Book Reviews

This page contains reviews of books by me that relate to the issues and themes in “Male to Male.” These writings consist of:

Book Reviews: Each of these books has something interesting to say about the relationship between an individual’s sexual feelings and the culture in which he lives. That relationship is a major theme in both “Male to Male” as well as “Sexuality and the Devil.” The full reviews follow the introductory paragraphs just below that will give you an idea of what each of these books is about.
Male-Male Intimacy in Early America: Beyond Romantic Friendships” by William Benemann takes a close look at male to male feeling during a period of our own early history as a nation and long before the concept of sexual “identity” as we know it had come into being, at a time when the love  depicted in “Brokeback Mountain” would not have had to come to a tragic end.  (This review appeared in PsycCritiques, the online book review journal of the American Psychological Association in September, 2006.)
"The Trial of Masculinity" ("L'Épreuve de la masculinité") by Simon Louis Lajeunesse is a study of young French Canadian athletes  in Quebec.  Lajeunesse shows how the movement toward  male bonding through sexual rituals took place outside the categories of sexual identity and in spite of a culturally acquired homophobia.

At this writing, “The Trial of Masculinity” is available only  in French. But I think an introduction to this  book for English speaking audiences is warranted because of the challenging  questions it raises  about 1) the subjective meanings of competitive team sports and athletics 2) sexuality between men that falls outside  the conventional discourses  of orientation  and 3) the role of sexuality in male bonding, initiation,  and the construction of a masculine identity. “Épreuve” in French can mean: “test, proof, or trial.” For the purposes of this review, I have chosen to translate it as “trial” since, in English, that can mean a series of tests or challenges that eventuate in a proof of personal worth. (This review appeared in the newsletter of Division 44 of the American Psychological Association in Summer, 2009.)

In "The Bishop's Daughter” by Honor Moore, the daughter of Bishop Paul Moore, one the most  influential and respected leaders of the Episcopal Church, writes about her father’s life and the bisexuality that  was only know to his closest associates and which she only learned of in the latter part of his life. (This review appeared in the newsletter of Division 44 of the American Psychological Association in Fall, 2008.)
“Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800” by Khaled El-Rouayheb looks at same-sex feeling in a different part of the world and in an even earlier period of history. The primary—and idealized—form of male to male love in the period surveyed in this book resembled the form that the Greeks of 5th century B.C. Athens also idealized: a relationship between an adult man and a youth in his teens. (This review appeared in PsycCritiques in July, 2006.)