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    $31.50 $26.96 list($50.00)
    1. Malibu : A Century of Living by
    $380.00 $99.95
    2. Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay,
    $17.16 list($26.00)
    3. The Fabulous Sylvester : The Legend,
    $17.16 $16.46 list($26.00)
    4. Vows of Silence : The Abuse of
    $19.80 list($30.00)
    5. The Lavender Scare : The Cold
    $11.53 $7.98 list($16.95)
    6. And the Band Played On: Politics,
    $55.00 $27.33
    7. Homosexuality in Art
    $29.00 $5.00
    8. Conduct Unbecoming
    $16.00 $4.70
    9. Surpassing the Love of Men : Romantic
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    10. Someone I Love Is Gay: How Family
    $59.95 $19.99
    11. Chaucer's Pardoner and Gender
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    12. Walt Whitman: A Gay Life
    $34.95 $33.20
    13. Homosexuality in Greece and Rome:
    $25.95 $18.95
    14. A Genealogy of Queer Theory (American
    $50.00 $11.90
    15. Lesbian Art in America : A Contemporary
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    16. Women and Film: A Sight and Sound
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    17. Why Marriage?: The History Shaping
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    18. Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture,
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    19. London and the Culture of Homosexuality,
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    20. A Strong Delusion

    1. Malibu : A Century of Living by the Sea
    by Julius Shulman, Juergen Nogai
    list price: $50.00
    our price: $31.50
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    Asin: 0810958856
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: Harry N Abrams
    Sales Rank: 37146
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    Renowned Southern California architectural photographer Julius Shulman began exploring Malibu in 1929. Nearly 80 years later, he is still bringing back pictures of paradise—except that the pristine landscape is now a backdrop for luxury homes. In Malibu: A Century of Living by the Sea, more than 300 lush vintage and new photographs by Shulman and his collaborator Juergen Nogai capture the look and feel of a private Shangri-La. While many of the homes were designed by architects with local and international reputations--including James Moore, Frank Gehry and Richard Meier--the book also conveys the quirky flavor of do-it-yourself designs that hark back to the beach town's beginnings. A brief historical section describes how a Massachusetts millionaire's $10-per-acre land purchase was transformed into the Malibu Film Colony. Beginning in 1924, 30-foot-wide oceanfront lots were rented to Hollywood stars, who built modest weekend hideaways. Once ownership restrictions were lifted, the style parade began. In 1948, Modernist architect Welton Becket designed a flat-roofed beach house for his family with broad expanses of glass facing the ocean and a deep roof overhang to protect against the dazzling sun. Twenty years later, John Lautner worked his magic on a narrow lot by designing a towering curved concrete shell—like a surf rider's wave—enclosing the floor-to-ceiling glass facade of Stevens House. Before land costs became prohibitive, artists and musicians often designed their own homes in eclectic, personal styles that incorporated local crafts, or even an oak tree growing in the living room. Local architects developed inventive ways of handling difficult sites, the constant threat of fire and the requirements of the California Coastal Commission. And the super-rich built their palaces, ranging from a crenellated monstrosity called The Castle Kashan to an 7,000-square-foot modular compound designed by Bart Prince. Invitingly packaged, except for the hard-to-read gray type, Malibu is above all a showcase for Shulman's signature manipulation of sunlight and shadow to reveal architectural form. —-Cathy Curtis ... Read more

    2. Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered History in America (3 Volume Set)
    by Marc Stein
    list price: $380.00
    our price: $380.00
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    Asin: 0684312611
    Catlog: Book (2003-12-01)
    Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons
    Sales Rank: 718742
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    3. The Fabulous Sylvester : The Legend, the Music, the 70s in San Francisco
    by Joshua Gamson
    list price: $26.00
    our price: $17.16
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    Asin: 0805072500
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
    Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
    Sales Rank: 591461
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    Book Description

    A journey back through the music, madness, and unparalleled freedom of an era of change-the '70s-as told through the life of ultra-fabulous superstar Sylvester

    Imagine a pied piper singing in a dazzling falsetto, wearing glittering sequins, and leading the young people of the nation to San Francisco and on to liberation where nothing was straight-laced or old-fashioned. And everyone, finally, was welcome-to come as themselves. This is not a fairy tale. This was real, mighty real, and disco sensation Sylvester was the piper. Joshua Gamson-a Yale-trained pop culture expert-uses him, a boy who would be fabulous, to lead us through the story of the '70s when a new era of change liberated us from conformity and boredom. Gamson captures the exuberant life, feeling, energy, and fun of a generation's wonderful, magical waking up-from the parties to the dancing and music.

    The story begins with a little black boy who started with nothing buta really big voice. We follow him from the Gospel chorus to the glory days in the Castro where a generation shook off its shame asSylvester sang and began his rise as part of a now-notorious theatrical troup called the Cockettes. Celebrity, sociology, and music history mingle and merge around this endlessly entertaining story of a singer who embodied the freedom, spirit, and flamboyance of a golden moment in American culture.
    ... Read more

    4. Vows of Silence : The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II
    by Jason Berry, Gerald Renner
    list price: $26.00
    our price: $17.16
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    Asin: 0743244419
    Catlog: Book (2004-03-04)
    Publisher: Free Press
    Sales Rank: 44899
    Average Customer Review: 3.71 out of 5 stars
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    Authors Jason Berry (Lead Us Not into Temptation) and Gerald Renner (retired reporter for the Hartford Courant) team up for this highly accusatory report on the sex abuse scandal within the Catholic Church. The "vows of silence" speak to the Church's self-protective secrecy that made it possible to ignore the rampant abuse, despite all the early accusations and red flags. To reveal the history and scope of this problem, Berry and Renner expertly researched the parallel lives of two key players. The first one is Thomas Doyle, portrayed as an American hero priest. Doyle first heard about priests sexually abusing children in the early 1980s. Doyle immediately started to confront his superiors and blow the whistle at every turn. As early as 1983 Doyle wrote that the Church's secrecy caused any and all wrongdoings to be "denied, covered up and rationalized with equal zeal." Years later he became an advocate for!victim restitution, testifying against the Church in numerous court cases. The second character is more like the antichrist: Father Marcial Maciel, who was the influential founder of the cult-like order of Legionaries of Christ and accused of being a particularly cruel and long-term sexual predator.

    This parallel lives approach makes for compelling storytelling, but it also creates a disjointed approach with much skipping around in time. What sets this apart from yet-another-expose about the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal is the in-depth reporting on the militaristic Legionaries of Christ, an extremely powerful and conservative order of priests and laymen that are affiliated with a worldwide web of prep schools and universities. Berry and Renner offer a fascinating conspiracy theory about how this international legion managed to protect its abusers and contribute to the long-term secrecy and cover-up. The bold accusations eventually land in the lap of Pope John Paul II, who seemed more invested in protecting the legion and the vow of silence than addressing the abuse. --Gail Hudson ... Read more

    Reviews (41)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fear and the Institution
    Vows of Silence is an avalanche of a book. I felt as if I were fighting just to keep my head above the deluge of evidence and experience, all of which is carefully documented with references and footnotes. While its dry and dispassionate style make it rough going at first, that style proves to be a saving grace, completely avoiding the vitriol to which the book might have succumbed in the hands of lesser journalists. In the hands of Jason Berry and Gerald Renner, the book is a treatise on the systemic malfunction of the Roman Catholic Church, whose actions have become more concentrated on self-protection than on the mission that it continues to insist is its true identity and raison d'etre.

    As such, it is a study of corruption common among institutions in general. Through the details and repugnant particulars of the church sex abuse scandal (there are "Oh, no!" moments on almost every page,) and the frustrated efforts of the victims (faithful to the end) as they begged for leadership, Vows of Silence illuminates how an institution's fear for its own security can spark a monster to life. The authors make the point that, in the Roman Catholic Church, great sums of money are involved. The reader may deduce the correlation between those sums and the ruthlessness of the monster.

