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The Roundtable

"Everybody: A Book About Freedom" By Olivia Laing

Book cover for "Everybody" by Olivia Laing
W. W. Norton & Company
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The body is a source of pleasure and of pain, at once hopelessly vulnerable and radiant with power. In her ambitious sixth book, Olivia Laing charts an electrifying course through the long struggle for bodily freedom, using the life of the renegade psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich to explore gay rights and sexual liberation, feminism, and the civil rights movement.

Drawing on her own experiences in protest and alternative medicine, and traveling from Weimar Berlin to the prisons of McCarthy-era America, Laing grapples with some of the most significant and complicated figures of the past century—among them Nina Simone, Christopher Isherwood, Andrea Dworkin, Sigmund Freud, Susan Sontag, and Malcolm X.