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Ringdal, Nils Johan 1952-

RINGDAL, Nils Johan 1952-


Born 1952.


Agent—c/o Author Mail, Grove/Atlantic Inc., 841 Broadway, New York, NY 10003.


Author, historian, and researcher.


Statsoppfatningen hos Jens Arup Seip, Universitetsforlaget (Oslo, Norway), 1981.

(With Leif T. Andressen) Moss bys Historie, three volumes, Moss Kommune, 1984-1994.

By, Bok og Borger: Deichmanske Bibliotek Gjennom 200 År, Aschehoug (Oslo, Norway), 1985.

Mellom Barken og Veden: Politiet Under Okkupasjonen, Aschehoug (Oslo, Norway), 1987.

Gal Mann til Rett tid: NS-Minister Sverre Riisnæs: En Psykobiografi, Aschehoug (Oslo, Norway), 1989.

(With Terje Holtet Larsen) Kardinaler og Kremmere: Norske Forleggere Gjennom Hundre År, Norske Forleggerforening (Oslo, Norway), 1995.

Nationaltheatrets Historie, 1988-1999, Gyldendal (Oslo, Norway), 2000.

Love for Sale: A World History of Prostitution, translated by Richard Daily, Grove Press (New York, NY), 2004.


Norwegian historian Nils Johan Ringdal has written on a wide variety of subjects, but his look at prostitution, Love for Sale: A World History of Prostitution, is his first book to be been translated into English. The study reaches far and wide, both chronologically and geographically, to show the role of prostitution in different societies. Ringdal reveals that in some instances, prostitution served as an accepted social function and as a means of satisfying male sexual appetites. At times, the practice was considered beneficial to family stability. In some early societies, prostitutes are shown gaining intellectual and financial freedoms not granted to other women. However, in post-Victorian times, Ringdal finds farless-acceptable conditions for sex workers; the subjects of child prostitution, slavery, and other grim conditions dominate the discussion.

Reviewers often found Love for Sale to be educational and even entertaining. Library Journal critic Janice Dunham described the book as "more scholarly than popular" and said it discusses some distinctive topics, including "academic sex tourism" such as the work of Margaret Mead. Donna Seaman commented in Booklist that the author writes with "respect, candor, and wit," but advised readers that "his at times gratingly upbeat survey does conclude before AIDS changed everything." A Publishers Weekly contributor credited Ringdal with presenting "a fascinating range of evidence … and the opportunity to see broad patterns in attitudes toward sex for hire."



Baltimore Sun, March 2, 2004, Susan Reimer, review of Love for Sale: A World History of Prostitution.

Booklist, March 1, 2004, Donna Seaman, review of Love for Sale, p. 1129.

Library Journal, March 15, 2004, Janice Dunham, review of Love for Sale, p. 89.

Publishers Weekly, February 9, 2004, review of Love for Sale, p. 66.


Academia Online, (September 14, 2004), Colleen Duggan, review of Love for Sale.*

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