    The damage inflicted by a corporate monster may only be the loss of its employees' pensions; but when the monster is sparked from the western world's largest defender of the faith, the damage is far greater. We see people doubting their own worth, their own judgment, their faith in each other, and even in their God. And this is the driving force behind the book: an outrage fueled by betrayal.

    The outrage comes, I think, from the utter vulgarity of the betrayal, a vulgarity of commonness, the vulgarity of the declaration that laypeople and even the subordinate ordained are neither equipped nor entitled to reach their own understanding of God. It is the vulgarity of proclaiming a single man to be unerring in the perception and declaration of the rules of conduct by which humanity can experience the love and serenity of God. For Vows of Silence lays the unbelievable sum of sexual abuse of innocents by the ordained squarely in the pontifical lap of John Paul II, who has spent his tenure on St. Peter's Throne steadfastly insisting on the concept of papal infallibility. Berry and Renner write simply, "John Paul's insistence on obedience to truth, as defined by Rome, overrode freedom of inquiry by theologians." If ever there was a meditation for 2004, it is here.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, the truth is told about Legion taking over schools!
    Finished this fine book in one sitting. Have to keep reminding myself that members of Church hierarchy involved in Vatican cover-ups DO NOT represent the faithful clergy and laypeople worldwide.

    Particulary pleased to FINALLY see a whole chapter reveal the truth about the LEGION OF CHRIST'S shameful, disruptive takeover of orthodox, independent Catholic schools in Cincinnati, Atlanta, Irving (TX), etc. via their Regnum Christi armies of lay people. Even a few parish schools have had their share of "infiltration" problems (i.e., Columbus).

    Most RC members I've met have no idea the Legion has done this, and aren't interested in learning the Truth. Perhaps it's because of that annoying, cult-like vow many take which disallows them from saying or reading anything negative about their founder.

    Wish TORCH and NACHE would wake up to the dangers inherent in having their children associated with the Legion via homeschool groups and programs! Father Hardon wouldn't approve, I bet.

    After reading this book, visit for stories of ex-Legion members rebuilding their lives.

    I would highly endorse it to any Catholic trying to understand the present priest-homosexual abuse crisis, the vocations crisis, and how the Legion of Christ has many questions to answer the Faithful.....

    I can hear the Legion's damage control engines firing up against those of us who aren't "properly formed" (i.e., formed by the Legion or RC). That's about 99.9% of Catholics in the U.S.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Vows of Silence
    Excellent book, which shows the negative consiquences of Vatican II and JPII.


    We can Hide our heads in the sand and pretend that everything is all right,or we can pray to God for help in these trying times, live our Catholic Faith and research and study the situation for ourselves. Catholics of today must eventually make a choice of either following what the Catholic Church and 260 popes have taught for the past 20 centuries, or what Vatican II has taught for the past 30 years. Since they are complete opposites, both cannot be right. The practice of walking the fence cannot go on indefintely!

    "What Has Happened to The Catholic Church," by Rev. Fransico Radecki and Rev. Dominic Radecki

    An error which is not resisted is approved, a truth which is not defended is suprressed. He who does not oppose at evident a crime is open to suspicion of secret complicity.---Pope FelixIII

    5-0 out of 5 stars Shame to those who hurt our children
    This book was given to me by a priest. I have seen troubled priest and this is presented fairly and balanced. A must read for anyone trying to stay informed.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Better than Dave Berry!
    This book is great fun! I enjoyed it as one might enjoy the X-files.

    Obviously, this "conspiracy" is complete nonsense. Does anyone really believe that the pope and a super-secret group of crazy conservatives are out to loose child molesters on the unsuspecting public? What's really amazing is that in the 25 years of his papacy, no one has ever found out-till now! This is better than The Da Vinci Code!

    That's one scenario, but there's another. Two embittered ex-Catholics write a book. They use scanty circumstantial evidence, misleading facts, and interviews with other embittered Catholics. They construct it into a wild conspiracy theory, complete with a tradition-bound, malicious pope and a naïve, compassionate young priest.

    Consider the fact that the authorities and the news media are completely uninterested in this book. If these accusations are credible, why haven't Time and the Wall Street Journal run front page stories? Why isn't Tom Brokaw all over this? It would be the story of the century!

    Now, which scenario is more likely? Don't let me dissuade you from this book, however, it's a barrel of laughs! ... Read more

    5. The Lavender Scare : The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government
    by David K. Johnson
    list price: $30.00
    our price: $19.80
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    Asin: 0226404811
    Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
    Publisher: University of Chicago Press
    Sales Rank: 247953
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The McCarthy era is generally considered the worst period of political repression in recent American history. But while the famous question, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?" resonated in the halls of Congress, security officials were posing another question at least as frequently, if more discreetly: "Information has come to the attention of the Civil Service Commission that you are a homosexual. What comment do you care to make?"

    Historian David K. Johnson here relates the frightening, untold story of how, during the Cold War, homosexuals were considered as dangerous a threat to national security as Communists. Charges that the Roosevelt and Truman administrations were havens for homosexuals proved a potent political weapon, sparking a "Lavender Scare" more vehement and long-lasting than McCarthy's Red Scare. Relying on newly declassified documents, years of research in the records of the National Archives and the FBI, and interviews with former civil servants, Johnson recreates the vibrant gay subculture that flourished in New Deal-era Washington and takes us inside the security interrogation rooms where thousands of Americans were questioned about their sex lives. The homosexual purges ended promising careers, ruined lives, and pushed many to suicide. But, as Johnson also shows, the purges brought victims together to protest their treatment, helping launch a new civil rights struggle.

    The Lavender Scare shatters the myth that homosexuality has only recently become a national political issue, changing the way we think about both the McCarthy era and the origins of the gay rights movement. And perhaps just as importantly, this book is a cautionary tale, reminding us of how acts taken by the government in the name of "national security" during the Cold War resulted in the infringement of the civil liberties of thousands of Americans.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Marvelous
    Rarely does a work of history both capture a particular moment in time and resonate so deeply with issues alive in contemporary public culture. As the country debates the possibility of gay marriage and the possible meanings of these unions, David Johnson's The Lavender Scare reminds us that homosexuality has at least one other time been conjured up as the nation's "bugaboo" during a period of political shifts and broad cultural change. In an account that is as riveting as it is sobering, Johnson shows how "containment of sexuality was as central to 1950s America as containment of communism." The issue of homosexuality sat at the center of discussions about "national security" during the Cold War period, resulting in the persecution and ouster of hundreds of gay (and suspected gay) federal workers.
    The book is written with marvelous grace and sensitivity. Johnson's brilliant skill at research and powers of analysis are in evidence on every page. Much to his credit, Johnson has used those skills to give voice to those from whom otherwise we might never have heard. The impressive narrative structure of The Lavender Scare makes it read like a fine novel. And the callous devastation, the lives lost and ruined by the tactics of a government in search of a moral center after WWII, makes one wish it were a work of fiction. But it is far from that.
    The Lavender Scare, rather, is a work of consummate historical research and writing. The enduring contribution of the book is that it shows how the "McCarthy Era" had much less to do with "the Communist threat" and much more to do with homosexuality and "moral panic" than we could have possibly imagined. We will never again be able to think of the Cold War period in quite the same way. Johnson has complexified and clarified perhaps the most vital time in Post WWII American history. The book is certain take its place alongside George Chauncey's magisterial Gay New York.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Illuminates a Dark History
    Cold war and McCarthyism are familiar topics from historians as America's fear of Communists and its reaction to this fear are interpreted from every side of the political spectrum. David K. Johnson does something different and, in its special way, far more important. The author, in The Lavender Scare, looks at how the cold war fears were used to hound gay men and women out of the federal service and how this continued unabated long after the Communist hysteria died down. It is fascinating, and horrifying, to witness how politicians used their fear and ignorance of "the perverts" for their own political ends and used the fear of Communists as a cover for their attacks. The case presented in this book is well researched and the voices from both sides are used, even from those voices of the gay men and lesbians which had to be silent at the time. This books holds valuable lessons (and warnings) for our own fraught times. A valuable addition to the literature of the history of the Cold War.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
    Johnson does a great job of reporting on the horrible way gays and lesbians were treated by the federal government during the McCarthy era. He puts the action of the government in the context. And, by recounting the personal stories of many of the federal workers who lost their livelihoods during these purges, Johnson adds depth and feeling to what otherwise could have been a dry academic work. ... Read more

    6. And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic
    by Randy Shilts
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.53
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    Asin: 0312241356
    Catlog: Book (2000-04-09)
    Publisher: Stonewall Inn Editions
    Sales Rank: 22668
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    By the time Rock Hudson's death in 1985 alerted all America to the danger of the AIDS epidemic, the disease had spread across the nation, killing thousands of people and emerging as the greatest health crisis of the 20th century. America faced a troubling question: What happened? How was this epidemic allowed to spread so far before it was taken seriously? In answering these questions, Shilts weaves weaves the disparate threads into a coherent story, pinning down every evasion and contradiction at the highest levels of the medical, political, and media establishments.

