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American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  3,704 Ratings  ·  512 Reviews
On the heels of his Emmy-winning It Gets Better campaign, columnist and provocateur Dan Savage weighs in on such diverse issues as healthcare, gun control, and marriage equality with characteristic straight talk and humor.

Dan Savage has always had a loyal audience, thanks to his syndicated sex-advice column “Savage Love,” but since the incredible global success of his It
Hardcover, 301 pages
Published May 28th 2013 by Dutton Adult (first published May 21st 2013)
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On the surface I am probably the last person you'd expect to pick up the audio book "American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics" written and read by Dan Savage yet alone give it a four star rating. But I did and I am. Lets just get it out there...Dan Savage is an outspoken democrat, sex advice columnist and advocate for Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights. While I hate prejudice, bigotry and intolerance of all types, I am a straight conservati ...more
Jun 02, 2013 Adam rated it really liked it
Dan Savage saved my life.

Until I was seventeen years old, the only openly gay people I knew of beyond fictitious characters in the books I read were stereotypical TV queens: Paul Lynde, Charles Nelson Reilly, Alan Sues...all of them on reruns. And while I relished those short 22 minutes I spent watching them wisecrack with other game-show panelists and skit-show performers--after all, any gay role models were better than no gay role model--they existed in a time and place I didn't. They were fro
Jun 13, 2013 Melissa rated it really liked it
I like Dan Savage. While he is by no means perfect, he & I are pretty well aligned on our political & social views and dammit he's also really hilarious. I especially loved/was infuriated by the chapter on Obamacare: Still Evil. Less Evil. But Still Evil. Although the wee Catholic girl in my head was shocked into silence at the blasphemous exchange between Jesus & Peter LaBarbera at the end ("Imagine a ripped, bearded Jake Gyllenhaal in the role of Jesus . . . "), the older, much mor ...more
J. Kent Messum
Funny, insightful, and honest. 'American Savage' was everything I wanted in a non-fiction book. Packed with hilarious (and sometimes sad) stories about his world of sex and politics, I was surprised by how compelling the book was. The common sense and perspective he adds to the slew of ongoing debates in America was impressive.

Most of it was well balanced, but occasionally Savage got catty when writing about his opponents. Although you could say his 'enemies' deserved the slagging (some of them
Sep 04, 2013 Karen rated it liked it
So, as an avid listener of the Savage Lovecast, I found there really wasn't much new in this book. I've heard him rant about almost every single thing he's written about here. Luckily, he is an engaging and articulate speaker/writer, and I could hear his voice in my head as I read the book, which is never a bad thing. But, I feel like I'd heard it all before. Savage has strong opinions on marriage equality, gay rights, human sexuality and its many permutations, gun control, US politics, and pret ...more
Jun 16, 2013 Ariel rated it really liked it
I've been a Dan Savage fan since his column was still called HEY, FAGGOT, well before his first book came out. (Aww, remember when he looked like this? Adorbz!)

Anyway, Dan's voice has had a significant influence on my writing over the last 15+ years, and it's been inspiring to watch his media star rise and It Gets Better saves lives and his projects have gained such visibility and bla bla bla -- Ok, look, fine: I'll be honest here: I'm mostly in it for the combination of Dan's personal stories a
Jun 08, 2013 Brigid rated it it was amazing
Okay, full disclosure, I skimmed a few paragraphs of the more heavily political chapters. But the essay chapters, about Dan Savage's personal life? AMAZING. The chapter about his mother made me cry. I thought this was a great read. I loved it. Highly recommended.
Jun 29, 2013 Jordan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Herman Cain
Dan Savage's beautiful marriage (pun intended) of wit and utter crassness has always captured my interest, and this book is no exception.

Savage devotes the chapters of this volume to pertinent political issues, including the bullying of LGBT youth (of course), marriage equality (duh), and even Death with Dignity measures and PPACA (surprise!). He also writes about perceptions of LGBT people throughout his lifetime, his own (mis)conceptions of bisexuality, and of course, Savage Love advice. I en
May 25, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
I am a supporter of marriage equality. Love is love. You should be able to spend forever with the person you love, and they should get the same benefits that my husband and I get from our marriage. I can accept the idea that each church interprets things in their own way, so if they don’t want to perform your ceremony, I can’t really fault them that but I do expect civility from everyone. But I think the state should not interfere with two adult people being married. I can’t even begin to see h ...more
Jun 01, 2013 Shannon rated it liked it
Dan Savage's new book is largely a rehash—or a summation—of the themes he deals with in his column and his in blogging for the The Stranger. There are chapters here that cover sexual politics (ethical non-monogamy, the science and activism of bisexuality, sex-ed in schools) and politics-politics (Obamacare, the It Gets Better project, the fight for marriage equality) as well as a few personal essays. The personal material is the freshest, and I found it enormously sympathetic, especially Dan's a ...more
Aug 02, 2013 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
I've been listening to Dan Savage's podcast for a little over six years now and so obviously I like what he has to say. His ability to publicize and ridicule the hypocrisy of political and religious leaders is second to none. And, as a gay rights activist he is pretty much a GAY SUPERHERO.

