In a mortifying radio interview, author Naomi Wolf learned the thesis of her about-to-be-published book is completely wrong – because she had misunderstood the British court documents that served as her source material.
Wolf’s book, “Outrages,” on gay rights in the 19th century, contends that dozens of men were executed in Great Britain for having homosexual relationships.
Not true, BBC radio host Matthew Sweet told her on-air Thursday.
“I don’t think you’re right about this,” Sweet said in the interview, noting that all of the cases Wolf cited resulted in sentences of “death recorded” – a legal term of the day that allowed judges to sidestep executions in capital cases.
“I don’t think any of the executions you’ve identified here actually happened,” he said.
After a long pause, Wolf said, “Well, that’s a really important thing to investigate.”
Wolf, a bestselling author in the 1990s, was known as a feminist guru who spearheaded Vice President Al Gore’s attempted “alpha male” makeover ahead of the 2000 presidential election, which Gore lost narrowly to President George W. Bush.