Sexuality in Europe

Sexuality in Europe : A Twentieth-Century History

3.73 (34 ratings by Goodreads)
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This original book brings a fascinating and accessible account of the tumultuous history of sexuality in Europe from the waning of Victorianism to the collapse of Communism and the rise of European Islam. Although the twentieth century is often called 'the century of sex' and seen as an era of increasing liberalization, Dagmar Herzog instead emphasizes the complexities and contradictions in sexual desires and behaviours, the ambivalences surrounding sexual freedom, and the difficulties encountered in securing sexual rights. Incorporating the most recent scholarship on a broad range of conceptual problems and national contexts, the book investigates the shifting fortunes of marriage and prostitution, contraception and abortion, queer and straight existence. It analyzes sexual violence in war and peace, the promotion of sexual satisfaction in fascist and democratic societies, the role of eugenics and disability, the politicization and commercialization of sex, and processes of secularization and religious renewal.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text | 248 pages
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 44 b/w illus.
  • 113911848X
  • 9781139118484

Review quote

'Everything you always wanted to know about the 'century of sex' - here it is, beautifully written, admirably strong in its analysis, compelling in its plea for different narratives that add ambivalences, conflicts and shadow lines to what at first sight appears as a clear-cut story of liberalisation.' Ute Fervet, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin 'A masterly synthesis of sexuality's most extreme century. This virtuoso account always links sex to politics, but its real merit is to give emotions, bodies, and pleasures a history.' Philipp Sarasin, Professor of Modern History, University of Zurich 'There is not [a] better comparativist than Herzog to illuminate the unexpected twists and turns of this composite history - a landmark in European synthesis and a must-read for all historians of sexuality.' Nancy F. Cott, Jonathan Trumbull Professor of American History, Harvard University 'Herzog develops a sweeping analysis of the central role of sexual practices, cultures, politics, and violence in a century of war, mass mobilization, and wrenching social conflict and change.' George Chauncey, Professor of History, Yale University
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Table of contents

Introduction; 1. Reconceiving sexuality, 1900-14; 2. State interventions, 1914-45; 3. Cold War cultures, 1945-65; 4. Pleasure and rebellion, 1965-80; 5. Partnerships and practices, 1980-2010; Epilogue.
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About Dagmar Herzog

Dagmar Herzog is Professor of History and Daniel Rose Faculty Scholar at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her previous publications include Sex after Fascism: Memory and Morality in Twentieth-Century Germany (2005), Brutality and Desire: War and Sexuality in Europe's Twentieth Century (as editor, 2009) and Sex in Crisis: The New Sexual Revolution and the Future of American Politics (2008).
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Rating details

34 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 12% (4)
4 53% (18)
3 32% (11)
2 3% (1)
1 0% (0)
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