Unspeakable: The Rise of the Gay and Lesbian Press in America

Rodger Streitmatter, Author
Rodger Streitmatter, Author Faber & Faber $27.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-571-19873-3
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Streitmatter (journalism, School of Communication, American University) has written an engaging history of one segment of the alternative press: general interest publications aimed at lesbians and/or gay men and created and owned by gay people. Of some 2600 titles published since the 1940s, a dozen or so--from Vice Versa (1947-48), America's first lesbian magazine, to Out (1992-present)--are examined at length, chronicling the evolution of the gay rights movement from peeks out of the closet to street protests. Tracing the progression of the gay media from anonymous, mimeographed radical manifestos to glossy lifestyle magazines driven by brand-name advertisers, Streitmatter observes a shift from an activist to a mainstream editorial slant, especially by publications with large circulations. Recommended for both large public libraries and academic libraries, especially those with programs in journalism and gay, gender, or minority studies.--Jo McClamroch, Xavier Univ. Lib., Cincinnati, Ohio
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