequently been lost in all of the claims and counterclaims, attacks and defenses, as well as the efforts to make his life conform to predetermined theories. Gathorne-Hardy -- whose biography is the first to offer a balanced portrait --conducted in-depth interviews with surviving family members, close colleagues, friends, and lovers. This subtle, penetrating study offers not just a series of new revelations, but whole new aspects of this complex and ultimately sympathetic man.

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