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The Art of the Public Grovel:
Sexual Sin and Public Confession in America
Susan Wise Bauer

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [HTML] or [PDF format]


"Bauer's gallery of scoundrels is . . . worth a lingering visit. And the book includes as an appendix a handy collection of the confessions and apologies of Kennedy, Carter, Bakker, Swaggart, Clinton, and Law. For this alone, I intend to keep my copy on the shelf beside my hardbound edition of The Confidence Man."--Peter W. Wood, American Conservative

"People interested in the reasons why confession is different than apology, and how to tell the difference the next time a Senator is caught in a men's room with a 'wide stance' will enjoy this humorous and fascinating book. Wannabe politicians and public figures should keep a copy for reference on hand for the almost inevitable slip up."--Sacramento Book Review

"Wise Bauer's analysis and background make for lively reading. As readers go along with her, they learn something about both rhetoric and democracy itself. . . . Besides its study of rhetoric and cultural trends, Wise Bauer's book also supplies a rather hilarious review of past scandals and shenanigans. Members of First Secular Humanist will enjoy these."--Tom McBride, Common Review

"[A] canny analysis of American political symbolism."--Laura Miller,


"Interesting, well-written, and well-researched, this book should have wide appeal. Who doesn't want to read about sex and confession and how the mighty fall and, in some cases, get up again?"--Stephen Prothero, author of Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--and Doesn't

"This very fine book will enrich and deepen the conversation about religion and public life in America. Bauer writes clearly and vividly and she balances good storytelling with sound scholarship."--Alan Jacobs, author of Original Sin: A Cultural History

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File created: 4/21/2017

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