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DailyHistory.org published a Top Ten History of Sex Booklist. Carolyn Herbst Lewis's outstanding book Prescription for Heterosexuality: Sexual Citizenship in the Cold War Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010) was on the list. Not only was her book on the list, it received by far the most interest from our readers. Recently, her book was reissued as a trade paperback by UNC Press and we wanted to talk to her about it. Carolyn Herbst Lewis is currently a Assistant Professor of History at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. Her current research focuses on Dr. Joseph Bolivar DeLee and the Chicago Maternity Center.
Lewis's profile from Grinnell provides an excellent summary of her book: "Prescription for Heterosexuality considered the definitions of sexual health crafted by the American medical profession in the postwar decades. By examining the material published in the profession’s journals and other venues, Lewis revealed the connections that physicians made between individual sexual adjustment, family stability, and national security during the Cold War. Her book addressed not only the historical construction of heteronormativity in the mid-twentieth century United States, but also the forces shaping professional shifts in American medicine in this same period, as well as the overlap between the two."
Here's our interview: