Eric Berkowitz’s lengthy career as writer, lawyer, and journalist has been marked by both meticulous scholarship and fearless advocacy. Eric spent more than twenty years as an intellectual property, entertainment, and business lawyer in LA. In 2004, he left his firm and entered the MA program at USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism. Almost immediately, he began to publish news, investigative, and opinion pieces in the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, the Los Angeles Business Journal, and, during a stint at The Associated Press, scores of other outlets. In one LA Weekly cover story, he traced the corruption that killed LA’s mass transit systems and helped to galvanize the movement to build the city’s new subway. He also published a controversial magazine piece for the LA Times on money’s influence in California’s sprawling “private” court system.
Eric then took a job as an editor of the LA Daily Journal, one of the US’s most important daily legal publications. After the Times piece came out, however, the DJ bristled at the potential loss of advertising revenue from private judging groups and Eric realized the situation could end only one way. He left the DJ and took his family to Paris, where he researched and wrote Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire.
Well before the book was completed, it drew more than its share of interest. The prestigious magazine of the writers’ association PEN International published an excerpt on Ancient Rome’s vestal virgins, while a group of Eastern European journalists invited Eric to Sofia, Bulgaria to address the book’s feminist dimensions. In November, 2010, Eric returned to Paris to speak at Idée Psy, a conference of French psychologists, in a talk titled « Maîtriser ses pulsions: le droit, le sexe et l’histoire dans les pays occidentaux » (“Mastering the Frenzy: Law, Sex and History in the Western World”).
Sex and Punishment was published in 2012, in the US by Counterpoint Press and in the UK by Westbourne Press, an imprint of Saqi Books. The book drew uniformly rave reviews, including the lead review in the London Sunday Times book section (“Enlightening, astounding, broad-ranging and rich in detail, exciting and impressively relentless”), the Guardian (“I don’t think I’ve ever read such an entertaining historical work … You really must shell out for this book. It’s worth every penny.”), and the Boston Globe (“Enormously informative and entertaining”).
Eric now lives with his family in San Francisco, where has developed a public interest law practice, representing victims of domestic violence as well as homosexuals and domestic abuse victims seeking asylum in the US. He also continues to write for legal publications and has written The Boundaries of Desire, slated for release in August, 2015.
• 4.4.13 Bitch Media, on the subject of monogamy. INTERVIEW
• 3.25.13 “Cruel and Unusual” on the subject of punishment. INTERVIEW
• 2.13 ReasonTV (Libertarian). INTERVIEW
• 1.13 Radio Curious, Pacifica Radio. INTERVIEW
• 11.14.12 Christopher Ryan’s podcast, Tangentially Speaking. INTERVIEW
• 9.3.12 “A Conversation with Eric Berkowitz.” Extensive interview on the television show Legally Speaking, a joint production of University of California Television and UC Hastings Law School. INTERVIEW
• 8.27.12 Interview on Playboy Radio, XM/Sirius.
• 8.25.12 Interview on WRIF, Detroit, on the Nightcall, hosted by Peter Werbe.
• 7.18.12. Interview on Australian public radio show, Late Light Live. INTERVIEW
• 7.9.12. Interview in Salon, reprinted from prior interview on The Browser (UK). INTERVIEW
• 6.20.12. Interview on Irish national radio, Sean Moncrieff Show.
• 6.2.12. Sedge Thompson’s West Coast Live Radio. INTERVIEW
• 5.31.12. Interview on The Michelangelo Signorile Show (Sirius/XM).
• 5.16.12. Radio interview on the Leslie Marshall Show.
• 5.11.12 Interview in Creative Loafing-Tampa. INTERVIEW
Also included in Creative Loafing-Tampa’s “Top 10 Most Provocative Books out this Month.” FEATURE
• 5.8.12. Interview on Culture Shocks radio program.
• Appearance in Monogamish, an as-yet unreleased documentary about monogamy. FEATURE
• 8.12.12 “Desperate Hours,” Cover story in California Lawyer on the effect of judicial budget cuts on the fate of domestic violence victims.
• 4.18.12. Excerpt in AlterNet.orG. READ ARTICLE
• 5.29.12 Article in AlterNet.org: “How Frightened Patriarchal Men Have Tried to Repress Women’s Sexuality Through History.” READ ARTICLE
• 5.4.12. Huffington Post on Sex and Punishment. READ ARTICLE
• 12.11.11. Los Angeles Times Op-Ed on Sexual Violence in Afghanistan. READ ARTICLE
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