The incredible life of one of the most fascinating scientists whose investigations into human sexuality ignited the sexual revolution. Alfred Kinsey was this century's first scientifically reputable and most influential researcher into sex. His Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male (The Kinsey Report), published in 1948, was an explosive bestseller, followed in 1953 by his even more radical statistics on female sexuality - both based on over 18,000 case histories. But Kinsey's exploration went much further than that. Bisexual, he experimented with many of the behaviours he was hearing about; and his wife and close colleagues experimented as well. He pioneered observation and filming of sexual activity, the findings anticipating, and being confirmed by, Masters and Johnson thirty years later. The revolutionary nature of his views on female sexuality could not become current until the feminism of the 1970s and 80s. Kinsey remains a controversial figure. Gathorne-Hardy has interviewed in depth his remaining family, his close colleagues, friends and lovers.
He reveals, in this subtle, often witty and penetrating study, whole new aspects of this complex, heroic, obsessive and ultimately sympathetic man.
Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy is the author of The Rise and Fall of the British Nanny, The Public School Phenomenon and The Interior Castle, a biography of Gerald Brenan.