The Columbia Reader on Lesbians & Gay Men in Media, Society, and Politics

Larry P. Gross, Editor, James D. Woods, Editor Columbia University Press $41.5 (672p) ISBN 978-0-231-10447-0
Gross, a University of Pennsylvania media professor, and the late Woods, a CUNY-Staten Island professor of media studies, have compiled a formidable and mostly somber collection of book excerpts and articles that address many aspects of gay life. Even though all of these articles have appeared elsewhere, it is useful to have them united in the present book. Topics addressed include religion, medicine, politics (conservative and liberal), education, media, same-sex marriage, AIDS and gay minorities. The writers range from outspoken outing advocate Michelangelo Signorile to Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who reaffirms Catholic doctrine on homosexuality. In a book as vast as this, the quality of writing is bound to be spotty. There are some boilerplate exercises, such as John D'Emilio's Marxist positing that ""two aspects of capitalism--wage labor and commodity production--created the social conditions that made possible the emergence of a distinctive gay and lesbian identity."" The best contributions are those that break free of simplistic ideological categories. Flora Rheta Schreiber's moving ""I Was Raising a Homosexual Child"" and David Ehrenstein's ""More than Friends"" combine good thinking with understanding. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/19/1999
Release date: 04/01/1999
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 665 pages - 978-0-231-10446-3
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