cover image Coming Out Conservative

Coming Out Conservative

Chronicle Books, Marvin Liebman. Chronicle Books, $19.95 (272pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-0073-0

In this uneven autobiography, leading conservative activist Liebman chronicles the closeted homosexual life that he lived while pursuing his very public career. In 1990, after 40 years at the forefront of anti-communist politics and involvement in theater production, Liebman announced that he is homosexual in the National Review and the gay newsmagazine the Advocate . Though aware of his sexual orientation at an early age, he avoided publicly declaring it; after a demoralizing dishonorable discharge from the Army and a brief (annulled) marriage, he continued to hide his homosexuality from even his closest friends. Consequently, his book is more about his politics--and such associates as William F. Buckley, Clare Booth Luce and Ronald Reagan--than about his coming out. Asserting his belief in ``the importance of the individual over any state, political party or religious hierarchy,'' Liebman tells of founding, in the mid-1950s, the Committee of One Million, whose mission was to exclude Communist China from the United Nations, and, later, the Young Americans for Freedom and the American Conservative Union. Photos not seen by PW . (Sept.)