Sex Scandal America: Politics & The Ritual of Public Shaming


Sex Scandal America ties sex scandals to the deeper changes in sexual culture occurring during the various phases of the country’s social evolution.



Author:  David S Rosen

ISBN: 978-0978252687

Dimension: 6 x 9″

Number of Pages: 232

Synopsis: Sex Scandal America is a comprehensive history of sexual scandals in America from colonial times (including Pocahontas and the Puritans) to today (few know about this part of George W. Bush’s dubious past). The book exposes the scandals of national political figures (presidents, congress-folk, governors) and those of celebrities (e.g., entertainers and tycoons). It ties these scandals to the deeper changes in sexual culture occurring during the various phases of the country’s social evolution. Most importantly, it assesses the role of (political) scandals as a form of public shaming. The book shows how, over the last four centuries, scandals have changed as a ritualized spectacle, evolving from a morality tale to an entertainment distraction.


  1. Dr. Susan Block

    “David Rosen writes about sex in America — the comedy, the tragedy and the hypocrisy — with incisive brilliance and compassion. He is one of the foremost writers on sex and society today, stripping away the masks and getting down to the naked flesh of human sexual politics and morality, for the benefit and delight of his readers.”
    -Dr. Susan Block, founder of Institute for the Erotic Arts & Sciences (Los Angeles), is the author of Advertising for Love (Morrow), Being A Woman (Random House) and The 10 Commandments of Pleasure (St. Martin’s).

  2. Chris Carlsson

    “In Sex Scandal America: Politics & the Ritual of Public Shaming, David Rosen gives us remarkable insight into the past quarter century’s culture wars, perhaps subsiding now, but always ready to rise like a vampire at a future moment of insecurity and uncertainty. Tearing away the veils, pulling up the sheets, and opening the closet doors, Rosen examines sexual hyprocrisy and the exploding culture of consensual kink in historical context. Rarely is a writer as adept at moving from past to present, inside to outside, behind closed doors to the public arena, to reveal the gnarly reality of our sexually confused culture.”
    -Chris Carlsson, author of Nowtopia (AK Press). Director of Shaping San Francisco (foundsf.org)

  3. Amazon Review by Steven H Propp

    “David Rosen is a culture and media critic, as well as the author of Off-Hollywood: The Making and Marketing of Independent Films.

    He write in the Introduction to this 2009 book, “(the book) tells the story of sex scandals that have enveloped presidents and many other public notables. It does this by laying out the history of scandals from the country’s earliest settlement to today… In doing so, the book reveals how the nature of scandal has changed over the four centuries since Europeans first settled the New World.”

    He then proceeds to detail (in summary form, and not in lurid detail) the failings of dozens of public figures—particularly politicians. He includes members of both Democratic and Republican parties. He is particularly indignant, however, over the “moral hypocrisy that underscored Republican attitudes toward sexuality and power.” (Pg. 191-192)

    He concludes with the suggestion that “In our new twenty-first century America, with a new president, Congress and historical reality, the role of the scandal will likely persist but have far less moral—and entertainment—sway over political and cultural life. Americans have too many important issues to deal with.” (Pg. 218)

    This book is by far the most comprehensive I have ever seen, in terms of being a compendium of such scandals. While not exactly “inspirational reading,” if such a compendium is what you are looking for, this will be must reading.”
    -Amazon Review by Steven H Propp

  4. Midwest Book Review

    “Politicians are human and have all of the same human flaws. “Sex Scandal America: Politics & the Ritual of Public Shaming” goes over the history of the United States and its flawed politicians from even before the United States existed, with the not-so-pure Puritans. Over the years, sex scandles have changed from cause to hang someone to merely fodder for the likes of Jay Leno. Sex Scandal America is a spicy look about how scandals and American culture have changed over the years.”
    -Midwest Book Review

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