Polymedia sex therapist ""Dr. Ruth"" tells the story of her life and how she became the pop Minerva of sexual wisdom. Still...


ALL IN A LIFETIME: An Autobiography

Polymedia sex therapist ""Dr. Ruth"" tells the story of her life and how she became the pop Minerva of sexual wisdom. Still capable of blushing, Dr. Ruth is nothing if not lovable, and one can hear her bubbling German-Jewish accent behind every paragraph. As a rule, she has avoided discussing her past, since there is almost no way she can segue from her still-living pain about Nazi death camps into chipper chat about good sex. Here, though, is a full-scale revelation in which she tells all about both, including the night of her happy defloration in a hayloft in Palestine (""I won't say whom it was with, because I am still good friends with him and his wife. But I can say that it was a beautiful, romantic experience."") Chosen to be among 1500 Jewish children to be preshipped out of Germany while their parents waited to emigrate, Karola Ruth Siegal last saw her Orthodox family on a railway platform in Frankfurt in January 1939. She spent the war in a Swiss orphanage, later was sent to a kibbutz in Israel, married young, and eventually arrived in Paris as a student at the Sorbonne. Throughout these years, her short stature (4'7"") seemed to ensure a lowly status in whatever living situation she found herself, and we hear much of her cleaning toilets in the orphanage and on various kibbutzes. After receiving an un. expected $1500 in restitution from the German government, she and her husband emigrated to the States for her to finish her degree. She has been involved in N.Y.C. university life ever since, has played the academic game, risen to high status, been fired, and risen from the ashes. As a guest on a radio talk show, she so wowed the studio that she got the idea of having her own show. From the modest 15-minute late-night beginning, she rose to her present eminence as the top star of cable-TV and repeat guest celebrity on the bigger talk shows. Westheimer's ideas about sex are far from striking, but the thrice-married mother she becomes herein is full of bloom on every page.

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 1987

ISBN: 0446677612

Page Count: -

Publisher: Warner

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1987