Monday, 15 November 2010


ISBN-13: 978-0-684-81037-9
Writer: John Heidenry
Title: What Wild Ecstacy
Subtitle: The Rise and Fall of the Sexual Revolution
Language: English
Place of Publication: New York
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Year of Publication: 1997
Format: 160x242mm
Pages: 448
Binding: Boards in colour dust jacket designed by Archie Ferguson. Jacket photograph by Swanstock/Patty Carroll
Weight: 727gr.
Entry No.: 2010025
Entry Date: 15th November 2010


In many respects, the Sexual Revolution was the catalyst that sex in motion social life as we know it at the end of the twentieth century. Yet many of us have difficulty remembering –or never knew– just when and where the first shots were fired, how the battle was waged, and who fought on its front lines. In this first popular history of the turbulent last three decades of American sexual culture, journalist John Heidenry completes our sexual education. His startling you-are-there account takes us behind the closed doors of clubs and courtrooms, research labs and bedrooms, to find out who did what to whom–and how, when, where, and why–in the wide world of human sexuality.

In cinematic style, the narrative jump-cuts dramatically between story lines, covering a dazzling array of people, places and events –both little-known and headline-making –as Heidenry expertly navigates the current of sexual manners and mores. We witness the coming of age of the science of sexology; the burgeoning of popular culture, in which magazines such as Screw and films such as Deep Throat won fans and fanned controversies over freedom of expression; the movement for the rights of gay men, lesbians, and other sexual minorities; and the effect of all these innovations and upheavals on the general public, which gained a new sexual awareness even as it lost its consensus on premarital sex, abortion, and virtually every other sex-related issue.

All in all, it was a cultural earthquake whose aftertremors can still be felt –in science, the arts, business, media, and the day-to-day lives of ordinary mortals, for whom sex is, in Heidenry’s phrase, “the poor woman’s on poor man’s grand opera.” New, at last, a watershed era has found a writer who does justice to its impact and its aftermath.

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