While Abraham Lincoln has stolen the limelight with rumors about his furtive sex life, some historians have proclaimed that America’s first gay president was really his predecessor, the now-obscure James Buchanan. (He was the 15th president, serving from 1857 to 1861). Buchanan is the only bachelor to ever have held America’s top office, and his private life raised many eyebrows while he was alive.

Tony Perrottet’s book, Napoleon’s Privates: 2,500 Years of History Unzipped, is a literary version of a cabinet of curiosities (HarperCollins, 2008; napoleonsprivates.com). He is also the author of Pagan Holiday: On the Trail of Ancient Roman Tourists and The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Ancient Games.


I’m in love with poet Billy Collins. Do poets make good husbands? If so, how might I woo him? — Jaqi H., Watertown, Massachusetts

Well, many poets haven’t had the best track records as mates, but I think Billy Collins would make a great husband. Unfortunately for you though, he already is one. But do not despair, Jaqi H.!  These six steps will help you cope with your Billy Collins addiction:

Admit you are powerless to Billy Collins. In the presence of Billy Collins (maybe at a poetry reading at a local university where the acoustics are perfect and the wine is plenty), your knees become wobbly as his verses caress the hairs of your inner ear and you need to sit down. Admit that all you will ever need in your life is Billy Collins. “Billy,” you… More…