Manual The Art of the Public Grovel: Sexual Sin and Public Confession in America

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Find a copy online Links to this item Table of contents. Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Internet resource Document Type: Susan Wise Bauer Find more information about: Presents the history of public confession in modern America. This book explains why and how a type of confession that first arose among nineteenth-century evangelicals has become the required form for any successful public admission of wrongdoing - even when the wrongdoer has no connection with evangelicalism and the context is thoroughly secular.

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Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers. Similar Items Related Subjects: Politicians -- Sexual behavior -- United States -- History. Presidents -- Sexual behavior -- United States -- History. Confession -- Social aspects -- United States -- History. Evangelicalism -- United States. Eszter Hargittai University of Zurich. John Hartley Curtin University.

The Art of the Public Grovel: Sexual Sin and Public Confession in America

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The Art of the Public Grovel: Sexual Sin and Public Confession in America by Susan Wise Bauer

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Eric Rothenbuhler Webster University. She shows how Protestant revivalism, group psychotherapy, and the advent of talk TV combined to turn evangelical-style confession into a mainstream secular rite. Revealing the rhetoric, theology, and history that lie behind every successful public plea for forgiveness, The Art of the Public Grovel will interest anyone who has ever wondered why Clinton is still popular while Bakker fell out of public view, Ted Kennedy never got to be president, and Law moved to Rome.

Traced here are the history of the confession of sexual sins of well-known politicians and religious leaders, from Grover Cleveland, who was elected President for his first term after he refused to acknowledge his sexual wrongdoing and his child out of wedlock, to President Clinton's having the highest approval rating of any outgoing President after his very public but carefully tailored confession, which made him appear more sinned against than sinning. Noting the spectrum from utter silence to wordy, involuted denials of memory and circular definition on the part of alleged wrongdoers, the book reveals how the public comes to sympathize with some and not with others; Aimee Semple McPherson, Ted Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, and Jim Bakker did not manage this art of public confession well, where they sought to morph into victims and be seen on the side of good, while Jimmy Swaggart managed a first scandal confession so well that President Clinton used it as his model.

Helpfully, six appendixes make conveniently available the confession texts that Bauer references. Recommended for public and academic libraries. Craft, emerita, Longwood Univ. Why do some public figures get away with sexual transgressions e. This is the central question posed in Bauer's important and informative book. Bauer English, College of William and Mary maintains that "Public confession has become the most powerful means by which leaders [political and nonpolitical] acknowledge the power of their followers.

Despite some shoddy editing--misspellings, typos, and punctuation problems--Bauer has written a fascinating book that is at once entertaining and thought-provoking.