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Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love [Kindle Edition]

Thomas Maier
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £11.22
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Book Description

Now a New Showtime Original Series

Showtime's dramatic series Masters of Sex, starring Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan, is based on this real-life story of sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson. Before Sex and the City and ViagraTM, America relied on Masters and Johnson to teach us everything we needed to know about what goes on in the bedroom. Convincing hundreds of men and women to shed their clothes and copulate, the pair were the nation’s top experts on love and intimacy. Highlighting interviews with the notoriously private Masters and the ambitious Johnson, critically acclaimed biographer Thomas Maier shows how this unusual team changed the way we all thought about, talked about, and engaged in sex while they simultaneously tried to make sense of their own relationship. Entertaining, revealing, and beautifully told, Masters of Sex sheds light on the eternal mysteries of desire, intimacy, and the American psyche.

Product Description


Nelson DeMille, bestselling author of "The Gold Coast "and "The Gate House"
"The subject of this book--sex and love--should interest just about everyone. As a bonus, Thomas Maier is a very fine writer, an accomplished biographer, and an astute reporter. If you read only one biography this year, it should be this first-ever look at the secretive lives of Masters and Johnson."

Gay Talese, author of "Thy Neighbor's Wife "and "A Writer's Life"
"A well-written and insightful account of Masters and Johnson, who, in a clinical sense, probably knew more about sex and marital love than any other couple in America"

Debby Applegate, Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Biography for "The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher"
""Masters of Sex "is a terrific book about the unlikely couple who touched off the sexual revolution. More than a biography, this is an intimate history of sex in the twentieth-century."

Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer
"No novelist could come up with something as remarkable as the real life story of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the married experts giving advice to America on sex and love. With insightful reporting and writing, Thomas Maier has captured this extraordinary relationship between these male and female sex researchers, a legacy that transformed the way couples live today."

Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., Past President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, and author of "Prime: Adventures and Advice About Sex, Love and the Sensual Years"
"It's hard to imagine any sex researcher or serious student of sexuality who wouldn't profit from reading this book. The information revealed in "Masters of Sex "has never surfaced before--and besides being a real contribution to the history of science, it's a totally captivating read!"

Hugh Hefner, editor in chief, "Playboy" magazine
"Thomas Maier has written the intimate, engaging biography that Masters and Johnson deserve. Critics often accu

About the Author

Thomas Maier is the author of the critically acclaimed "Dr. Spock: An American Life," which was a "New York Times" Notable Book of the Year; "The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings," which was adapted into a Warner Home Video documentary; and "Newhouse," which won the Frank Luther Mott Award for Best Media Book. An award-winning investigative journalist at "Newsday," he lives with his wife and three sons in Long Island, New York.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1028 KB
  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0465020402
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Media tie-in edition (2 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465044999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465044993
  • ASIN: B00CO7JI8M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #132,726 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Things were very different then 16 Nov. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I got this after watching the first few episodes of the TV series. After reading it, I realise that the TV series is very fictionalised; it includes events that simply didn't happen, though the depiction of Masters and Johnson is accurate enough.

It's hard now to realise just how different things were when Masters started his research, how much was simply opinion and how little was empirical. Certainly, their first two books changed public opinion in a major way.

Masters comes across as really strange, secretive, cold and quite probably repressed; almost on the autistic scale at times. By contrast Johnson seems to be much more natural, and a much more real person, even if she was a bit of a 'media whore' later. She didn't have any qualifications when she started with Masters, yet seems to have had considerable natural intelligence and insight; a lot of the ideas, specially about therapy, came from her; Masters was the investigator, but wasn't that creative.

Their first two books were ground-breaking, an over used phrase, but it was true in their case. But, thereafter it seems that Masters' thinking became very rigid, Johnson only added glitz, and some of the books were actually mostly written by another partner. The ideas about AIDS were seen as scaremongering at first, even if much of Masters' prophesies of doom were more or less correct. His ideas of the 'conversion' of homosexuals to heterosexuality seems to have been more wishful thinking that reality, with the suggestion that some of the case histories were no better than invented.

