I am delighted to receive a quite unexpected endorsement for one of my books.
In 2001, I published a book on Internet child pornography, called Beyond Tolerance. Its impact was limited by the fact that it appeared about a week before 9/11 (!) but it found a steady market among professionals and law enforcement. It also gave me the opportunity to testify to the US Congress on the topic some years afterwards.
That brings me to Who I Am, the recent autobiography by Pete Townshend, the legendary guitarist of the Who. In the late 1990s, wrestling with a history of child abuse, Townshend discovered to his horror the prevalence of child porn on the Internet. In 1999, he began researching the topic, making some rash decisions that would later lead him into trouble with police. As he discovered, you can’t legally access child porn online even if your goals are pure and honorable.
He was considering writing a book or investigative article on the topic. However, he remarks that his “rock star ego” was bruised when he discovered in 2002 that such a book existed, namely Beyond Tolerance (485-486). He goes on to say, “He had written everything that needed to be said. Jenkins had done the good work I had hoped to do myself.” He calls the book “very sober and effective.”
It’s a generous comment, which I deeply appreciate. It’s good to have your work noticed, especially by one of the most intelligent and articulate figures in modern popular culture.
Coincidentally, my work on this topic is also cited in the most recent New Yorker, in a major article by Rachel Aviv on “The Science of Sex Abuse.”