SIDNEY Raphael

Client Reviews
Michael Wadler
This is an important book. Rather, it’s an important three books-in-one: philosophical treatise on marriage and family throughout the ages, autobiography, and harrowing journey to the eighth circle of Hell. And an erudite book; I feel smarter for having read it. (In fact, I probably deserve a few college credits for completing it.)
I admired the way you were able to detail the excruciating injustices of the New York family court system with an absolute minimum of expressed anger. In fact, by means of your professional objectivity, you were able to generate strong emotion in the reader. Like the best actors, you leave the audience to experience anguishing ironies themselves, without having to demonstrate the results explicitly.
I loved the way that you delayed revealing the true identity of the culprit until near the end: Feminism! If I understood you correctly, you don’t blame society or the system or some other abstraction for your travails, but as someone present its founding, you called out the prevalent intellectual fashion of the time. Not only has feminism betrayed its adherents, IMHO it has also visited unwarranted destruction upon their innocent male companions and offspring. (Or is it just my political bias showing).
I especially enjoyed the appendices on Kierkegaard, Freud, Proust, etc.– but feel there should have been one on Kafka. He would have best understood your plight. Overall, the bios are brilliant, especially Hume, for which your writing style (consciously or unconsciously) mimicked authors of the period….. You could expand these into a book. (Suggested title: “People who Influenced the Way We Used to Think.”)
Of purely personal interest were your accounts of people, places, and things we may have had in common. We both attended the March on the Pentagon, and tried (unsuccessfully) to levitate it. I was acquainted with a psychoanalyst named Dr Harry Levine, who lived in the Village, on Jane Street. A former friend of mine, Mallory Kates, was known to frequent the EVO and Screw offices, and befriend Al Goldstein. I attended concerts by The Fugs in both Philly and Hollywood. My copies of The Realist are still in a bookcase somewhere. And I was most impressed that a (former?) Leftie like yourself was comfortable referencing Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, whose seminar on Exodus I’m still viewing.
I do have one serious criticism: You leave the major plot lines unresolved: your son – did you ever reconcile with him; and how is he today? And your former wife – did she ever get her comeuppance? (I trust I don’t need to read her book for an answer.)