Category Archives: adultery

April 26, 2012, 2:42 pm

Histories of Kennedy Love: A Book Review

JFK and JFK, Jr. in the Oval Office (AP Photo/Look Magazine, Stanley Tretick)

Christina Haag, Come to the Edge: A Memoir (New York:  Spiegel & Grau, 2011).

Mimi Alford, Once Upon a Secret: My Affair With President John F. Kennedy and its Aftermath (New York: Random House, 2012).

It will be no surprise to even the uneducated reader that the Kennedy family occupies an entire cultural market niche all by itself.  The Library of Congress lists over 400 John F. Kennedy items in its holdings. You can add to this number: books by and about Bobby, Ted and the other siblings; about the generations that preceded the three political brothers; about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and her children (there are over 300 LOC items about John Jr. and 93 by and about the far more productive and well-educated…

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February 6, 2012, 2:11 pm

From Little College to Big Grad School: Reflections From a Graduate Student

By Herlin Hathaway

Today’s guest blogger is Herlin Hathaway, a pseudonymous graduate student and future tenured radical.  I asked Herlin, who is in his first year of coursework, to reflect on his trajectory from a small liberal arts college and to a Ph.D. program at a top North American research university.


Heavy on the scholar, light on the activist

Little College students have a reputation for being politically aware and active. While this is not actually the case for the majority of the student body, it is also not difficult to become politicized through coursework and by joining a student organization. This is exactly what happened to me when I began studying the history of the U.S. prison system, volunteering at Little College’s Center for Prison Education and discussing race and class discrimination with older students. By the time I was a 3rd year I was in…

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December 16, 2011, 7:07 pm

Update On The Ryan Gosling Meme, and Other Blog Bites

Tenured Radical has been laid up for few days.  I was riding over to Historiann‘s place, where we were planning on roping, tying and branding a few menz. You know, just a casual feminist afternoon activity to pass the time before final papers come in. But as I was coming round the canyon wall I ran into a few conservative bloggers rustling the herd.  Needless to say there was an exchange of words, and then BLAM! I got gut shot by a law professor.  A few stitches and I’m fine:  I’ll tell you the rest of the story later.

Meanwhile,  a few things have come across the transom.  First of all, check out the contribution to the Ryan Gosling meme designed by a reader at Rice University.  Much hotter than my Ryan who looks, come to think of it, a little like a lesbian.   (more…)

August 1, 2010, 4:00 pm

The Moonlight And Magnolias School Of Women’s History: Katie Roiphe’s Take On Mad Men

Who needs another blogger bashing Katie Roiphe for not being a feminist? And why read more about what is often obvious nowadays: that if you have decent writing skills, have gone to an Ivy League school, and have a mother in the business you can get published even if your ideas are peculiar, uninformed and often just wrong? And why belabor the fact that, while feminists can’t get published nowadays, if you are willing to stand up and tell young women that feminism just doesn’t matter, you can make a tidy living?

If, despite my advice, you were a blogger who wrote such a piece, Katie Roiphe would just say you are part of the victim culture bred by 1970s feminism, and you are so deluded.
Which brings me to what I really want to write about Roiphe’s contribution to the New York Times “Sunday Styles” section today, The Allure of Messy Lives, in which she argues — through a superficial…

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July 22, 2009, 5:35 pm

Adultery Carnival: John Updike’s Couples and the Sexual Revolution

John Updike, Couples (New York: Fawcett Books, 1996). Originally published 1968. 458 pp. $14.95

I don’t know whether I meant to bring two books about adultery on vacation but I did, and the contrast between Jed Mercurio’s American Adulterer and John Updike’s Couples provoked many thoughts about the shift in our sexual culture as seen through this knotty, diverse practice. One important similarity in the two books is what has not changed: adultery generates its own complex rules so that adulterers can evade and break other rules. In other words, the adulterer, although perhaps motivated by a desire to be free, is never truly free.

But the differences are also interesting, particularly since both novels describe the same historical moment, the early 1960s. While Updike’s adulterers operate as a community and literally as couples who protect each other, Mercurio’s adulterer in chief, JFK…

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