    Shilts shows that the epidemic spread wildly because the federal government put budget ahead of the nation's welfare; health authorities placed political expediency before the public health; and scientists were often more concerned with international prestige than saving lives. Against this backdrop, Shilts tells the heroic stories of individuals in science and politics, public health and the gay community, who struggled to alert the nation to the enormity of the danger it faced. And the Band Played On is both a tribute to these heroic people and a stinging indictment of the institutions that failed the nation so badly.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (43)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This Book Encouraged me to Ride My Bike 350 Miles
    I read this book several years ago, and the effect of that reading is still making an impact on my life.

    Randy Shilts blends science, sexuality, politics and humanity into a gripping and emotion-provoking story detailing the rise of the AIDS Epidemic. By drawing the readers into the lives of individuals and communities at the core of the epidemic, Shilts gives them the opportunity to see how the epidemic developed and spread, and the ways in which it was allowed to spread further, thru apathy, inaction, ignorance (both deliberate and not), fear, and even egotism.

    When I listen to the news in today's world, and I hear accounts of the post-9/11 Anthrax scares, or the recent pneumonia illness that has now affected some 1,500 people -- my heart aches. Not to discount the reality of these illnesses, but all I can remember is how angered and saddened I felt as I read "And the Band Played On" and realized that hundreds of thousands of people were infected before the word AIDS was ever mentioned in the media. I was a sophmore in college when I first remember hearing about AIDS. That was in 1987. How many people had died from the disease before I even knew what it was????

    I feel everyone should read this book. It doesn't just apply to people in high-risk populations. I happen to be a young heterosexual female, and this book made such an impression on me, that last summer, I found myself joining a 350-mile bike marathon to raise money and awareness for people living with HIV and AIDS. When people asked me why I was doing the ride, I told them about "And the Band Played On."

    Randy Shilts' book is haunting and most of all, REAL. The only bad thing is that the book ends -- AIDS doesn't.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "A horribly cruel and insidious virus"
    Randy Shilts masterpiece, "And The Band Played On", reads like a detective story; from the discovery of an unusual new organism that was killing a few people slowly and inexorably in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and multiplied exponentially underground until it exploded into the number one health catastrophe on the planet. The fact that AIDS at first took its heaviest toll among gay men, and then among intravenous drug users, guaranteed that its early victims would become outcasts. The AIDS panic seems unbelievable in retrospect but was all too real in the 80s; people were forced off their jobs, children were barred from schools, and anyone who belonged to the "4-H club" (homosexuals, hard-drug users, hemophiliacs, and -- incredibly -- Haitians)were treated like pariahs. The secrecy and denial in dealing with the crisis helped it to spread unabated. Shilts pulls no punches in writing this book. He is equally angry at the Reagan administration which preached pious platitudes while withholding desperately needed funds for medical research; the radical gay community which refused to acknowledge its own responsibility for the sexually promiscuous behavior that helped spread the disease like wildfire, and those in the medical community who played grandstanding politics and plain old-fashioned spite while patients were dying all around them. And then of course there was the media, which treated this puzzling, terrifying new disease, which for two years after its discovery didn't even have a name, as something the "general public" didn't have to be concerned about -- until heterosexual men and women began to be infected. But there were also the heroes -- the physicians who devoted their days and nights to treating their patients, gay men like Larry Kramer who refused to let the gay community sweep the problem under the rug, Rock Hudson, whose up-front candor and admission of his illness shocked the American public and helped to bring AIDS out of the closet once and for all, and C. Everett Koop, Reagan's Surgeon General, who refused to play politics and demonstrated the leadership his boss lacked in his common-sense and compassionate approach to meeting the crisis, to the horror of his right-wing constituency. Shilts wrote his story with such compelling urgency that it wraps the reader up like a whodunit you don't want to put down. One shares his disgust at the doctors who cared more about their own self-promotion than about their patients; the right-wing politicians who treated the victims of a devastating and deadly disease as if they were sinners who had earned the wrath of God; the gay men who didn't care how many people they infected as long as they could enjoy the promiscuous atmosphere of the bath houses, and most incredibly, the for-profit blood banks, which refused to admit their product was carrying a deadly virus and fought against blood testing for three years while the number of people who died from transfusions of infected blood grew by the thousands. And in a heartbreaking coda to this story, Shilts deliberately put off having his own blood tested while he was writing this book because he didn't want his judgement biased if he turned out to be HIV positive. It was only after he finished the book that he learned that he was infected with the virus that had killed so many and in a few years would also kill him. Shilts' death from AIDS was a tragedy, but he left us this magnificent book as his legacy. After reading his book, we are the richer and the wiser for his information, his insight and his understanding.

    5-0 out of 5 stars if you've made it this it!
    i generally refrain from rating books, but without doubt, this book is worth much more than what they're charging. I have no complaints. this was the perfect mix of politics, medicine, and sociology. ive read a few books concerned with this subject matter that were too detached. they focused on the big picture, and certainly had some staggering stats to make you think, but shilts made it personal, and never strayed. I wish their were more books like this one.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Extremely biased political agenda spoils the book
    This is an engrossing narrative, which unfortunately is completely undermined by the author's shrill political carping. Before you read this book, you should understand that Mr. Shilts was an extreme left wing homosexual activist who was infected with AIDS and had a corresponding political agenda to promote. This doesn't make him a bad person or a bad author - but it does call the objectivity of his book into question. Reading this book for entertainment value is one thing, but relying on it for factual history of the AIDS epidemic is like trusting Dick Cheney to write an objective history of the Bush administration.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful & Timeless
    I've recently re-read Shilt's outstanding work on this crises and of course, I reflected heavily that this book flourished after the author's demise some ten years ago. It is so powerful and important to remember this book and to keep it alive. Another I recommend is the moving: "God Doesn't Make Trash", by fellow San Francisco author, Barbara Rose Brooker. Good read. ... Read more

    7. Homosexuality in Art
    by James Smalls
    list price: $55.00
    our price: $55.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1859958656
    Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
    Publisher: Parkstone Press
    Sales Rank: 598757
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    Book Description

    The author attempts to highlight the sensibility particular to homosexuals in creation, and abandons all classical clichés and sociological approaches.

