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Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love (Anglais) Broché – 26 septembre 2013


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Descriptions du produit

Masters of Sex Before "Sex and the City" and Viagra[trademark], America relied on William Masters and Virginia Johnson to teach us everything we needed to know about what goes on in the bedroom. Including interviews with William Masters and Virginia Johnson, this title sheds light on the eternal mysteries of desire, intimacy, and the American psyche.


Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 424 pages
  • Editeur : Basic Books; Édition : Media tie-in (26 septembre 2013)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0465079997
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465079995
  • Dimensions du produit: 14 x 2,8 x 21 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 21.446 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par LaVueDesAlpes sur 25 décembre 2013
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
If you were interested in buying this book because of the television show, you will not be disappointed. Thomas Maier is first and foremost an excellent writer. When it comes to phrasing, word selection, and story-telling I have to say that I haven't read a better organized and written book in years (and I read dozens each year). I read this book in about 4 days; was that good.

The story takes you from the very beginning - the formative years of Masters and Johnson, their career shifts, their research and partnership, their sexual and emotional attraction to each other, and the world they built around them while gradually crumbled. While Masters and Johnson remained quite private throughout their body of work and private lives, Maier does excellent research to give us a view that only a fly on the wall could achieve.

A fascinating story by an excellent writer. I can't rave enough about the quality of writing and storytelling. Bravo!
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Karine PARQUET sur 9 août 2014
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Biographie riche et instructive. Se lit comme un roman. Un bon complément à la série tv pour distinguer le vrai du faux.
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155 internautes sur 174 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Shakespearean Tragedy 30 mars 2010
Par S. M Marson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Achat vérifié
While a graduate student at Ohio State, I was pursuing the path of becoming a sex therapist. As part of that, I attended a workshop sponsored by Masters and Johnson in Chicago. Prior to the workshop in Chicago, I met them at Ohio State. I was profoundly impressed with their insight and therapeutic skills. Within the literature, there have been so many false conjectures regarding their work; it is difficult to sort out reality from false rumor. Because of a series of letters I have in my files, I have concluded that the major events described in this biography are accurate.

The biography is packed with two profound paradoxes that should have a major impact on the development, testing and construction of social science theory - but probably won't - we tend to make the same mistakes in our history rather than learning from our errors.

First, in my academic background I found theory construction be to paradoxical. In theory construction, we learned that devotion to a theory produces a blinder that can prohibit the researcher from identifying more meaningful explanations. In quantitative research, we are taught to begin with a hypothesis that emerges from a theory to avoid "type I errors." Masters was trained in traditional quantitative science and his world view was contaminated by theory (particularly Freudian theory). Because of her lack of formal education, Johnson (probably with greater innate intelligence than Masters) had NO academic world view. Her vision of sexology has no theoretical limitations. She was able to envision sexuality in a manner that was theoretically unparalleled. She, with the assistance of Masters's knowledge of science, was able to institute a major paradigm shift in sexology. Johnson's lack of academic training enabled her to guide Masters to employ his academic creditability to reshape our thinking. It is ironic that the chauvinism from the 1940's (which denied Johnson educational opportunities) was the catalyst for our current world view of sexuality.

Second, the relationship that created the emotional/intellectual bond between Masters and Johnson built AND destroyed our sexuality knowledge base. Both Masters and Johnson were victims of unrequited love. As a consequence, their bond was a marriage of convenience. At age 76, Masters divorced Johnson to marry his childhood sweetheart, while Johnson's desires were smashed by the death of her young love. Masters emotional betrayal of Johnson became the catalyst for the major intellectual tragedy of the 20th century - Johnson destroyed decades of unpublished cutting edge research. The sexology community was devastated.

The entire book is reminiscent of the Shakespearean Tragedy

Footnotes:
1) I never liked talking to Masters. Although he had a kind and gentle voice, his eyes were sterile and piercing. I never understood how he could be a GREAT therapist. Here again Johnson saved him. Unknown to most people, he had an eye disorder that produced the piercing characteristic. According to the author, he had it surgically altered - but never was able to achieve an empathic expression.

