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A Mind of its Own: A Cultural History of the Penis

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 14 December 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:1427
  1. Birte Twisselmann (
  1. BMJ

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David M Friedman

Robert Hale, £20, pp 368

ISBN 0 7090 7110 8


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Those after a good snigger may find themselves somewhat disappointed with this tome—it is not a lighthearted Christmas stocking filler. Friedman delivers an academic study of the penis, remaining intellectually serious and deadpan throughout (give or take the occasional double entendre). The only sense of “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” is to be found in the chapter headings—“The Demon Rod,” “The Gear Shift,” “The Measuring Stick,” “The Cigar,” “The Battering Ram,” and “The Punctureproof Balloon”—but even these turn out to be serious and academic in intent.

A Mind of its Own is educational and entertaining by virtue of an amazing amount of information gathered from a …

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