    This book examines the process of creating and allows one to comprehend the contribution of homosexuality to the evolution of emotional perception. ... Read more

    8. Conduct Unbecoming
    list price: $29.00
    our price: $29.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0449909174
    Catlog: Book (1994-05-10)
    Publisher: Ballantine Books
    Sales Rank: 467242
    Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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    When Randy Shilts's Conduct Unbecoming was published in 1995, it was greeted as the major analysis of homosexuality and the U.S. military to date; this continues to be true. Shilts's collage of historical research, interviews, and U.S. military documents (both public and confidential) portrays in detail the vital role that gay men and lesbians have always played in the armed forces, and painstakingly--and painfully--exposes how homophobic and often irrational government policies have demonized them through lies, witch-hunts, and antigay purges.As he did in And the Band Played On, his documentary history of the AIDS epidemic, Shilts takes large issues and histories and renders them into readable, understandable narratives. In Conduct Unbecoming he has uncovered new information about homosexuality and the military and has woven it together in a seamless fashion that combines the personal and the political in such a vibrant way that the arguments for basic gay civil rights become irrefutable. Particularly interesting is the story of Dr. Tom Dooley, a gay man who became a folk-legend praised for his humanitarian and anticommunist work in the 1950s, while at the same time persecuted for his refusal to hide his homosexuality. Conduct Unbecoming is a milestone in gay history and social theory; compelling, readable, and always illuminating, it is invaluable in understanding contemporary gay and lesbian politics and culture. --Michael Bronski ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent account & very well documented history.
    This book is very well written regarding the history of gays and lesbians in the U.S. military and all the problems they have faced. Additionally, Randy Shilts does an excellent job of incorporating the history of women in the military and the prejudice's they continue to face in a "manly, macho" society.

    This book was well researched regarding the military's ban on gays and lesbians, their struggles and their fight against the services to continue to serve proudly in the U.S. military. Many of these fights were faught in the military's court and when exhausted, in the civilian court to ensure they were given fair treatment. All this is thouroughly documented in this classic book. Also, Shilts incorporates studies supressed by the Pentagon that unit cohesion, morale and welfare of soldiers will not be negatively affected by allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly.

    Lastly, Shilts does an excellent job of incorporating different soldier's struggles and life histories into the dates and times of other soldiers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Read This!
    Scrutiny of implementation of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on gays and lesbians in the military reveals a situation far worse than it was before. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" continues to be a flagrant violation of the First Amendment, effectively silencing the ability to define one's self. Just to say the words "I'm gay" is grounds for removal - not only from the military, but from a job, from future employment, and from a community of friends, sometimes family. To be allowed to exist in an environment where you are encouraged to be all that you can be - as long as you don't tell anyone about it, and as long as you don't act on your convictions - is psychological torture, and absurd government policy. 'Conduct Unbecoming' serves both as a vote for more enlightened government policy, and as a testament to the courage of gays and lesbians who have served, fought, and died for this country.

    1-0 out of 5 stars America's gay/lesbian soldiers deserve better than this!
    This book tries to be everything to everyone-- a common weakness amongst radicals in general and gays in particular-- and it fails miserably. This is another one of these books that wastes precious paper pining for the tie-die days of Woodstock, The Summer of love, Kennedys, and the Warren Court. Those days are gone..forever, I hope, but in any case, gone. This book won't bring them back. In fact, by childishly concerning itself with documentaries about the 'flourishing gay subculture' in the military, it probably set the movement back with mainstream America.

    I will resist the temptation to write a copious reply/review to Shilt's literary miasma. Just a few simple points....

    (1) Von Steuben liked boys (maybe!). Decatur wore his comrade's (lovers?) ring! There were alot of drag queens in Saigon!..Bahrain!..Chicopee!!..some Navy ships were floating T-rooms!! rains men in Diego Garcia!! So what. This trash proves Gays make good soldiers?? I guess Tailhook proved those guys made good pilots....
    (2) Gay appeals in the court system--military courts or civilian courts, based on the right to privacy--were doomed to failure from the start. Privacy rights have never been extended to illegal activities, and many states have laws making homosexual acts illegal. The cart was before the horse. Judge Gerhard Gesell himself said as much...there are many problems that cannot be solved by litigation. The battle for gay rights belongs in the legislatures!
    (3) The gay community expected to ape the success of the civil rights movement and always been in a huff that many blacks do no sign on to our cause. There are several reasons why this attempted meld has failed. First, the civil rights movement was a multidecade effort to ensure equal rights under American law for blacks. The 'gaylib' movement was born after the Stonewall riots, and has always identified itself more with throwing rocks at cops than any real social and political reforms. Second, the gay community jumped on the civil rights movement just as that movement was turning from emphasis upon opportunity, to the weaker moral platform of quotas. The latter have never commanded a majority of either black or white voters.
    (4) It would help if the gay community itself had some credibility on military matters. But it does not. Knee-jerk anti-militarism is rampant in gay circles, even to this day. Many radicals are more interested in using the Gay issue to throw ROTC off campuses than they are in trying to obtain fair treatment for ROTC gay cadets. During the Vietnam War, most gay groups were more relieved at how being gay exempted them from the draft, than they were outraged at how gay soldiers/vets were mistreated by Pentagon brass.
    (5) It would help even more if prominent Gay leaders were'nt such hypocrites. Harvey Milk--the mere mention of the name sends many Gays swooning with anguish and outrage over his untimely fate-- had been a closet case for most of his life. But one fine day, Harvey 'Bristol Cream' Milk suddenly decided that being out was where its at...not just for himself, but for every other homosexual as well. Ol' Harvey spilled the beans that Gerald Ford's ex-Marine bodyguard was gay. So much for dignity and respect for privacy! Shilts waxes long over the 'dilemma' this presented to President Ford. What about the dilemma presented to the Marine bodyguard? Oh...hell, another body for the cause!

    On and on the litany goes. What is most annoying about this book is it has largely set the standard for the level of debate about gays in the military--surely a low standard, at that.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Numbing.
    Though well-crafted, this book is ultimately rather one-dimensional - a 750-page litany of victimization. Shilts' sledgehammer approach and simplistic 1970s identity politics may make for effective propaganda, but that's about it. This book sorely lacks the nuance and intelligence of Allan Berube's "Coming Out Under Fire" - still the best book yet published on this subject.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Send your used copies straight to the Pentagon!
    Mr. Shilts provides a thoroughly detailed history of the persecution of homosexuals in the U.S. Armed Forces from Colonial Times to the Present. This book should be required reading in every history class throughout America. ... Read more

    9. Surpassing the Love of Men : Romantic Friendship and Love Between Women from the Renaissance to the Present
    by Lillian Faderman
    list price: $16.00
    our price: $16.00
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    Asin: 0688133304
    Catlog: Book (1998-07-08)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 202059
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    First published in 1981, this feminist classic began modestly as an academic essay on Emily Dickinson's love poems and letters to her future sister-in-law, Sue Gilbert. In her original introduction, Faderman recalled her surprise at finding these records of an erotic attachment between women that showed no evidence of guilt, anxiety, or the need for secrecy. Yet 60 or 70 years after they were written, the original letters had been bowdlerized by a niece of Dickinson's, who clearly found them too shocking for publication. Why, Faderman wondered, was passionate love between women, once almost universally applauded in the Western world, now almost universally condemned? She learned that the love between Dickinson and Gilbert had many precedents, and that it was only in the late 19th century that medical literature and antifeminism combined to rank women who loved women "somewhere," as she puts it bluntly, "between necrophiliacs and those who had sex with chickens." For this new edition, Faderman explains that she has resisted the urge to update her text, hoping that her exploration of romantic friendship, from French libertine literature through the dawn of feminism through the lesbian panic of the 1920s will still serve as "solace and ammunition" for those hoping to find "a usable past." --Regina Marler ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars but this thing doesn't do halves
    The author forcefully insists on the real passion between the women that she studies; this becomes to me repetitive and distracting. However, given the historical context of this book, in which a "lesbian recovery" of history was less accepted, I see the purpose of her tactics. In any case, the author draws together a wealth of evidence that makes for fascinating and provocative reading, even if she does lean a bit too much on literary examples as proof of what attitudes were "really." She makes a strong case, though. Recommended. ... Read more