2) Maier addressed the famous article in PSYCHOLOGY TODAY. After I read this article, I immediately wrote Clive Davis the editor of THE JOURNAL OF SEX RESEARCH and insisted that he ask Masters and Johnson to write a rebuttal. In the next issue of JSR, Kolodny provided the scientific rebuttal. For the past 30 years, I have been using this material as an example of external validity.
44 internautes sur 49 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An Extraordinary but Sad Partnership 27 septembre 2009
Par Loves the View - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Their lives were a period piece. Their work would have had no other relevancy but during post war America. Masters was a pioneer in this medical field and Johnson a pioneer in her field of therapy. They were ahead of their time in taking a female inclusive approach to sex therapy. How would the sexual revolution have evolved without this staid Midwestern couple giving couples a means to discuss and/or improve their sex life?

At the end of the book we realize that besides their 1950's lab techniques, the necessary secretiveness of their work and their reluctance to franchise, they, themselves, were of this time as well. While the author doesn't speculate, besides Masters' deterioration with age, deeply rooted values probably affected his later work on homosexuality and AIDS. The norms of their youth and childhoods certainly informed both their attitudes towards each other.

The book is a great read, you can't put it down. I gave it 4 not 5 stars because there are some significant missing pieces in Johnson's portrait. While Masters' family life is well covered, Johnson's is vague. (How did she/someone else raise her children? "Uncle" Larry, whose death upsets her children had been mentioned only once.) Before and after the divorce, what was the actual governance/ownership of the institute, the copyrights and all the property associated with the partnership? Maier writes that Johnson lost heavily, but how is not clear. She has the very valuable tapes, which implies significant ownership.

The portrait of Virginia Johnson is so provocative it calls for more. Perhaps, someone can build on this and may get also get her cooperation, as had Maier.
66 internautes sur 81 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
I don't understand why there is so much praise for this book. 4 novembre 2013
Par Turkey Jerky - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Let me start off by saying that I don't have any problem with the sexual content of this book. But some of the heavy breathing feels so overdone, it's just really silly. Some of the depictions of sex, like the description of when Johnson loses her virginity, are also a little creepy.

But more importantly, I was really hoping for a critical examination of the lives and work of Masters and Johnson. What I got was just overwrought gossip and all surface. To me, it felt like the book was mostly just a string of interviews the author conducted and had only started to make sense of. There is so much in here that does not require direct quoting and where the full quote was overkill, or only serves to repeat an idea that has already been drilled into our heads: Masters was distant, Johnson was independent, yeah, yeah, we got it. A bunch of random doctors and colleagues talking about the speculation going around the office about whether or not Masters and Johnson were having sex with each other. The narrative is driven by this collection of quotes, rather than the other way around. That only works if the people being quoted have anything interesting to say, which is rarely the case here. It's pretty vapid stuff - Wow, Bill Masters liked football! And he sometimes annoyed his friend (a former pro turned coach) with his chatter - not exactly riveting. You could condense this entire book to less than 100 pages without losing any substance and without really losing too many details, either.

Additionally, the dramas here aren't dramas, but the real dramas are ignored. For example, Johnson's looking up of an old boyfriend near the end of her life and feeling sad when she heard he'd died does not qualify as a drama in my book, but a normal human response. Yet the real dramas, such as the revelation that Johnson's initial employment was contingent on her having sex with Masters while he was still married and that she didn't want to, are dropped, only to be resolved by a short, seemingly unsubstantiated statement that she came to enjoy it eventually. WTF?

One of the parts of the story in which the author does attempt a more in-depth analysis is in the depiction of sexual mores in 20th century America - but even this is dumbed-down and uncritical. One of the more slightly interesting parts of the story was to consider how Masters and Johnson became a touchstone for feminists for a brief time - but even this is treated breezily and without any real tension.

I think good biography not only needs to reveal the details of people's lives, but to make sense of them. I really wish the author had treated this version as a draft and taken the time to provide an in-depth analysis and not avoided the real contradictions of Masters and Johnson's story.
33 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A "MASTERFUL" BIOGRAPHY OF THE PIONEER SEX RESEARCHERS 5 juin 2013
Par Steven H Propp - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
Thomas Maier has written other acclaimed biographies such as Dr. Spock, The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings: A Five-Generation History of the Ultimate Irish-Catholic Family, Newhouse: All the Glitter, Power, & Glory of America's Richest Media Empire & the Secretive Man Behind It, etc.

