Sex and Punishment
Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire
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Writer and lawyer Eric Berkowitz uses flesh-and-blood cases-much flesh and even more blood-to evoke the entire sweep of Western sex law, from the savage impalement of an Ancient Mesopotamian adulteress to the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde in 1895 for gross indecency.” The cast of Judging Desire is as varied as the forms taken by human desire itself: royal mistresses, gay charioteers, medieval transvestites, lonely goat-lovers, prostitutes of all stripes, London rent boys. Each of them had forbidden sex, and each was judged-and justice, as Berkowitz shows, rarely had much to do with it.
With the light touch of a natural storyteller, Berkowitz spins these tales and more, going behind closed doors to reveal the essential history of human desire.
- Counterpoint, April 2012
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