    10. Someone I Love Is Gay: How Family & Friends Can Respond
    by Anita Worthen, Bob Davies
    list price: $12.00
    our price: $9.00
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    Asin: 0830819827
    Catlog: Book (1996-06-01)
    Publisher: InterVarsity Press
    Sales Rank: 88202
    Average Customer Review: 2.82 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars SOMEONE I LOVE IS GAY
    After learning that my daughter was leaving her 4 young children and a very loving husband to persue a lesbian relationship, I was devasted. Nothing can take away the terrible pain this has caused in family members, friendships, and fellow missionary friends and associatiates. Her dear husband recommended this book to me and it was a lifesaver for me. I still hate that this terrible thing has happened but I am now able to understand something about which we are dealing. I would recommend this book to anyone going through this painful discovery.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A practical and compassionate "must read" book.
    I have spoken with many family members of homosexuals, and regardless of how accepting, loving, or even liberal they may be, the initial announcement, "I'm gay" is one that can knock you to your knees. I have also heard Anita Worthen speak several times, and her deep love and compassion for her son and for homosexuals in general is so evident. From her heart she writes this practical and compassionate book that is a "must" for any parent reeling from the news that their son or daughter is gay. Discovering this book is often the very first time that a parent or a family member discovers that they are not alone, that others have been there too, and that what they are feeling is normal. Especially helpful are the chapters on the grief cycle-adapted for the family member, and on how to relinquish your loved one and "let go."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sensible, Honest and Compassionate
    This is an outstanding guide for concerned people who find out that their loved one (child, spouse or friend) has embraced a homosexual identity. Anita Worthen is the mother of an HIV-positive homosexual man who has struggled with her feelings about her son's sad situation. Bob Davies has himself left homosexuality. The two of them write in a knowing and understanding way about this topic. Their approach offers hope and healing for both the homosexual and his or her family and friends. The authors weave personal vignettes with sound advice, backed up by both religious and secular resources.

    I highly recommend that you read this book for yourself. With all due respect, some of the negative reviews you will read here are blatantly dishonest. One reviewer asserts that Anita Worthen advises parents to kidnap their gay children. But in fact, Mrs. Worthen advises AGAINST such a drastic step. She mentions "kidnapping" her son as an emotionally inappropriate action to have taken. Mrs. Worthen also recounts about how she attempted to maintain a close relationship with her son and male partner, cooking meals for them on a regular basis when illness made it hard for them to care for themselves. It is very disappointing, but also revealing, that the negative reviews of this book are so misleading and dishonest.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Love and cruelty
    This is a delicate subject which has interested and concerned me for some time now. I've always found it difficult to know how to respond when I find out that someone is gay, and it's even more confusing and potentially devastating if it's someone close to you, like a family member or someone you love. Acceptance would be one straightforward option, if it weren't such a challenging concept in the context of "family", or someone you "love". This book's emphasis seems to be in trying to make the gay person realise that they can change, and then applying whatever pressure is necessary to make them do so. This is all very well, but in my experience gay people are usually very reluctant to change, and even claim that their gaiety is something they're born with. We more melancholy members of society can find such attachment to gayness disconcerting, and it's therefore understandable that members of a morose family would want to undermine any gayness in their midst at whatever cost. Some would say that people of all temperaments across the whole range of emotions, from ecstatic elation to suicidal depression, just have to accept each other and get on with things the best they can. However, this doesn't take into account the fact that, as highlighted by this book, love often necessitates cruelty, especially where excessive gaiety is concerned.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Promotes religion over understanding
    This sad attempt of a book was a waste of time to read. It promotes religion and judgement behind the gay friend/family members back. NOT A BOOK ON UNDERSTANDING AND COPING AT ALL, but a not so vague attempt to encorage you to try to get your gay friend to "change". What a joke. ... Read more

    11. Chaucer's Pardoner and Gender Theory : Bodies of Discourse (The New Middle Ages)
    by Robert S. Sturges
    list price: $59.95
    our price: $59.95
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    Asin: 0312213662
    Catlog: Book (2000-03-02)
    Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
    Sales Rank: 1132927
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    Book Description

    Chaucer’s Pardoner and Gender Theory, the first book-length treatment of the character, examines the Pardoner in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales from the perspective of both medieval and twentieth-century theories of sex, gender, and erotic practice. Sturges argues for a discontinuous, fragmentary reading of this character and his tale that is genuinely both premodern and postmodern. Drawing on theorists ranging from St. Augustine and Alain de Lille to Judith Butler and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Sturges approaches the Pardoner as a representative of the construction of historical--and sexual--identities in a variety of historically specific discourses, and argues that medieval understandings of gender remain sedimented in postmodern discourse.
    ... Read more

    12. Walt Whitman: A Gay Life
    by Gary Schmidgall
    list price: $32.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0525943730
    Catlog: Book (1997-09-01)
    Publisher: Dutton Books
    Sales Rank: 417354
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Walt Whitman's place in U.S. letters is unchallenged: he is the poet of America, democracy, and individual freedom. Yet Whitman and his work have been misrepresented by scholars and critics during the 20th century, and it is only recently that they have begun admitting the poet's homosexuality and examining its effect on his work. Gary Schmidgall's bold and well-researched Walt Whitman: A Gay Life presents abundant and irrefutable evidence of the poet's vibrant sexuality and details Whitman's sexual and romantic affairs. More important, however, he explains how Whitman's attraction to men was at the root of his poetic vision: in Whitman's work the "body electric" is more than a metaphor. Walt Whitman: A Gay Life is a vital addition to Whitman studies and critical work on American literature. ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    3-0 out of 5 stars I... don't really think Whitman wanted us to ponder this
    In a world where historical figures as prominant and as influential as Walt Whitman are thought to be Homosexual, its very unfortunate for people who study Modern American literature like myself that "Historians" jump to outrageous conclusions, spurred on by desire for fame and a savage media, as in this book.

    Didn't Walt Whitman want his readers to be captivated by his beautiful use of the English language and criticize events such as the American Civil War? These overprivalaged "hisorians" need not take out frustrations on such great men. The fist of Satan on America and the rest of the world is tightening, especially with the reelection of an international terrorist in November and our little "War on Terrorism" which enters its 4th year in September. What we need is a War on Poverty, a War on Ignorance, and a War on Men such as Bush who do an excellent job of speeding up the decline of the American Empire. "Bread and Circuses" and constant warfare with people like the Carthaginians in the Punic Wars contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. I think America will go out in a classical style and fear that another Middle Ages will haunt generations which will come a few hundred years after this is published.

    Mr. Schmidgall, I must applaud you for trying to bring Whitman to another generation but I personally think you might've taken the words of Ginsberg a little too seriously...

    5-0 out of 5 stars A landmark work of literary scholarship
    This is a wonderful tonic for those cynics who profess to believe that "history is bunk."History is far from that; it's a serious profession where serious discoveries can be made.And Gary Schmidgall's landmark work is a beautiful example of this.

    In the long run, historical truths are assessed in the same way as scientific truths: if there is significant evidence to support your thesis, and NOT ONE bit of contradictory evidence, your thesis stands.Schmidgall's thesis: Walt Whitman was gay.And Schmidgall's book is stuffed with all the evidence to support it: manuscripts, the historical record, love letters to and from Walt, photographs and biographies of his lovers, all the way from Peter Doyle to Billy Duckett.There is absolutely massive evidence to support Schmidgall's thesis, and not ONE BIT of contradictory evidence!

    Of course, one has to use the historical method in weighing the evidence.Whitman once got exasperated with the Englishman Edward Carpenter, who had been pestering him for years with letters demanding that Whitman admit his homosexuality.Whitman was not about to be forced out of the closet by any snooping Englishman, and finally fired off a letter stating that he had married and fathered six children! ("Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it!")The claim was a preposterous lie, of course.A wife and six children don't just "vanish mysteriously," especially when you're the most famous poet in the country.

    All in all, a fantastic piece of work.It is interesting to notice that some of the dim lightbulbs in Eng. Lit. are incapable of recognizing a historical fact even when it slaps them in the face: one professor Karen Kerbiener cites Schmidgall in her bibliography, yet continues to regard Whitman's homosexuality as a mere "possibility."

