Margot Mifflin
July 09, 1993 AT 04:00 AM EDT

MADONNARAMA: ESSAYS ON SEX AND POPULAR CULTURE Edited by Lisa Frank and Paul Smith (Cleis Press, $24.95; $9.95 paper) Using Madonna’s Sex as a jumping-off point, various essayists and activists explore the book’s free-speech triumphs and failures, its ambivalent treatment of gays and bisexuals, and its degradation of minorities. Susie Bright calls Madonna ”radical” and ”courageous,” and Douglas Crimp speculates on why Sex escaped Jesse Helms’ censorial eye. With only minimal self-indulgence, Madonnarama smartly unravels the bustiered button pusher’s tangled politics. B+ -MM

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