Polymath: The Life and Professions of Dr Alex Comfort, Author of the Joy of Sex

Product Details
$34.00  $31.62
AK Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 2.2 inches | 2.45 pounds

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About the Author
Eric Laursen is an independent journalist, historian, and activist. He is the author of The People's Pension, The Duty to Stand Aside, and The Operating System. His work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including In These Times, The Nation, and The Arkansas Review. He lives in Buckland, Massachusetts.

"This marvelous study captures the life and work of one of the most fascinating, if little understood, anarchist writers in the twentieth century. The word 'libertarian' has been ruined by right-wing libertarians, and 'anarchist' has been damaged as well. But Alex Comfort, true to the antiwar tradition needed now more than ever, carried forward the struggle from literary to sexology, brilliantly, courageously, and memorably. I hope this meticulous and lucid biography gets the wide attention that it deserves." --Paul Buhle, founder/editor of Radical America, editor of nonfiction graphic novels

"Whilst Joy of Sex is widely known, far less is known of its author Dr Alex Comfort. Eric Laursen's biography offers a comprehensive, sympathetic, and insightful book which allows us to at last understand Alex Comfort and the inspirations behind his work." --Susan Quilliam, co-author of The Joy Of Sex (2008)

"Polymath is a captivating, illuminating, and penetrating account of Alex Comfort's life and work. Eric Laursen brilliantly captures the ambience of Comfort's times to reveal the inventiveness of his thinking and explain his interventions. His impressive research does not shy away from Comfort's intellectual accomplishments. It underlines the consistency of Comfort's creative application of anarchist principles and his optimistic view of anarchism as a path to liberation and community." --Ruth Kinna, author of The Government of No One

"Alex Comfort was an extraordinary type of public intellectual--a medical doctor and anarchist activist whose protean scope and accomplishments encompassed the fields of biology, sociology, psychiatry, geriatrics and sexology as well as the writing of poetry, drama, and fiction. Drawing on extensive archival research as well as more specialized studies of Comfort, Eric Laursen's remarkable biography is the first synthetic study to consider the full range of Comfort's achievements, and to reveal the fundamental role of anarchism as the ethical core guiding every aspect of Comfort's personal and professional development." --Mark Antliff, Mary Grace Wilson Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Duke University, and author of Sculptors Against the State: Anarchism and the Anglo-European Avant-Garde