HISTORY

Sex with Presidents: The Ins and Outs of Love and Lust in the White House

Morrow. Sept. 2020. 384p. ISBN 9780062970565. $27.99. HIST
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In this latest work, Herman (Sex with Kings) embraces the salacious details of some of the more well-known sex scandals of specific presidents: Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Lyndon B. Johnson, as well as sprinkling in less well-known affairs and some long-forgotten ones (such as Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson). Herman adroitly exhibits her storytelling prowess in blending the documented gossip of the time with personal details from interviews and memoirs to write a book that is both historical and wildly entertaining. At times, the narrative seems to glory in the lascivious details of the often-lurid sex lives of the presidents, which may attract or repel depending on the reader; however, there is a fair balance of historical background to counterbalance it. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, the work also notes a concerning trend in the frequency of affairs between presidents and interns, and the power dynamics between men and the women who report to them.
VERDICT Written much like a tell-all, this historical yet approachable look at the sex lives and scandals of several U.S. presidents will appeal to history buffs as well as a large general audience.

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