Commentary, History

The Page 69 Test

jacket imageMarshal Zeringue, whose blogging enterprises are clustered at the Campaign for the American Reader, has a daily feature called “The Page 69 Test” in which he asks an author to quote and briefly discuss whatever text can be found on page 69 of their book.
On the basis of the title alone, one could scarcely find an apparently less fit candidate for the rigors of the Page 69 Test than Angus McLaren’s Impotence: A Cultural History. But we are pleased to note that Impotence was—yes, we will stoop to this joke—up to the task. The Page 69 Test exhibits, as a test on most any page of this book would, some fascinating material. In fact, page 69 discusses a legal case in Pennsylvania in 1728 in which a woman claimed her husband was impotent. The husband, a George Miller, submits to a virility test and, in due course, proves his manhood. Synchronicity rules.
You may further sample Impotence in a special feature drawn from the book, “Two Millennia of Impotence Cures.”