The book is written in a slightly racy journalistic style, with occasional passages of purple prose, but no worse for that. Ultimately, their story is rather sad.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mastemasters of Sex- A review 29 Oct. 2009
This is a biography long overdue! their work was truly remarkable and groundbreaking, for they dared to tread hitherto unmapped terrain! Kinsey built the foundations and they constructed the framework of the scientific study of human sexuality, actively tearing the heavy curtain of false prudery which shrouded one of the kernels of the essence of humanity itself, namely our sexual being. Today all who are involved in the study of human sexuality be it as researchers or therapists, together with those whom their pioneering work has helped to relieve their suffering, owe them an incalcuble debt. Revealing the people behind the work, which is done very well and the setbacks that had to be overcome, as well as the human frailty which in the end led William Masters to be so unfaithful to himself humanises these two giants among their peers. It was a truly moving experience to read this sensitive, delicate, but never fawning or salacious account of two lives who had so much impact on our own. After reading this book Masters and Johnson who for almost thirty years have been vary familiar names to me finally became human beings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expect the unexpected 19 Jan. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a fantastic book about scientific endeavour and its effect on the scientist. Well written, fair and full. Gripping in its human intensity. Definitely a must read for all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The story behind the mini-series 17 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was first introduced to the work of Masters and Johnson whilst studying for my degree a long time ago. I watched the mini-series and wanted to know more about the real life Masters and Johnson. This book provides a good insight into their lives, and details the complex relationship between the two main characters and also how they had to deal with societies' standards. They did massively contribute to the "sexual revolution" in the 60s and 70s.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating. 10 Oct. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having watched the TV series I was eager to read all about the true story of this amazing couple who changed the sex lives of American couples forever. It is more factual than the films but still very interesting.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read. Millie Maxwell, South Africa 5 Mar. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Due to a glitch on my kindle I clicked on 'more information' but the option of 'Buy' was carried out instead, and I was delivered the book. I normally send for a sample first. However, upon deciding to just keep the book I enjoyed an interesting and excellent read. If you are watching the TV series, wait until it has finished before you the read the book as you will already know the ending.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit thin on things we'd all like to know 18 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A competent biography by a journalist who was hamstrung by the lack of autobiographical information from the long dead Dr Masters and the privacy of Virginia Johnson. They were a remarkable couple, that's for sure, who did really groundbreaking work. Despite the cover photo taken from the TV series, there's a lot in the series that's not in the book, making me wonder where it came from....
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A complex menage 11 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A challenge for the author no doubt; the very nature of the subjects being to conceal and deceive. regarding their personal lives and to a large extent their professional lives. An important story nonetheless and well worth a read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling
Compelling. Why did they never win the Noble Prize?
Published 2 months ago by Paperdoller
5.0 out of 5 stars Masters of Sex - a must read about how women have come a long way and...
I am reading this and it is interesting. Very 1950s, thank goodness for the 'Pill' and also women getting more rights.
Published 4 months ago by Wendy M Garbett
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and engrossing
Superbly written book, very engrossing and engaging, and great companion to the series it's based on.
Published 4 months ago by wiz_frog
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great story to go along with tv series I have been watching
Published 6 months ago by M. P. Parker
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I enjoyed this book, but have stopped watching the TV series as a result, too much has been altered.
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT
I bought this book only because I was so impressed with the Channel 4 drama, allegedly base on this book. Read more
Published 14 months ago by JANE WILSON
4.0 out of 5 stars Christmas present
Got this for my mother, as we both enjoyed the series at home, but unfortunately moving houses meant we missed quite a few episodes. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Casey Harper
4.0 out of 5 stars ".. she was a bit of a 'media whore' .."
Things were very different then, 16 Nov 2013

Most Helpful Customer Reviews: 5 of 5 people found the following review helpful

In this review there is the... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
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