    Yeah, right, and Tchaikovsky was straight, and Beethoven liked to appear in drag. :-0

    Highest possible recommendation!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Walt would love this...
    One of the things that people often do is to take their heroes and try to see within that person themselves. It's only natural. It's through someone else's greatness that we experience it, and often, find our own. So it's not surprising that many Whitman biographers have passively denied Whitman's homosexuality, or out right refuted it. It's also not surprising that Gary Schmidgall takes a different view, and sees Whitman through the eyes of a gay man, writing an impressive, passioned look at Whitman's life called "Walt Whitman: A Gay Life".

    Based on a look on Whitman's poetry, letters, and other sources, Schmidgall tells a tale of a gay Whitman. This isn't a biography, however, which Scmidgall admits right away. His book attempts to describe Whitman during different phases in his life, particularly important ones that would have shaped his gay identity. Therefore, the focus is not broad across the span of Whitman's many years, but very intensely focused specific times, for example, Whitman as an opera lover.

    Schmidgall admits upfront the task before him which is enormous; being that in all of Whitman's known correspondances, interviews, archival evidence, details on his sexuality and sex life is scanity at best. We have no big true confessional, and when asked directly about the sexual content of "Leaves of Grass", his pat answer is to let the work speak for itself. However, Schmidgall does an awesome job reconstructing Whitman, looking at everything through the eyes of a gay man, bringing the poet alive much more than other biographies which I've read.Schmidgall liberally uses the words like "imagine, think, suppose" when talking about his points, but you forgive him. The task is daunting, but well done.

    Whitman is alive in this book as he never has been before. Whereas more scholarly books fail to adequately persue Whitman's sexuality, this one brings it alive, and therefore, brings Whitman alive in a wonderful sense. You can almost hear the poet chuckling in the background as you read some of the passages. Whatever the effect, Whitman has been drawn closer to my heart because of this book, and I highly recommend it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars not the only book on whitman, but...
    this is a great book to add to the growing collection of whitman biographies. don't make this the only one you read, however. that said, it does an amazing and passionate job that i think whitman would appreciate.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Finally, the Truth About Whitman
    Undoubtedly, the most amazing thing about the many Whitman bio's (and there's certainly no shortage of them), is their denial of hishomosexuality.This is why Schmmidgall's work stands head and shouldersabove them all (including Jerome Loving's seemingly exhaustive bio thatdoesn't present Whitman as being gay).The trouble with Loving and therest who would deny Whitman's sexuality is that they are either terriblyhomophobic, or that they never read any of Whitman's poetry.The onlyreason I gave the book a three star rating, is because I don't feel it's agood first-Whitman-book to read for the uninitiated.Rather, I would startwith his actual poetry, maybe read a popular bio, and then end up withSchmidgall's "Gay Life". ... Read more

    13. Homosexuality in Greece and Rome: A Sourcebook of Basic Documents
    by Thomas K. Hubbard
    list price: $34.95
    our price: $34.95
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    Asin: 0520234308
    Catlog: Book (2003-04-01)
    Publisher: University of California Press
    Sales Rank: 249354
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The most important primary texts on homosexuality in ancient Greece and Rome are translated into modern, explicit English and collected together for the first time in this comprehensive sourcebook. Covering an extensive period--from the earliest Greek texts in the late seventh century b.c.e. to Greco-Roman texts of the third and fourth centuries c.e.--the volume includes well-known writings by Plato, Sappho, Aeschines, Catullus, and Juvenal, as well as less well known but highly relevant and intriguing texts such as graffiti, comic fragments, magical papyri, medical treatises, and selected artistic evidence. These fluently translated texts, together with Thomas K. Hubbard's valuable introductions, clearly show that there was in fact no more consensus about homosexuality in ancient Greece and Rome than there is today.

    The material is organized by period and by genre, allowing readers to consider chronological developments in both Greece and Rome. Individual texts each are presented with a short introduction contextualizing them by date and, where necessary, discussing their place within a larger work. Chapter introductions discuss questions of genre and the ideological significance of the texts, while Hubbard's general introduction to the volume addresses issues such as sexual orientation in antiquity, moral judgments, class and ideology, and lesbianism. With its broad, unexpurgated, and thoroughly informed presentation, this unique anthology gives an essential perspective on homosexuality in classical antiquity. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    3-0 out of 5 stars um, modernity bias, anyone?
    this is an excellent source book for texts on sexuality in antiquity, but one should COMPLETELY DISREGARD ALL AUTHOR'S NOTES. Halpern has an adjenda, as one can see in the title, since homosexuality as we define it now was invented in the nineteenth century and is inaplicable to classical studies. learning about the unique sexual categories and identities of the ancient world is fascinating, but do not be led astray by Halpern into thinking that the ancients had the same social/sexual mores as we do. other than the notes and some very odd exclusions and excerptations ("the dildo", a poem from ancient greece, is not included in its entirety, even though it is <100 lines long and really fascinating), this is an excellent book. just read with a grain of salt, and always try to find alternate translations!

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Indispensible Sourcebook
    This is an exhaustive, absolutely fascinating compendium of a vast number of ancient texts, all of which make reference to classical attitudes concerning homosexuality. The array is fascinating, the conclusions myriad. For anyone who really wants to get down the the nitty gritty of ancient opinions -- or to see what day to day ancient life was like -- this book is indispensible. ... Read more

    14. A Genealogy of Queer Theory (American Subjects Series)
    by William B. Turner
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $25.95
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    Asin: 1566397871
    Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
    Publisher: Temple University Press
    Sales Rank: 468126
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Who are queers and what do they want? Could it be that we are all queers? Beginning with such questions, William B. Turner's lucid and engaging book traces the roots of queer theory to the growing awareness that few of us precisely fit standard categories for sexual and gender identity.

    Turner shows how Michel Foucault's work contributed to feminists' investigations into the ways that power relates to identity. In the last decades of the twentieth century, feminists were the first to challenge the assumption that a claim to universal identity—the white male citizen—should serve as the foundation of political thought and action. Difference matters. Race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality interact, producing a wide array of identities that resist rigid definition and are mutable. By understanding the notion of transhistorical categories—woman, man, homosexual, and so forth—feminist and gay male scholars launched queer theoretical work as a new way to think about the politics of gender and sexuality.

    A Genealogy of Queer Theory probes the fierce debates among scholars and activists, weighing the charges that queer readings of texts and identity politics do not constitute and might inhibit radical social change. Written by a historian, it considers the implications of queer theory for historical inquiry and the distinction between philosophy and history. As such, the book will interest readers of gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender studies, intellectual history, political theory, and the history of gender/sexuality. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Genealogy of Queer Theory
    From experts to beginners, Bill Turner provides the key to knowing how queer theory began and evolved. This historian and queer theorist maps the various themes and directions the major writers took while founding his book on the essential thoughts of Michel Foucault. This book helps keep my studies on track. I would help a novice gain a perceptive overview. ... Read more

    15. Lesbian Art in America : A Contemporary History
    by Harmony Hammond
    list price: $50.00
    our price: $50.00
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    Asin: 0847822486
    Catlog: Book (2000-09-02)
    Publisher: Rizzoli
    Sales Rank: 225840
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    It is no surprise to see a photograph by Catherine Opie on the front of this handsome and groundbreaking volume on lesbian art. Opie is now represented in most of the best public collections in America, and her inclusion, along with the current rise of Nicole Eisenman, suggests that the market for specifically lesbian imagery (as opposed to erotica, which has always had an audience) has finally widened to include the great art institutions that still set the canon for contemporary art. Although the text of Harmony Hammond's wonderfully rich book is a little too dense for casual consumption, the history she offers--especially of the middle decade represented here, the 1980s, with its porn wars and the emergence of both postmodernism and postfeminism alongside a remarkable boom in the art market--can be found nowhere else, and certainly not in so graceful a form, lavishly illustrated and perceptively annotated. --Regina Marler ... Read more

    16. Women and Film: A Sight and Sound Reader (Culture and the Moving Image)
    by Pam Cook
    list price: $25.95
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    Asin: 1566391431
    Catlog: Book (1993-11-01)
    Publisher: Temple University Press
    Sales Rank: 533747
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    Book Description

    Brought together for the first time, these lively, sophisticated essays bring into focus contemporary debates regarding the representation of women in film and analyze women's practices as filmmakers and actors. Sight and Sound, the pioneering magazine of film criticism, has enlisted a distinguished group of cultural commentators—critics, scholars, novelists—to consider the roles of gender and sexuality in classic and recent cinema.

