Other Side of Silence

John Loughery, Author Henry Holt & Company $35 (527p) ISBN 978-0-8050-3896-5
Neither as academically rigorous as George Chauncey's Gay New York (1994) nor as entertainingly gossipy as Charles Kaiser's The Gay Metropolis (1997), this broader history nevertheless fills in new swaths of our emerging picture of 20th-century gay life. Although some of Loughery's research will come as old news to readers familiar with the Chauncey and Kaiser books (and lesser-known studies by Jonathan Ned Katz, Allan Berube and John D'Emilio), he includes plenty of unfamiliar material too, for instance, his account of a 1919 plot by then assistant secretary of the Navy Franklin Roosevelt to use sexually enthusiastic sailors as spies and informers on the homosexual population of the Navy base in Newport, R.I. Also here are detailed chronicles of gay demonstrations in Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans and Fort Belvoir, Va., that led to New York City's epochal Stonewall riots of 1969. Despite several awkward segues, this freshly assimilated material--along with passages of fertile, personal speculation on possible futures for American sexuality--makes Loughery's study a valuable contribution to the collective portrait of American male homosexuality in our century. Loughery is the art critic of Hudson Review and author of John Sloan: Painter and Rebel. Photos. Author tour. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
Paperback - 544 pages - 978-0-8050-6124-6
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