Catherine Johnson-Roehr recommends Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist, and Sexual Renegade by Justin Spring.
“Justin Spring’s extensively researched biography took me on a fascinating journey through the 20th century, as it was experienced by one remarkable individual named Sam Steward (aka writer Phil Andros and tattoo artist Phil Sparrow). Although Steward never achieved fame or fortune, he met and sometimes formed lasting relationships with many intriguing people, including Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas , Thornton Wilder, George Platt Lynes, and Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey. He also had an impressive number of sexual encounters, which he carefully recorded in his Stud File. Justin Spring spent many years putting together the details of Sam’s life, and the result is an important work of cultural history that is also a very engaging read.”
Check out the “In the Life” video about Sam Steward.
Reviewed July 2017.