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The Humble Little Condom: A History

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  9 reviews
One of the most basic—and ancient—forms of birth control is the condom. Utilized by all cultures for millennia, and referred to by many colorful euphemisms, it has featured in the lives, loves, and letters of some of the most famous men in history. Shakespeare, Casanova, George Bernard Shaw, to mention only a few, all appreciated and wrote about the importance of using "pr ...more
Paperback, 371 pages
Published September 30th 2007 by Prometheus Books
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Average rating 3.38  · 
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 ·  61 ratings  ·  9 reviews


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Nathan
Nov 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
This is a deeply deeply irritating book, and a disappointment. By rights, it should have been an interesting book: take a titillating topic, scour historical literature for quotations and events around that topic, serve with a dash of wry humour. It's been done a million times and, sadly, better than this. "The Humble Little Condom" reads like it was put together by a grad student who had never read a pop history book.

Come on, people, this isn't rocket surgery. We like anecdotes, we like things
...more
Erin
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended! Not only does this book give an interesting and detailed history of the condom (which, in my opinion, is one of those so often overlooked devices that are so important to life as we know it), but it also offers a small glimpse into the feminist views of birth control from a historical view. It also touches on issues such as the need for practical sex education, as well as the need for society to lighten up and be able to talk about such things with candor and frankness.
Lindsay
Jun 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book is a wide-sweeping history of condom production and use from the beginning of recorded history. I was expecting it to be really interesting, but the first half is kind of a snoozer. Since it covers such a vast span of time, the author has little time to devote to really significant, interesting details. Every few paragraphs are broken up into their own little sections, and there isn't a whole lot of cohesion between these different sections. The author says a lot, but doesn't end up ex ...more
Jess
Jun 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book was very good. I learned a lot about how the condom and sexuality evolved over time not only in the U.S. but in many developed nations. The book was very interesting and had many fun facts spread throughout the text. There were some sections that were a little on the boring side, especially the ones that dealt w/ the business end of condoms. But overall, the book was great. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a sexuality buff!
Danielle T
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: debut
It took me way longer than it should have for me to finish this- not sure if that's because I was busy starting grad school, or because the author took a potentially interesting subject and told it through historical anecdotes. It's interesting to read the historical attitudes towards contraception through the centuries, but the writing style manages to be both too informal and too boring. ...more
Jennifer
Apr 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Some interesting facts but overall disappointing.
robin
Mar 13, 2008 added it
a very interesting, entertaining, and edifying book. the layout was a little distracting, but all in all, i give this history a strong recommendation.
Risse
May 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: his-herstory
Completely baffling... and a humorous yet surprisingly informative read.
Catie
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: quit-reads
I have no intention of picking up this book again. Although it bills itself as "a history," there is not one modicum of scholarship evident in this book. Not worth my time. ...more
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