An exuberant celebration of life by America's favorite octogenarian sex guru.
Westheimer (Dr. Ruth's Guide for the Alzheimer's Caregiver, 2012, etc.) examines the basis for her resiliency and irrepressible joie de vivre despite the trauma of having been separated from her family at age 10 and the vicissitudes of age. As one of the last German Jewish children to escape the Holocaust, she was sent to live in a Swiss orphanage. Faced with the reality that her family had been killed and an ultimatum from the Swiss to leave the country, she went to Israel. She moved to France when the Sorbonne offered her an opportunity to pursue a higher education and then to the United States, where she earned a doctorate at Columbia University Teacher’s College. She has been married three times, with two ending in divorce and the third with the untimely death of her husband. Her secret for maintaining a joyful outlook on life is not in suppressing the negative but not in dwelling on it, either. Westheimer also writes about how she was grand marshal in New York City’s German-American Steuben Parade. After all, she quips, Hitler “committed suicide; meanwhile, I'm living life to the fullest.” More seriously, not to have accepted the invitation would have been like saying, “all Germans are inherently evil.” Although she has had phenomenal success on radio and TV, her role as Dr. Ruth came about by chance when she was in her 50s as an offshoot of successful guest appearances. The author prides herself most on her academic career. For many years, she taught graduate students at Princeton and Yale, and she currently teaches a course at Columbia Teacher’s College on family and media. Her warmth, wit, and wisdom shine through this lively account of a life well-lived.
A joy for her many fans, old and new.