The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle

Lillian Faderman. Simon & Schuster, $35 (832p) ISBN 978-1-4516-9411-6
Faderman (Naked in the Promised Land), a scholar of lesbian history and literature, renders the slow transformation of culture into a sweeping narrative of the American struggle for gay and lesbian civil rights. She digs deep into media and legislative archives to construct a comprehensive narrative, beginning in the 1950s with the scapegoating of homosexuals under “vag-lewds” law and the first formulation of homosexuals as a minority group, and continuing to the current and recent legal fights around the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), hate crime legislation, and marriage equality. Faderman depicts the struggle as a conflict between “suits and streets,” offering balanced coverage of both meticulous lobbying from the government, military, and professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association, and the rapid changes wrought by historical radicalizations such as the Stonewall riots, the Harvey Milk riots, and the aggressive medical activism of ACT UP. First-person accounts from over 100 interviews conducted as original research for the book punctuate this extraordinary story. Faderman’s immense cultural history will give today’s LGBTQ activists both a profound appreciation of their forebears and the motivation to carry the struggle forward. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/06/2015
Release date: 09/08/2015
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Paperback - 832 pages - 978-1-4516-9412-3
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