Manhood: The Rise and Fall of the Penis

Manhood: rise and fall of the penis Manhood: The Rise and Fall of the Penis
van Driel, Mels           
London, UK : Reaktion Books, Limited © 2010
Translated by: Vincent, Paul
Book 288 pp ISBN-13: 9781861895424    ISBN: 1861895429

The ancient Greeks paraded enormous sculptural replicas in annual celebration . . . Freud theorized that women envied them . . . an undeniable, global symbol of power and virility since the beginning of humankind—the penis has been much discussed, gestured toward, and depicted, yet seldom understood outside folklore and popular culture’s uneasy mix of self-deprecation and aggrandizement. Despite the penis’s central role in human life or perhaps due to that role, nearly every man seems to suffer in isolation or silence from some perceived inadequacy or affliction. That’s where experienced urologist and sexologist Mels van Driel comes in. In Manhood, van Driel offers an unprecedented history of the penis—with answers to everything you wanted to know, and even some questions you’d never thought to ask. 

In Manhood, van Driel presents the history of the male sexual organ from medical, psychological, and cultural perspectives. Investigating the penis and its functions, from the scrotum to the glans, Van Driel’s work ranges from inguinal hernia to infertility, and from impotence to the speed of ejaculation. Psychological factors that have an impact on sexual experience, as well as contemporary phenomena, such as cyber sex, are given enlightening treatment along the way. 

With good humor and much insight, van Driel offers diverse and instructive examples. This informative guide is not just a book for men, but for women too—anyone curious to know the facts behind the many myths and stories of the penis.


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