And let's not forget that he made Stephen Colbert fall out of character:

Love him.
Love this book of personal and political essays.

Mar 02, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing
I love Dan Savage. I do. I love The Kid and The Commitment and I loved this book to. The end wanders a bit and I don't agree with everything he has to say (although, I do agree with most of it) I thought this was a great read that was fun and made me think.
Felicia J.
Jul 27, 2014 Felicia J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dan Savage fans, liberals,conservatives willing to listen to counter-arguments
Full disclosure: I’m a Dan Savage fangirl. I’ve read his sex-advice column for close to 20 years. (Yes, kiddos, when I started reading "Savage Love," I had to hunt for it in the back pages of big-city alternative newspapers - near the sex ads - rather than looking it up on Google.) I listen to his podcast and keep up with his blog. When I first discovered Dan, I thought his was the sanest, most honest sex advice I’d ever read. I still think that.

Dan’s newest book is like Savage 101 for those not
Naomi V
Jul 04, 2013 Naomi V rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2013, owned
I did something with this book that I have never done before. I first turned to the last chapter, Bigot Christmas, to read why Dan says that his husband, Terry Miller, is the winner of the debate with the president of NOM (‘National Organization for Marriage’, which is not at all about promoting marriage; not about keeping people married – they don’t oppose divorce; but is, of course, completely about preventing gay marriage.) It was immensely satisfying to read how that day ended, and I agree t ...more
Beth Jusino
Nov 10, 2013 Beth Jusino rated it really liked it
This is a book about perspective, so it might help to start with my own:

I grew up in an old-fashioned Baptist church, went to super-conservative Christian schools from kindergarten through college, and worked in the Christian subculture for the next ten years. It wasn't bad, but it was... sheltered.

Then a few years ago I grabbed a pin and popped the bubble that I was living in, and I ended up in, of all places, Capitol Hill, Seattle. My friend groups changed radically. My vocabulary expanded. I
May 30, 2013 David rated it it was amazing
While much of this book will be familiar to anyone who regularly reads Dan Savage's writing or listens to his podcast, it was still worth reading in book form.

My only major issue was his chapter on bisexuality, which, as usual, was technically OK but the tone was all wrong and infuriating. It's good that Savage has moved away from his previous, false position that male bisexuals don't exist. They do (Hi!). But there's a defensiveness in the way that he writes about bisexuality that's just annoyi
Aug 05, 2013 Sharon rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
What I love about Dan Savage is that he's so smart and so angry and so fun at the same time. I'm incredibly glad that his voice is out there, because even when I don't completely agree with him about something (usually something minor), I know that his voice is one that we need so badly. His rhetoric is eminently sensible--rational, well-informed, and passionate without blustering. There are a lot of angry people who share my political beliefs, but Dan's the one I want to follow around all day.

Aug 02, 2015 Shannon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, lulz, queer
The two best chapters in this, in my opinion, are the ones on Rick Santorum, and on the death of Savage's mother/the "right to die" debate chapter (and two very different chapters they are, though they are right next to each other in the book). Here's a little preview for you, I don't think I need to say which is from which:

"She gasped for breath, again and again, as we sat there waiting for her heart to stop, my sister and I both waiting for the very first sound that we ever heard- our mother's
Jul 23, 2014 Lena rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays
I became curious to hear more from gay activist and sex advice columnist Dan Savage after he was on This American Life, where he told a moving tale about how, long after his Catholic Republican parents had come to actively support his desire to marry his long time partner Terry, they found their own 4-year old adopted son adamantly against the idea.

American Savage is a collection of Dan's essays on a wide variety of topics, including whether or not it's ever okay to cheat in a relationship, wha
Apr 22, 2013 Laurel rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
American Savage is, as the subtitle would suggest, a whirlwind of "insights, slight, and fights." Don't expect a biographical narrative like earlier books such as "The Kid": this one is a series of topical essays. Know that going in.

