Books: Untruth in Packaging

MY REVOLUTION by Alex Karmel. 387 pages. McGraw-Hill. $10.

With nearly all the moral fastidiousness of an itinerant siding salesman, Alex Karmel bamboozles the reader into believing that the title page of his book means what it says. There seems no reason to doubt that My Revolution, Promenades in Paris 1789-1794 really is the diary of Restif de la Bretonne, author of The Pornographer, The Perverted Peasant, and Paris Nights. Restif was indeed a writer of the revolutionary period, a fascinating, talented lowlife who wrote some 200 books that mixed pornography and social criticism in roughly equal measure, and died in 1806...

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