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Members Only got a rise out of me

That the male member is prone to rebellious and unseemly behavior is an idea traced at least to ancient Greece. In Timaeus, Plato likened the organs of generation to wild beasts, apt to disregard the commands of reason and follow their own irrational impulses, carrying all before them. Hence the appropriateness of the title of David Friedman’s book, A Mind of its Own. The subtitle, “A Cultural History of the Penis,” had prejudiced me adversely; it raised in my mind the anticipation of exploitative pruriency or debased taste. Due examination of the text, however, soon corrected this bias. Friedman’s opus blends utterly enjoyable entertainment and commendable scholarship; the language is lucid and unpretentious; the topics are developed thoroughly without incurring pedantry; and the humor (for in matters sexual the ridiculous or laughable ever touches the sublime) is as welcome as it is restrained, consciously avoiding slippage into a Rabelaisian earthiness-cum-obscenity.