If you're of a certain political persuasion (and you probably are if you're considering picking this book up at all), you're going to be nodding along through much of American Savage For those who already know and love Dan Savage and his work, this installment hits a
rating: 4/5

For fans who follow Savage’s column, podcast, public speaking engagements, etc. on a semi-regular basis, a portion of this book will be repetition. For example, Chapter 2 “It’s Never Okay to Cheat (Except When It Is)" has been reiterated on many occasions, especially when he gives advice on so many cheating questions. That said, there was also new to me content such as Chapter 6 “My Son Comes Out”.

Despite some repetition, I wasn’t bored during any part of the book. Savage is hilariou
Jul 10, 2013 Thomas rated it liked it
I love Dan Savage. He is a voice of honesty about sex, relationships, and moral social issues in a world that shuns and shames such honesty. His writing, as always, does not shy away from unpopular positions because it would be easy or more socially accepted. He uses personal anecdotes to convey important messages and writes with the most contemporary of examples possible. He calls a spade a spade, a bigot a bigot, and admits when he is right and wrong. For all of these reasons I should have lov ...more
Jul 01, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing
You shouldn't spend all your time reading things you completely agree with. But I spend so much time around people and seeing things on social media that I disagree with, it's refreshing to read something I do agree with. My beliefs get challenged every single day in one way or another, so I don't think coming across a book that doesn't is necessarily bad for my belief system. I loved this wonderful series of essays. They were very funny, very absorbing.

One thing I love about Savage (one of the
I can’t believe I’ve never read Dan Savage before. Seems right up my alley, does it not? Loud, liberal, and oh-so-snarky– what’s not to love? Moreover, I don’t think Savage missed one hot-button issue in his to-the-point (and evidence-based!) deconstruction of politics and social conception of right and wrong. Healthcare? Check. Gun control? Check. Gay rights? Double check.

And, predictably, I’m on board with 99% of Savage’s arguments.

Healthcare is a human right and should be provided to all eq
Jun 25, 2013 Nikmaack rated it it was ok
I genuinely do not understand what is the point of reading a book of political opinions that I agree with. Gun control good, hating gays bad. Yes, yes, yes. I get it.

Occasionally Dan Savage, who I adore, talks about things I'd like to hear more about. The book is at its best when he's telling stories about his life and his experiences. It suffers when he rants endlessly and repetitively about things that seem (to me) self evident.

People who use the bible to bolster their intolerance are silly.
Jul 19, 2013 Adam rated it liked it
I adore Dan Savage and became a fan back when I found Savage Love in the back sections of The Onion, which was then a B&W newspaper you could only find in its home city (Madison) and a couple other places. He's hilarious, articulate and full of righteous fury. He was WAY ahead of the mainstream curve in advancing LGBT rights and skewering bigots of all stripes (including otherwise progressive people who have deeply embedded and weirdly puritanical hangups about sex - and kink in particular). ...more
Jason LeRoy
Aug 28, 2013 Jason LeRoy rated it liked it
While I give Dan Savage all due respect for the role he has played in the battles for gay rights, marriage equality, and bullying prevention, that doesn't necessarily mean that I will enjoy reading a full-length book of him repeatedly and didactically laying out his argument for each of these issues. More than in any of his previous collections of writing, Savage's attention is far more on the political than on the personal. And again, I don't begrudge him this—it has been a momentous time for L ...more
Christopher McQuain
Jul 23, 2016 Christopher McQuain rated it liked it
I picked this book up at the local library branch on a whim: They had it on display for Pride; I was in the market for something I could read in light, bite-size chunks; and, for the same reason I'll occasionally go back and re-watch a movie or album I didn't really like just to reassess/confirm my position, I thought it would be fun to get annoyed once again with Dan Savage, whom I've always found fairly annoying.

To my pleasant surprise, the Savage here is sharp, funny, ecumenical, fair, and s
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Dan Savage is a writer, TV personality, and activist best known for his political and social commentary, as well as his honest approach to sex, love and relationships.

Savage’s sex advice column, “Savage Love,” is syndicated in newspapers and websites throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. He is the Editorial Director of The Stranger, Seattle’s weekly alternative newspaper, and his
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“the Bible is only as good and decent as the person reading it.” 40 likes
“The kind of relationship I had with my mother didn't make me gay. I had that kind of relationship with my mother because I was gay.” 5 likes
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