LOS ANGELES—The book is not even officially released but the first reviews are out, and they are roundly very good if not excellent. The book is One Nation Under Sex: How the Private Lives of Presidents, First Ladies and Their Lovers Changed the Course of American History, the authors none other than Hustler founder Larry Flynt and David Eisenbach, Ph.D., an award-winning historian who teaches American political history at Columbia University. The 304-page book was published by Palgrave Macmillan, with an April 26 street date.
The MacMillan website describes Private Lives as a “peek behind the White House bedroom curtains” that documents “how hidden passions have shaped public life.” Flynt and Eisenbach, it continues, “unpack salacious rumors and outright scandals, showing how private affairs have driven pivotal decisions—often with horrific consequences. Along the way, they explore the origins of America’s fascination with sex scandals and explain how we can put aside our political moralism and begin focusing on the real problems that threaten our nation.”
BlogCritics.org has posted up an early review and the Amazon.com page for the book contains several lengthy reviews that can only be described as extremely positive. Indeed, the BlogCritics review, written by Marty Dodge, is probably one of the least effusive, though still positive overall.
“While you might not necessarily agree with the conclusions of the book in every individual case cited the overall theme does have merit,” wrote Dodge. “The book makes a strong case that sex has had a profound affect on how the US has been governed over its history. Opportunities were missed and obtained because of the exploits of Presidents and their consorts.
“Needless to say those that wish to remain ignorant to the goings on in the private lives of our Presidents and senior politicians might want to skip this,” he continued. “Those who wish to view the Founding Fathers as Saints who lived exemplary lives free from salaciousness might wish to avoid this book in its entirety. For those who appreciate that sex and sexuality shapes politics as much as it does other aspects of life this is fascinating. It was always thus and shall forever be.”
The customer reviews posted to Amazon.com are truly complimentary, though, with most of the reviewers saying they had no idea the extent of the sexual shenanigans undertaken by America’s first families.
“A terrific read that will want you asking for more (and you're in luck because the books and papers that were used as references and sources can be found in the back),” wrote one reviewer, adding, “Highly recommended, grab a copy today.”
“This book is really fascinating,” wrote another. “It dragged a bit before it got to the parts on James Buchanan, but from there it went off like a shot. And the bits on Buchanan were really interesting! I'd gone in as a skeptic about his sexuality (he was never married and shacked up with another man for most of his time in Washington), but this book really drove home the point that, yes, Buchanan was gay.”
Still another wrote, “Don't pick up this fine investigative work unless you want to get under the covers of some of the most revered and well known politicians. From America's founding fathers and their first ladies, to Camelot and beyond… this is not only a very fun down-and-dirty look behind the bedroom door of our highly respected leaders & ladies - it's ...stronger than dirt when it comes to being backed up by/just the facts ma'am, just the facts!”
Another reviewer summarized, “The authors feel that being nosy, intolerant and obsessed with the sexual antics so rampant in politics has nothing to do with religious principals and is actually pure hypocrisy. American should turn their attention to the real issues and problems that face our nation and be tolerant of sex, any kind of sex which is none of their business anyway.”
Even though the book has thus far garnered only a handful of customer reviews on Amazon.com, they are evenly split between 4 stars and five stars, a tremendous start for Flynt’s latest literary effort.