He observes that "Masters confided that his intended goal... was to study sex itself. 'People are sent from all over the world to you---why are you switching into something so controversial?' asked Dodie... '...I want to make a discovery,' Masters stated plainly. 'I want my name in history.'" (Pg. 56) He states, "Ideally, Masters preferred a female physician as his partner, but such a candidate---far more qualified than Johnson---was too difficult to find... a female physician would likely demand more equanimity as a partner... From the outset, Masters and Johnson's remarkable success sprung from their dual approach, the matrix of male and female therapists exploring the boundaries of human sexuality together." (Pg. 91)

He notes, "Virginia was disquieted by her two failed marriages and the personal shortcomings they suggested at at time when divorce in America was still relatively rare. She had enjoyed sex and sharing affection with both men but never forged the deep bond she had always sought, the kind of true, lasting love she sang about but never found." (Pg. 26-27) He adds, "After she became his assistant, Johnson threw herself headlong into recruiting well-educated females in their twenties and thirties willing to engage in a sex study in exchange for a nominal fee and the promise of anonymity. Many believed Johnson when she proclaimed, with her infectuous enthusiasm, that they were breaking through a cultural barrier... By discovering truths about their bodies, Johnson envisioned, they would benefit all womankind." (Pg. 103) Ultimately, Masters suggested to Johnson [while Masters was still married to someone else] "they could test out the most effective methods of reaching orgasm... Masters pitched his idea purely in the name of medicine, part of a long history of practitioners practicing on themselves." (Pg. 125-126)

He reports, "Female surrogate sex partners, though relatively rare in Masters and Johnson's therapy, became one of the program's most controversial but highly effective assets. In the first eleven years, they made surrogates available to forty-one unmarried men who felt sexually inadequate... Under this new treatment, thirty-two of the forty-one men with surrogate partners---nearly 80 percent---had their symptoms reversed." (Pg. 197-198) Some of the surrogates were married women (pg. 201). After they became famous, "Masters and Johnson's vision to teach the world about their methods now seemed undermined by staffers who abandoned them and by strangers who shamelessly exploited their techniques solely for profit. Even con artists and hacks, with their flawed offerings, referred to Masters and Johnson as their touchstone. 'The amount of garbage in this field and the number of people without credibility!' Johnson decried to the press. 'There aren't a dozen people in this field who really know what they are talking about.'" (Pg. 256-257)

When being interviewed on Meet the Press about their book Homosexuality in Perspective, which claimed a two-thirds "success" rate in treating homosexuality, Masters admitted, "one hastens to point out, as we make very clear in the publications, that there is a very high degree of selectivity in those individuals we would accept into treatment." (Pg. 281) Maier states that "The public reception of Crisis: Heterosexual Behavior in the Age of AIDS jeopardized Masters and Johnson's reputation. For the second major book in a row, Johnson had invested only a minimal amount of herself in a coauthorship with [Robert] Kolodny and Masters... She could no longer rely on Masters, as she once did, to check all the assertions and to make sure they were on solid ground, medically and scientifically." (Pg. 324)

For anyone wanting to know more about Masters and Johnson, and their research, this marvelous book will be absolutely "MUST reading".
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Lots of info about a fascinating couple 24 août 2009
Par Dr. Cathy Goodwin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I agreed to review the book because I'm interested in both psychology and biography, and Masters of Sex combines the topics.

Masters of Sex is extremely well-written and easy to follow. It's meticulously researched - apparently the definitive biography of a pair of iconic researchers.

I'm not surprised that reviewers seem to be drawn from the community of psychology, specially sex therapists. The book will have greatest appeal to specialists who will enjoy getting detailed background on research they have studied academically.

They may also speculate on the ironies related to the research. Masters apparently epitomized the cliche of the cold fish. Johnson was warm but she was also lucky; she apparently became involved almost by accident, assuming an integral role over the years. She was in the right place at the right time. A professional woman at the clinic suggested that Virginia Johnson might feel defensive because she lacked training and professional degrees.

As a lay person, reading out of recreational rather than professional interest, I found the book excellent but somewhat overwhelming. The book is rather long: almost 400 pages with detailed quotes to support every point. The book goes into great depth to tell two stories: the troubled relationship of Masters and Johnson and the introduction of these formerly taboo topics into mainstream culture. I can see this book as part of required reading for courses in topics like Sociology of Sex...courses that wouldn't exist if this decidedly odd couple hadn't paved the way.
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