The Bottom Line
Pamela Druckermann's Lust in Translation: Infidelity from Tokyo to Tennessee is a journalist's review of cheating in the U.S., and comparing their desires to people living in places like Johannesburg, Moscow, Paris and even a Hasidic community in Brooklyn. Intelligent and intriguing, Lust in Translation fascinates with its first-hand interviews interspersed with deftly-written research about love and infidelity. Recommended for anyone interested in the science behind why humans cheat.
- Devourable; a gripping read about the rules of infidelity from around the world.
- Well-defined criteria for facts and statistics presented.
- Leaves readers wanting more and with many new questions, although this seems purposeful.
Author: Pamela Druckermann
Published: April 19, 2007
Book Details: Paperback, 283 pages, bibliography
Guide Review - Lust in Translation by Pamela Druckerman
Druckermann, a former journalist for the Wall Street Journal, supposes that although Americans have generally become less strict with their sexual mores, they've also become less accepting of infidelity. Yet in many other cultures around the world, infidelity ranges from being quietly accepted as necessity, to openly practiced by many. Therefore, to figure out just why the views on infidelity are so dramatically different between countries and cultures, Druckermann took a trip around the world to ten different countries. From Paris to Moscow, Johannesburg to a Hasidic group in Brooklyn, the author speaks with researchers, therapists, cheaters and the cheated upon, to learn the whys and wherefores of adultery around the world today.
Each chapter outlines a different stop along Druckermann's whirlwind tour, outlining relevant facts and statistics from a wide variety of sources. She explainz in detail how she found the information she used to compile her "infidelity at a glance" table, which gives "the percentage of married or cohabitating people who had more than one sexual partner in the last year". The top contender (Togo) had 37% of the men saying they'd cheated on their partner, while only 0.5% of the women admitted the same - which seems odd, because there have to be more women cheating than this just to service the infidel men, and Druckermann discusses this abnormality as well (a reporting concern which is worldwide, and not just found in Togo). And where to do the world's most faithful people live? It's a tie, between Bangladesh and Kazakhstan.
Although Lust in Translation doesn't have a well-thought out delivery (the chapters comprise geographic areas but don't conclude anything and could easily be read separately) the book is still a fascinating and informative read, and recommended for a wide range of readers.