    Like Sight and Sound itself, the essays in this book are international in scope and represent the newest perspectives in cultural theory and criticism in a readily accessible style. Challenging dominant myths and the status quo in the industry, these provocative writers consider a wide range of fascinating topics that define the boundaries of traditional cinema and explore unmapped territory.

    Essays are generously illustrated with stills of films discussed, and each section contains a comprehensive bibliography and filmography. ... Read more

    17. Why Marriage?: The History Shaping Today's Debate Over Gay Equality
    by George Chauncey
    list price: $22.00
    our price: $14.96
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    Asin: 0465009573
    Catlog: Book (2004-08-30)
    Publisher: Basic Books
    Sales Rank: 40281
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    Book Description

    Angry debate over gay marriage is sweeping the country, threatening to divide the nation like no other issue since the Vietnam War. Why has marriage suddenly emerged as the most explosive issue in the gay struggle for equality? At times it seems to have come out of nowhere-but in fact it has a history.

    Drawing upon the unparalleled historical knowledge that established him as the principal author of the influential Historians' Amicus Brief filed in the landmark Supreme Court sodomy case Lawrence v. Texas, George Chauncey shows how the demand for the freedom to marry emerged from a decades-long struggle. He reminds us of the pervasive discrimination faced by lesbians and gay men only a few decades ago, when the federal government fired thousands of gay employees and restaurants were shut down for serving homosexuals. And he shows how the continuing discrimination faced by gay families-in insurance, pensions, and child custody struggles-led them to campaign for the protections of marriage.

    Chauncey gives us the history of the shifting attitudes of heterosexual Americans toward gays, from the dramatic growth in acceptance to the many campaigns against gay rights that form the background to today's demand for a constitutional amendment. He also connects religious opposition to interracial marriage and desegregation just fifty years ago with opposition to same-sex marriage today. Chauncey illuminates what's at stake for both sides, making this an essential book for gay and straight readers alike. ... Read more

    18. Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940
    by George Chauncey
    list price: $21.95
    our price: $14.93
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    Asin: 0465026214
    Catlog: Book (1995-06-01)
    Publisher: Basic Books
    Sales Rank: 111432
    Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Winner of the 1994 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History, this brilliant work challenges the conventional wisdom that before the 1960s gay life existed only in the closet. ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating "archeology" in the style of Foucault
    Chauncey's work is an excellent primer on the history of sexuality, and on the very historically specific nature of "being gay" or "being straight." He is like Foucault, in that he rigorously approaches the "microhistory of sexuality," but unlike Foucault, Chauncey is clear and easy to read (which forsakes some of Foucault's theoretical sophistication). Chauncey's arguments are cogent and often surprising, and his documentation is impeccable.

    This should be a rewarding read for anyone interested in social or urban history. Many people read this is book as a matter of self-identity, but don't let that make you think that it's a book only for gay people: I came to it as a heteroseuxal person who is interested in social and urban history, and found it an excellent, informative, educational, and entertaining read. I'm looking forward to more books from Chauncey.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Social History of the "Gay Male World"
    I read a lot of history, but generally not read social history. Nevertheless, this is one of the best books I have read in recent years. According to Author George Chauncey, who teaches at the University of Chicago, a "myth of isolation" "holds that, even if a gay world existed [in New York between 1890 and 1940], it was kept invisible." Chauncey's main premise is that, not only was there a gay New York beginning in the 1890s, it was not invisible.

    In the marvelous introduction, Chauncey also makes the profound point that the gay male world of the pre-World War II era "was not a world in which men were divided into 'homosexuals' and 'heterosexuals.'" Chauncey proceeds to explain: "This book argues that in important respects the hetero-homosexual binarism, the sexual regime now hegemonic in American culture, is a stunningly recent creation." Later in the introduction, Chauncey writes: "Heterosexuality, no less than homosexuality, is a historically specific social category and identity." Chauncey's study begins in the 1890s, "a time when New York was famous for being a 'wide-open town,' [when] some clubs went so far as to stage live sexual performances." The so-called "Bowery resorts were only the most famous elements of an extensive, organized, highly visible gay world." At the turn of the century, men who were "'painted and powdered,' used women's names, and displayed feminine mannerisms" were called "fairies." According to Chauncey, fairies were tolerated, but not respected, in much of working-class society. During this period "Many men alternated between male and female sexual partners without believing that interest in one precluded interest in the other." Men, who "maintained a masculine demeanor and played...only the 'masculine,' or insertive role in the sexual encounter" were not considered to be "queer." According to Chauncey: "many workingmen knew precisely were to go to find fairies with whom, if they chose, they need not exchange a word to make their wishes clear." Chauncey explains: "Most commonly, gay men simply offered to perform certain sexual acts, especially fellation, which many straight men enjoyed but many women (even many prostitutes) were loath to perform." If the sexual landscape was fluid in turn-of-the-century working-class New York, a more rigid adherence to the regime of heterosexuality was emerging in middle-class culture. By the 1920s, according to Chauncey, "the style of the fairy was more likely to be adopted by younger men and poorer men who had relatively little at stake in the straight middle-class world, where the loss of respect the fairy style entailed could be costly indeed." Chauncey explains that, in the first two decades of the 20th century, "heterosexuality became more important to middle-class than working-class men" because of the growing belief that "anyone who engaged in homosexual activity was implicated as 'being' a homosexual." In Chauncey's view: "The insistence on exclusive heterosexuality emerged in response to the [late-19th, early-20th century] crisis in middle-class masculinity....Middle-class men increasingly conceived of their sexuality - their heterosexuality, or exclusive desire for women - as one of the hallmarks of real men." According to Chauncey: "The association of the homosexual and the heterosexual with middle-class culture highlights the degree to which 'sexuality' and the rooting of gender in anatomy were bourgeois productions," which explains why Chauncey asserts that the rigid heterosexual-homosexual dichotomy is a recent creation. This is historical exposition and analysis at its very best

    Middle-class sensibilities also were at the center of efforts, beginning early in the 20th century, to police, if not suppress, the "city of bachelors." According to Chauncey: "The city was a logical destination for men intent on freeing themselves from the constraints of the family." In turn, according to Chauncey, middle-class reformers demonstrated a growing anxiety about the threat to the social order posed by men and women who seemed to stand outside the family." According to Chauncey, "World War I was a watershed in the history of the urban moral reform movement" because the war "embodied reformers' darkest fears and their greatest hopes, for it threatened the very foundations of the nation's moral order - the family, small-town stability, the racial and gender hierarchy." The streets of New York "were filled with soldiers and sailors," as a result of which, according to Chauncey, the war "threatened to expose hundreds of thousands of American boys from farms and small towns to the evil influences of the big city." Furthermore, as Chauncey puts it, although "[i]t is impossible to determine how many gay soldiers stayed in New York after the war, was, indeed, hard to keep them down on the farm after they've seen gay New York."

    There is much else about this book to admire. After Chauncey defines the boundaries of his study, he devotes several chapters to describing in fascinating detail the gay male world in New York between 1890 and 1940, from YMCAs and rooming houses to saloons and gay bars to the baths to assignation hotels. I am simply in awe of the research Chauncey did for his chapter entitled "'Privacy Could Only Be Had in Public': Forging a Gay World in the Streets," the sources for which include not only the predictable secondary materials but also letters, interviews, oral histories, and court files in the New York Municipal Archives. There also is a fine selection of photographs, cartoons, and other visual aids.

