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The Pleasure Principle: Sex, Backlash, and the Struggle for Gay Freedom

Bronski, Michael

36 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0312156251 / ISBN 13: 9780312156251
Published by St. Martin's Press, 1998
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
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Hardcover with dust jacket. Stated First Edition. 1st printing (complete number line). Signed by the author, Michael Bronski. No other markings. Appears unread. Ships in a box. Fast shipping from NYC!. Bookseller Inventory # 0928201410

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Pleasure Principle: Sex, Backlash, and ...

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


A provocative look at the gay rights movement explores its impact on breaking down traditional societal structures and uses practical examples from history, politics, and popular culture to illustrate the interaction between gay culture and the mainstream.


"We are your worst fear," went one 1970s rallying cry among gay activists. "We are your best fantasy." Michael Bronski runs with that paradoxical notion, arguing that "straights" are correct to believe that homosexuals represent a threat to the values of Western civilization--and that's a good thing. What they fear (and resent) most in homosexuality, Bronski argues, is the ability of homosexuals to simply enjoy themselves, to take the pleasures of sexuality without the cultural baggage of reproductive responsibility and social conformity. Consequently, the "unique position" of homosexuals "as sexual outsiders endows them with an unparalleled vision for cultural and social change."

Bronski deftly deals with a dizzying array of post-WWII American history and culture, from the battles between homophile assimilationists and gay liberationists to the media controversy surrounding Pee-Wee Herman's arrest and the rise of lesbian chic. He makes a strong case both for the vitality of gay culture (including sexuality) and the necessity of explicitly recognizing the contributions that it has made and continues to make to mainstream culture. "Only when those in the dominant culture realize that they are better off acting like gay people," Bronski writes, "will the world change and be a better, safer, and more pleasurable place for everyone." --Ron Hogan

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