Praise for AMERICAN SAVAGE:
“America’s most in-your-face sex columnist and gay-rights activist comes out swinging in these pugnacious, hilarious essays…Underneath Savage’s scabrous, bomb-throwing exterior beats the heart of a softie.” –
Publishers Weekly, starred review
"An extraordinarily personal, deeply felt book about traditional marriage, authentic and healthy religion and a traditional sex life."
-The Washington Post
"Savage's essays on fatherhood, cheating, and the subset of Americans, in
American Savage, who still think sexuality is a choice are powerful messages for both the head and the heart." - Entertainment Weekly
"Dan Savage is the most prominent activist for gay rights in America....many of his proponents forget just how good of a writer he is. American Savage is everything a longtime reader of Savage would expect: a series of hilarious, often touching, essays that deal with sexuality, monogamy, religion, gun rights, and Savage’s family." –The A.V. Club
“Savage writes conversationally and wonderfully. Although some might be put off at first by his strong opinions, most readers will ultimately find him engaging. Recommended for general readers who enjoy the cutting edge essay format.” -
“At turns serious and humorous, this multifaceted collection of essays will entertain both longtime Savage fans and new readers.” –
“[Savage] takes on gun control, Obamacare, sex education in public schools, and gay marriage, among other hot-button topics. His provocative points are sharply made… Fans of Savage’s in-your-face rhetoric are sure to rally around his liberal pulpit.” -
“Dan Savage is a gay superhero… marvelously discursive and footnote-laden collection of new essays…
American Savage will most likely preach to the choir, but its polemics are still beautiful, verbal slap-downs of sanctimonious bigotry.” – Time Out New York
American Savage is at once deliberately outrageous and seriously thoughtful.” - The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“An entertaining and thought-provoking collection of short-winded essays…Savage has the ability to smooth over his rant’s foul-mouthed edges with a refreshing self-deprecation and, yes, a good old-fashioned Midwestern kindness.” -
The Minneapolis Star Tribune
American Savage: Insights, Slights and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love and Politics comes roaring into bookstores with such high potential that one can’t help expecting it to fail. But this book, with all its wisdom, ideas and ideals, does exactly the opposite - it supersedes all his previous work.” –The Edge
American Savage is best when it is most unusual, an extraordinarily personal, deeply felt book about traditional marriage, authentic and healthy religion and a traditional sex life…reconciliation is at the heart of everything Savage writes and says. He's not throwing bombs at all. Or rather, if he is, they are bombs aimed at shaking up small minds to extend traditional institutions to people considered outside them. Beneath its often caustic wit, American Savage is on a healing mission. It's about unification.
The Washington Post - Chandler Burr
America’s most in-your-face sex columnist and gay-rights activist comes out swinging in these pugnacious, hilarious essays. Savage (Savage Love) proffers more unvarnished and often sacrilegious bedroom and relationship advice, recommending, for example, that spouses try each other’s kinks on for size and, if sexual incompatibility proves insurmountable in an otherwise satisfying marriage, that they consider a little nookie on the side. He reserves his most pointed sex tips for detractors and ideological opponents, suggesting a number of lewd acts they could perform to cope with their upset over his forthright advocacy of marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples. (He widens his brief to include cogent soap-boxing on behalf of single-payer national health insurance, gun control, and physician-assisted suicide.) Savage is that rarity, a liberal—verging on radical—who defends his positions with steel-trap logic and scornful humor laced with profanity and stripped of politically correct cant. But in his own way he’s a champion of “family values,” which emerge in warm domestic scenes with his husband and son, in moving reflections on his mother’s death, and in his common-sense understanding of sexual fulfillment as an anchor for stable relationships. Underneath Savage’s scabrous, bomb-throwing exterior beats the heart of a softie. Agent: Elizabeth Wales, Wales Literary Agency Inc. (May 28)
Dan Savage is probably the best-known sex columnist writing today. His witty, often snarky column, Savage Love, appears in hundreds of independent newspapers and he is a popular speaker on college campuses. His LGBT youth-supporting, famous It Gets Better video project and book has found contributors from everyday folks to President Obama. And we can't forget that this is the man who redefined the proper name "Santorum." This collection of 17 new essays has a built-in audience that will not be disappointed. Savage introduces readers to his son's coming out as straight. Not so controversial. But it's not like him to avoid controversy and he doesn't. Sexual mores such as debates over monogamy and the closeted are grappled with. He also takes on conservative opponents though they come across as straw men at times. American Savage is also intensely personal when the author talks about his Roman Catholic upbringing and his mother, and in a discussion of a survey of contemporary sexual politics. (There are references to sex acts, but they are not overly graphic.) VERDICT Savage writes conversationally and wonderfully. Although some might be put off at first by his strong opinions, most readers will ultimately find him engaging. Recommended for general readers who enjoy the cutting edge essay format.—David Azzolina, Univ. of Pennsylvania Libs., Philadelphia
Personal and political essays from the columnist and gay rights advocate. Though Savage may best be known as an advice columnist, he is as opinionated about gun violence, Obamacare and assisted suicide as he is about sex education, same-sex marriage and bisexuality. Despite the wide range of subject matter, his general approach to each topic, which can be boiled down to "the more freedom, the better," is consistent. This consistency, along with his technique of frequently giving examples from his personal life, prevents the essays from becoming disjointed. Savage is no stranger to controversy, and he recants his previous stance on male bisexuality, sets the record straight on his part in Rick Santorum's "Google Problem," and tells readers what happened when he invited Brian Brown, head of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage, over for dinner. Though the political essays are incisive, Savage is at his most interesting and provocative when discussing sexuality. He argues that gay people should not race to portray themselves as exclusively wholesome when criticized as sexually depraved, and he writes that rushing to emphasize "PTA meetings and baking cookies" glosses over the fact that "we are different…gay people seem to have a much easier time reconciling love and lust, commitment and desire." Savage sees comfort and openness with sexuality as something straight people should emulate, not fear, and encourages readers to be open to "monogamish" relationships as a way of saving relationships that might otherwise be destroyed over one incident of infidelity. Some essays are weaker than others: "Sex Dread," about sex education in America, is underdeveloped, and "The Choicer Challenge" has as much material in the footnotes as in the text, which is distracting. At turns serious and humorous, this multifaceted collection of essays will entertain both longtime Savage fans and new readers.