- Paperback: 404 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (5 April 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0415929423
- ISBN-13: 978-0415929424
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,529,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Make Love, Not War - The Sexual Revolution: An Unfettered History Paperback – 5 Apr 2001
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"Make Love, Not War is must reading for sex educators, counselors, and therapists of the 21st century--many of whom were too young to have experienced the 1960's and 1970's themselves.."
-Alice Laddas "Journal of Sex Education and Therapy
"David Allyn's brisk history of the sexual revolution in America deserves a wide readership and considerable praise."
-"American Historical Review
"Filled with fresh details, this is a strong debut from a gifted young cultural critic."
"Allyn has done a remarkable job of bringing together all the diverse strands of the sexual revolution -- from the principled and political to the purely hedonistic and outright kooky."
"A useful and readable chronicle of the melange of activity and talk that changed American irreversibly.."
-Todd Gitlin, "Chicago Tribune
About the Author
David Allyn has a Ph.D. from Harvard and has taught history at Princeton. He is now a journalist and writer, and his articles have appeared in the Washington Post, The Boston Globe and The New York Daily News, and the Journal of American Studies. He lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Irrespective of the reader's own personal judgement, Allyn contends the sexual revolution was not solely one large orgy. but the creative work of many different movers and shakers that allowed us to enter into a dialog on the meaning and worth of sex outside childbearing. His history of the sexual revolution differs from earlier works such as Playboy's own (largely self-indulgent volume) because it readily gives credit where it is due to women and non-heterosexuals.
While the sexual revolution was supposed to be for the benefit of everybody in young America, the continued difficulty of securing contraception, the illegality of abortion, and loco parentis policies in Colleges made the concept an intially hollow promise for many women. Others, working in the new left quickly discovered they were expected to be little more than a Housewife/Sex object with an armband and picket sign to their male counterparts. Sexism was so pervasive the doublestandard was just repackaged in psychedelic garb.
The author points out it was feminists and gay liberationists who challenged narrow defintions of sexuality and brought the sexual revolution closest to accheiving it's utopian vision.
Because most other conventional histories of the 60's ignore or marginalize the contributions of these groups, this book should be required reading as part of a college course on the 1960's. Far from being monolithic, the sexual revolution had many unsung leaders, and we could not have the discussions on safe sex today were it not for these pioneers.
The great weakness of Make Love, Not War is its breadth. It's a series of relative short chapters that covers a whole host of topics, with only a modest amount of analysis, hardly going beyond what was taken as truisms at the time (e.g., the revolution was made possible by the Pill and an economic boom, the civil rights movement inspired subsequent movements). In the introduction, the author concedes that he doesn't have a coherent theoretical account of what happened and admits to contradictory reactions to the place of sex in modern society. There is honesty in that, but it doesn't lend itself to a story that organizes that these disparate cultural rebellions and certainly doesn't provoke the reader beyond the shock of the exuberant behavior of the time. As a result, finishing the book felt like reading an encyclopedia. Toward the very end, there is a bit of analysis, largely of a dreary sort. There, the author briefly touches on a point that had been nagging me -- few, if any of these rebels and profiteers seem to have a place for children in their utopias or recognize the responsibilities of parenting -- but the importance of this issue seems to warrant a more central space (as does, ironically, the implicit association of sex and youth, as if Baby Boomers weren't ever going to age).
A lot about this chapter in US history could -- and I think needs to be -- reflected upon. What I think is most telling, both of the need for a sexual revolution (the quiet desperation) and the failures of this particular revolution is that I read a library copy of this book -- and the pictures were ripped out.