The first full length study of the history of sexuality in America, Intimate Matters offers trenchant insights into the sexual behavior of Americans, from colonial times to today. D'Emilio and Freedman give us a deeper understanding of how sexuality has dramatically influenced politics and culture throughout our history.
"The book John D'Emilio co-wrote with Estelle B. Freedman, Intimate Matters, was cited by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy when, writing for a majority of court on July 26, he and his colleagues struck down a Texas law criminalizing sodomy. The decision was widely hailed as a victory for gay rights—and it derived in part, according to Kennedy's written comments, from the information he gleaned from D'Emilio's book, which traces the history of American perspectives on sexual relationships from the nation's founding through the present day. The justice mentioned Intimate Matters specifically in the court's decision."—Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune
"Fascinating. . . . [D'Emilio and Freedman] marshall their material to chart a gradual but decisive shift in the way Americans have understood sex and its meaning in their lives." —Barbara Ehrenreich, New York Times Book Review
"With comprehensiveness and care . . . D'Emilio and Freedman have surveyed the sexual patterns for an entire nation across four centuries." —Martin Bauml Duberman, Nation
"Intimate Matters is comprehensive, meticulous and intelligent." —Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World
"This book is remarkable. . . . [Intimate Matters] is bound to become the definitive survey of American sexual history for years to come." —Roy Porter, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
A hard look at the history of American attitudes toward sex.
The history of sexuality in the U.S. is not a progressive jump from repression to freedom, the authors maintain. Here, they ``cram into 400 pages balanced discussions of racial sex-stereotyping, Chinese slave rings, abortion, same-sex relationships, women's rights and AIDS-engendered conservatism,'' reported PW. Illustrated. (Apr.)
Estelle B. Freedman is the Edgar E. Robinson Professor in US History at Stanford University and the author of No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women.
John D'Emilio is professor of history and of gender and women's studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. A Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, from 1995 to 1997 he served as the Founding Director of the Policy Institute at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. He is the co-author of Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America (1997). He earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1982.
Author biography courtesy of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Good To Know
In our interview, D'Emilio shared some fun facts and fascinating insights with us:
"I eat cereal every night before bed, and eat it with orange juice rather than milk. Cheerios and Grape Nuts are my current favorites."
"I won the citywide essay contest of the Archdiocese of New York back in 1961 or 1962, and got written up (I think on the front page, but I'm not sure) in the New York Herald Tribune -- a great paper, now defunct."
"Every time I get a new computer, I have to delete all the games on it because if I didn't, I'd never get anything else done!"
"I make a chicken soup and a tomato sauce that is better than any I've ever had."
"I long for a time again in this country when values of generosity, community, justice, and peacefulness reign."
Preface to the Second Edition Acknowledgments Introduction Part I: The Repoductive Matrix, 1600-1800
1. Cultural Diversity in the Era of Settlement
2. Family Life and the Refulation of Deviance
3. Seeds of Change Part II: Divided Passions, 1780-1900
4. Within the Family
5. Race and Sexuality
6. Outside the Family
7. Sexual Politics Part III: Toward a New Sexual Order, 1880-1930
8. "Civilized Morality" Under Stress
9. Crusades for Sexual Order
10. Breaking with the Past Part IV: The Rise and Fall of Sexual Liberalism, 1920 to the Present
11. Beyond Reproduction
12. Redrawing the Boundaries
13. Sexual Revolutions
14. The Sexualized Society
15. The Contemporary Political Crisis Afterword Notes Selected Bibliography Index