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The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk

Shilts, Randy

ISBN 10: 0312523300 / ISBN 13: 9780312523305
Published by St Martins Pr, 1982
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From SYLVESTER & ORPHANOS (SAN MARCOS, CA, U.S.A.)

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Signed 0312523300 Inscribed by Randy Shilts. Bookseller Inventory # 012747

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and ...

Publisher: St Martins Pr

Publication Date: 1982

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

Known as “The Mayor of Castro Street” even before he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Harvey Milk’s personal life, public career, and final assassination reflect the dramatic emergence of the gay community as a political power in America. It is a story full of personal tragedies and political intrigues, assassinations at City Hall, massive riots in the streets, the miscarriage of justice, and the consolidation of gay power and gay hope.

Harvey Milk has been the subject of numerous books and movies, including the Academy Award–winning 1984 documentary, The Times of Harvey Milk.  His life is also the basis of a 2008 major motion picture, Milk, starring Sean Penn.  

Review:

When Randy Shilts's The Mayor of Castro Street appeared in 1982, the very idea of a gay political biography was brand-new. While biographies of literary and artistic figures (both living and dead) were a popular genre, there had been no openly gay political figure who merited a full-length book. Harvey Milk--a gay political organizer who became the first openly gay city supervisor in San Francisco and was then assassinated (along with liberal mayor George Moscone)--was the obvious choice for such a book. And Randy Shilts--a young reporter who had risen up through the gay press to become the first openly gay reporter with a gay "beat" in the American mainstream press--was the perfect person to write it. While his later works such as And the Band Played On and Conduct Unbecoming were based on hard-hitting, fact-driven reportage, Shilts's tone in The Mayor of Castro Street is softer, more focused on the narrative of Harvey Milk's political rise from running a small business on Castro Street, to organizing local gay men and lesbians around grass-roots issues, to winning an elected office. But in many ways this is also a forceful and engaging story of the gay rights movement in the second half of the 20th century. Thus, Shilts follows the growth of the Castro as a gay neighborhood and the growth of San Francisco's gay community from a ragtag collection of people who socialized and sexualized together into a vibrant and political force. --Michael Bronski

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