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Mels van Driel: Manhood

Mels van Driel: Manhood

The Rise and Fall of the Penis. UK 2009, 288 pp. illustrated, hardbound,  34.95
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The ancient Greeks paraded enormous sculptural replicas in annual celebration of the penis. Freud theorized that women suffered penis envy. An undeniable global symbol of power and virility since the beginning of humankind, the penis has been much discussed and depicted, yet its place in folklore and popular culture past and present remains an uneasy mix of deprecation and aggrandizement. And despite the penis's crucial role in human life, or perhaps due to that role, many men seem to suffer in isolation or silence from some perceived inadequacy or affliction. The book is the past and present of the male sexual organ from medical, psychological, cultural and anecdotal perspectives, ranging from circumcision to infertility, and from impotence to the speed of ejaculation.