Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights, 1945-1990 : An Oral History

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9780060167080: Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights, 1945-1990 : An Oral History

Marcus has 45 people with some connection to the gay and lesbian rights movement tell their story. Arrangement is chronological, in five sections representing the first discussion groups and organizations following WW II, the rise of the "homophile" movement of the 1960s, the turbulent years of "gay liberation" (1968-1973), the broadening of the movement and the backlash (1973-1981), and the years since AIDS was first identified. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Rich and often moving oral history by participants in the gay- rights movement. Marcus (The Male Couple's Guide to Living Together, 1988--not reviewed) speaks to people from street hustlers to ministers, beginning with those who remember the early post-WW II era, when being homosexual was a crime or, at best, considered a mental disorder. The testimonies of Hal Call, Martin Block, ``Lisa Ben,'' Barbara Gittings, and other founders and early members of the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis--both launched in the 1950's as social-outreach, quasi-political organizations- -demonstrate the real dangers and frustrations of being gay in America. There are numerous anecdotes of infighting and power struggles, but also of the police and FBI harassment that gave rise to the militancy of the Gay Liberation Front in the 1960's and 70's and, currently, of ACT UP. There are compelling reminiscences of ``coming out''; of often sleazy and dangerous gay ``clubs''; of political activism and the 1969 Stonewall riot in Greenwich Village, which galvanized gays across the country; of the antigay backlash of the 1980's and 90's; of tragic losses from suicide and AIDS. But Marcus also records stories of empowerment and triumph, such as the 1973 decision by the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders, and the appointment by then-governor Jerry Brown of gay attorney Herbert Donaldson to a California judgeship. At times shocking, but often enlightening and inspiring: oral history at its most potent and rewarding. (Twenty-five pages of b&w photos--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this thorough oral history of the gay rights movement in America during the last 45 years, Marcus ( The Male Couple's Guide to Living Together ) calls upon individuals as varied as Abigail Van Buren and Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong, and many gay people as well, to discuss their efforts to promote the acceptance of homosexuals in society. While the AIDS crisis and legal advances of the last decade might receive short shrift in this overview, Marcus correctly places the Stonewall riots--precipitated by a police raid on a gay bar in Greenwich Village in 1969 and often mistakenly seen as the source of the movement--as an event that accelerated momentum already ongoing. Speakers reflect changing generational views, from the assimilationist desires of elders to the in-your-face demands for acceptance by younger gays, demonstrating the shift in the movement from the early position that "we're just like everyone else except for what we do in bed" to that of today's gay person taking pride in his or her unique nature. The book is a testament to the courage of individuals who have effected a positive change in our society.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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