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Sex and the Constitution

Nonfiction: History
Unabridged   20.75 hour(s)
Publication date: 03/21/2017

Sex and the Constitution

Sex, Religion, and Law from America's Origins to the Twenty-First Century

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781681684475
Digital Download ISBN:9781681684482


A monumental work of scholarship, Sex and the Constitution illuminates how the clash between sex and religion has defined our nation's history.

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Product Description

Renowned constitutional scholar Geoffrey R. Stone traces the evolution of legal and moral codes that have attempted to legislate sexual behavior from the ancient world to America's earliest days to today's fractious political climate. Stone crafts a remarkable, even thrilling narrative in which he shows how agitators, moralists, legislators, and especially the justices of the Supreme Court have historically navigated issues as explosive and divisive as abortion, homosexuality, pornography, and contraception. Overturning a raft of contemporary shibboleths, Stone reveals that at the time the Constitution was adopted there were no laws against obscenity and no laws against abortion before the midpoint of pregnancy. A pageant of historical characters―including Voltaire, Thomas Jefferson, Anthony Comstock, Margaret Sanger, J. Edgar Hoover, Phyllis Schlafly, and Justice Anthony Kennedy―enlivens this landmark work, which dramatically reveals how our laws about sex, religion, and morality reflect the paradoxes and cultural schisms that have cleaved our nation from its founding.


"In this impressive study, renowned constitutional scholar Stone investigates the evolving nature of sexual mores as they are shaped by religion and the law." —Library Journal Starred Review

"An elegantly literate précis of historical attitudes about sex in the U.S.’ line of cultural inheritance . . . this is the definitive account of its past and present." —Booklist Starred Review

"A compelling history of a nation grappling with the moral and legal freedoms that the founders strived to ensure." —Kirkus Starred Review

"His book takes off . . . Stone has real people, about whom we know a lot. The people come to life." —New York Times

"A treasure-house of philosophical brilliance and legal and historical insight―not to mention erotic delights!―this masterpiece is the rarest of combinations: a page-turner that is also a magisterial font of erudite wisdom." —Laurence H. Tribe, author of The Invisible Constitution

"Professor Stone provides layer upon layer of historical, jurisprudential, and social context to explain how we have arrived at this point, all of it impeccably researched, in what is an astonishing tour de force.” —Lee C. Bollinger, president, Columbia University

"Geoffrey Stone’s clear and engaging writing, as well as his thorough coverage, will make this book the definitive work on sex, religion, and the Constitution." —Erwin Chemerinsky, dean and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law

Author Bio

Geoffrey R. Stone is the author of the prize-winning Perilous Times. A professor and former dean at the University of Chicago, he writes for the New York Times and the Huffington Post. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.