Roxanne reviews Sex with Presidents: The Ins and Outs of Love and Lust in the White House by Eleanor Herman
As excessive as the title is, at least the author of Sex with Presidents’ writing voice is both refined and informed. And while many times, non-fiction writing can be somewhat flat, Eleanor Herman’s take on presidential scandal is both fun and enlightening.
Eleanor’s premise is well taken, making the case for the precarious psychology that those seeking the highest office possess a single-minded noble patriotism at the sacrifice of family and personal morality. Not new information, but there is something equally reassuring (like maybe the world isn’t ending) and dismaying (when will we evolve?) about the old adage "pride goeth before a fall."
Many of her details reminded me that our humanity makes us destined to repeat history. Jefferson and Hamilton, for instance, known for their political animosity, were both brought down by insiders and journalists with one beef or another. In this light, it’s easy to see the similarity of our current POTUS as Michael Cohen’s recent book Disloyal details.
A saga that happened near my upbringing, but way before my time, was that of Buffalonian Mayor Grover Cleveland, who had a decades long denial and fleeing from a child he fathered not only illegitimately, but purportedly non-consensually as well. Wilson, Kennedy, Johnson, Clinton to our present POTUS are all covered here, as well as those, such as Gary Hart, brought down before the presidential finish line.