A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century: A Memoir

A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century

A Memoir

Hardcover
Pub. price: $25.00
New: $23.75

ISBN10: 158243459X ISBN13: 9781582434599 Publisher: Counterpoint Published: Mar 1 2009 Pages: 374 Weight: 1.50lbs. Height: 9.25" Width: 6.50" Depth: 1.25" Language: English

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A true story of 1950s California, teenage rebellion, and a family torn apart by illicit desire: "Intense, controlled, a memoir-as-fever-dream" (The New York Times).

Born into "a certain kind of family"--affluent, white, Protestant--Jane Vandenburgh came of age when the sexual revolution was sweeping the cultural landscape, making its mark in a way that would change our manners and mores forever. What began as an all-American life went spectacularly awry.

Her father, an architect with a prominent Los Angeles firm, was repeatedly arrested in police raids on gay bars. Ultimately placed in a psychiatric hospital to be "cured" of his homosexuality, he committed suicide when she was nine. Her mother--an artist and freethinker--lost custody of her children when she was committed to a mental hospital. The author and her two brothers were then raised by an aunt and uncle who had seven children and problems of their own.

In the midst of private trauma and loss, Vandenburgh delights in revealing larger truths about American culture and her life within it. Quirky, witty, and uncannily wise, A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century is a brilliant blend of memoir and cultural commentary full of hard-won insights that explode across the page "like a string of Chinese firecrackers" (Washington Post).

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