978-0-316-75439-2 / 9780316754392

Last Night in Paradise: Sex and Morals at the Century's End


Publisher:Little, Brown and Company



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About the book:

Katie Roiphe made quite a name for herself a couple of years ago with the publication of The Morning After: Sex, Fear and Feminism,which explores the issues of date rape and sexual harassment on college campuses, both of which the author regards as problems that exist mainly in the minds of strident feminists. In her Last Night in Paradise, Roiphe widens her scope from college to the culture-at-large. AIDS figures prominently in this book as the author chronicles the sexual revolution of the '60s and its aftermath in the '90s. Where once (or so the mythology goes) young women took the pill and fell joyfully into bed with a number of lovers, today they are constrained by fear of sexually communicable diseases and death.

Just as a previous generation remembers where they were the day JFK was shot, so Katie Roiphe's generation recalls the day Magic Johnson announced he was HIV-positive. A new wave of puritanism is sweeping the country, Roiphe posits, and in Last Night in Paradise she recounts the forms it takes, from "secondary virginity" to high-school health class discussions of masturbation as an alternative to sex. But more than just a report on the sexual state of the union, Last Night in Paradise is also a meditation on sexuality, morality, and a nation's yearning for new rules to replace the social anarchy of the past three decades.

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