    The gay world in New York was tolerated by middle-class authorities as long as it did not spread to middle America or to threaten its values. During World War I, when thousands of young Americans in the military visited the city, the relatively open gay life there threatened to corrupt them, and that contributed to the creation of what Chauncey calls "police-state conditions," which evolved until they had firmly taken hold by 1940. I understand Chauncey currently is writing the history of gay New York from 1945 until 1975, and I await publication of that volume with great impatience.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A treasure chest of forgotten lore
    This book was preceded in my conciousness by high critical praise and so I approached it with great expectations. And in great part it met these expectations.

    More than anything else, this is a work of love, being the excavation of forgotten facts in the history of gay life as it was lived by decades of gay men, experiences now mostly forgotten or scattered in obscure and fading documents. It is an extraordinary work of social archeology, resurrecting a world I never knew exisited. And Chauncey does this in exceptional detail, using clear prose, so that by the end the geography of this world has been salvaged and reconstructed, like Combray from Marcel's teacup.

    As the book proceeds, the writing becomes stronger, particularly as the facts become more readily available, and the arguments and conclusions become more convincing. The last chapter is especially good on the submergence of gay life after Prohibition. This book is clearly one of the masterpieces of gay history, on par with John Boswell's work especially in it's dependence on primary sources.

    The only criticism I have lies in the fact that Chauncey often has trouble shaping his information and often can't create a forest out of the trees. Especially in the earlier chapters, he often fails to make a summary statement without such a host of qualifiers that you wonder why he bothers in the first place. And as a previous reviewer has noted, there are alot of repetitions that a good editor should have corrected.

    Despite all these reservations, for those interested in discovering a lost world, this book will be a revelation.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fresh Thinking About Gay History
    Chauncey's book offers serious and original thinking about queer history and about general urban history as well. Freed from the myths that have persisted about the place of homosexuals in U.S. society, the author paints a new portrait of what transpired just before the turn of the last century and into the early decades of the 20th century.

    The most important idea he explains is that the concepts of "homosexuality" and "heterosexuality" as we understand them today didn't exist one hundred years ago. Chauncey's research shows that it was adherence to traditional gender role, rather than choice of sex partner, that labelled a man as either a "fairy" or "normal." The author provides detailed descriptions of the process by which working class men in particular could have sexual relations with other men and perserve a "normal" identity so long as the sex partners were effeminate. He uses extensive supporting materials that undergird his conclusions, including accounts of the "pansies" who were not, in fact, demeaned or ostracized but instead were tolerated, courted, and may even have served a vital purpose to working men who had relocated alone to the city to support families that lived elsewhere or to make their way into adulthood.

    Chauncey shows how the definition of "invert"-- detour from standard gender role-- shifted gradually to the notion of "degenerate" or "homosexual"-- men who chose other men as sex partners. He makes clear how the emerging definition of homosexuality depended on a similarly new definition of heterosexuality. These subtle but powerful social mores are detailed at length, in convincing prose.

    The book explains that there were places in early 20th century society for gays, countering the mistaken belief that the 1960's rebellions brought people out of the closet. The author hints, but doesn't explicitly state, that societal needs may have some not insubstantial effect on how prominent the gay people will be in our communities, or even how many young men may experiment with homosexuality for identity, financial need, or other reasons.

    Chauncey's prose is vivid and evocative. He many times, especially in the early parts of the book, uses a hair-splitting preciseness with terms that can become tiresome to a reader. He also shows an academic's obsessiveness with source material: his book is chockful of lengthy source notes in the appendix and footnotes at the bottoms of the pages. These practices make his work explicit for purposes of academics but also tedious for general reading.

    He employs other techniques that I believe weakened the impact of the reading. Chauncey summarizes a great deal at the end of each chapter, which dilutes the momentum of his historical survey. He is prone to repetitions of concepts and quotes. He also divided his themes such that each chapter covers expansive times. This has the reader continually moving back to the beginning of his chosen era, which diffuses the reader's sense of progressions over time. My sense is that he was not able to decide if the book were to be textbook for teaching, academic document for university colleagues, or general historical account. Nevertheless, his interesting prose, his unique perspectives, and his strong synthetic thinking make this an important work.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A new era in queer theory.
    Great book that has ushered in queer theory. Great for gay history people and NYC history people. Great evidence. Great everything. ... Read more

    19. London and the Culture of Homosexuality, 1885-1914 (Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture)
    by Matt Cook
    list price: $65.00
    our price: $59.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0521822076
    Catlog: Book (2003-10-23)
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Sales Rank: 847884
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    Book Description

    Matt Cook explores the relationship between London and homosexuality from 1885 to 1914, years marked by intensification in concern about male-male relationships and also by the emergence of an embryonic homosexual rights movement. Cook combines his coverage of London's homosexual subculture and various major and minor scandals with a detailed examination of representations in the press, science and literature. This conjunction of approaches distinguishes this study from other works and provides new insight into the development of ideas about homosexuality during the period. ... Read more

    20. A Strong Delusion
    by Joe Dallas
    list price: $11.99
    our price: $8.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1565074319
    Catlog: Book (1996-09-01)
    Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
    Sales Rank: 190917
    Average Customer Review: 3.35 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (20)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Well-written and intended, but ultimately wrong
    Joe Dallas, onetime gay man and member of the Metropolitan Community Church, has switched teams and this book tells how his thinking and understanding of Scripture informed his decision to change. A Strong Delusion is well-written and very difficult reading for those of us who know that homosexuality is not a sin, but I heartily recommend it. How can we refute what we don't know? And the truth in love I offer is that ultiamtely, Dallas' newfound beliefs are based on lies, mistranslations, and previously held prejudices held by those who would teach us what the Bible says. For information into the thoughts of the religious right-wing, read this; it's an invaluable education. However, for the truth, try the writings of Daniel Helminiak, Royce Buehler, and others who know that temple prostitution does not equal loving same-sex relationships. And millions of Gay Christians live, love, and worship God with honor and the knowledge that their God-given sexuality is not sin.

    4-0 out of 5 stars It is refreshing to read the truth about this issue
    Joe Dallas does a great job of dispelling the myths propagated by pro-gay Christians. The truth is the only thing that will set people free. The Christian pro-gay agenda is a contrived lie that is destroying souls. The misuse of data to substantiate homosexuality is frightening.

    Joe's love and concern for the souls of homosexuals is what makes this good book a great book. It takes courage to follow Christ. We can't make up the rules as we go along.

    Joe Dallas is a good author. He will make a good Catholic someday.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very valuable work on a sometimes tough topic
    As a man who worked for 10 years as an ICU RN, many times caring for AIDS patients, and who now works as a biblical scholar and theologian, I highly recommend this book. The issue of homosexuality and Bible interpretation is often a tough one with people dividing into polarized camps. People often quarrel about the meaning of ancient Greek or Hebrew words and fail to see that people today are suffering and dying. This book offers an insider's view of the "gay" church movement and the gay advocate positions. This book also offers clear teaching about the different views each side has and why one may be drawn toward either end. I believe that this book will offer hope and healing toward people who have sometimes been shunned or castigated. Yes this work takes the Bible seriously and accurately, but that means that everyone is in one camp. We are all sinners saved by God's grace, through Jesus. This book is well worth the money, if you are brave enough and open minded enough and ready to see reality.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Unscholarly work
    This title by Mr. Dallas is yet another example of his lack of theological though (or training), his lack of scholarly training in exgesis, and his lack of love for all of God's people. As a biblical language scholar and a theologian I find nothing redeeming and nothing of truth in this title nor any title by Mr. Dallas.

    1-0 out of 5 stars A Strong Delusion....
    .... especially for the poor right wing fundamentalists who will fork over $9.59 of their hard earned money believing that think this book gives them some kind of "deep" insight into the issue of homosexuality and the Bible. Wrong. Like every other fundamentalist book on the subject, it's deeply misguided.
    Save your money.. tithe it instead... maybe to a local AIDS hospice (which would be THE Christian thing to do). Joe Dallas is not only clueless, he's delusional. IMHO, he was closer to the Living God in the MCC than he is now. ... Read more

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