On Sunday the online newspaper seacoastonline published and interview with me about Atlas of Men and my experiences as a student at Exeter that inspired the book. http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20180818/professor-pens-book-about-disturbing-experience-at-phillips-exeter
I described the photographing sessions and how disturbing they were for me as a 15 year old and how upsetting it was for me to learn that these nude photos were taken for an unconsented research study about body type and personality. I was surprised to see that an Exeter Academy spokesperson suggested that the photos were done for legitimate medical purposes. I know of no legitimate medical purpose for taking photographs of unclothed adolescent males. I do know of the custom to take such photos as part of the research protocol developed by William Sheldon who believed that he could analyze the photos and determine somatotypes that would be predictive of personality and future achievement. He did this at several colleges, and I am quite certain that was what was going on at Exeter. I think the Exeter leadership needs to take responsibility for this unfortunate project and apologize to all of the students who were forced to participate.
As to my book Atlas of Men, the first review has come in from Foreword. Some quotes from the review, “Well-rounded and dramatic, Atlas of Men dives into deep and controversial subjects.” “…filled with surprises and complex relationship dynamics” Read the full review here. Thanks to all of you, who have read the book already before it is even available for purchase and all your encouragement.