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Ask and Tell: Gay and Lesbian Veterans Speak Out Hardcover – May 14, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0807831151 ISBN-10: 0807831158 Edition: annotated edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; annotated edition edition (May 14, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807831158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807831151
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,644,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Ask and Tell" offers the most comprehensive stories to date and provides a forum for veterans to discuss the legacy of the military's infamous 'don't ask, don't tell' policy."--"Publishers Weekly"

Review

These oral histories are eloquent, poignant, harrowing, inspiring, and more. The testimony of these veterans forces us to think about American military history and gay life in altogether new ways. Ask and Tell is a revelation.--John D'Emilio, coauthor of Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America

More About the Author

Steve Estes grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and he earned a PhD at the University of North Carolina. Estes is currently a professor of history at Sonoma State University in Northern California. He lives in San Francisco.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Very readable oral histories of the lives of gays who have served honorably in our country's armed forces. This book helps those of us who are not gay to understand the added stresses placed on gays who desire a military career by the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. It reveals the devotion of many of these men and women to their careers in the armed forces and the conflicts they experienced in living fulfilling personal lives while performing their military duties with excellence. I would recommend it to both gay and straight readers as a historical accounting with pertinence to our country's ongoing dialogue on integration of gay citizens into the fabric of our national life.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brian Hughes on July 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Full disclosure: I am one of the veterans fetured in "Ask and Tell". I do not know the author personally, and I have no financial interest in this book. With that out of the way...

Steve Estes has done a remarkable job. Through the personal accounts of dozens of gay veterans, the author has woven a coherent and compelling narrative. His subjects span every military branch and rank, every kind of family background and all corners of the U.S. They are endearing, instructive and always entertaining. Their stories show just how capricious military policy on homosexuality has been: some serve openly and honorably, others, no less honorable, are hounded out of the service with an indelible stain on their records and on their lives.

It's always a pleasure to swap war stories with fellow vets, young and old. This collection is now a part of that time-honored tradition. Reading it, I felt like those men and women were talking right to me. Their stories conjured so many memories in me - of basic training, barracks life, sexual politics and, yes, war - that I know I will take great delight in reading and re-reading this book for many years to come.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I read this the summer before I left for my first deployment. It is not just a great read for those interested in learning more about the life of gay service members over time, it is a great resource of personal accounts and service member's experiences over times. I really enjoyed reading about what military life was like during other wars in this format.
It is a great read for gay service members especially! It will make you feel much more normal to hear about other service members with similar experiences and how they managed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is now, but will be of even greater historical significance once "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is repealed. It consists of oral histories of 50 gay and lesbian veterans who served in the military, starting from WWII and the Greatest Generation up to present day Iraq and Afghanistan. Also included are the military academies and a section on women's fight to serve on the front line instead of being relegated to office clerks and secretaries. The veterans' stories are compelling, interesting and it gives the reader just how slowly things have changed for generations of gays and lesbians serving our country. These veterans not only faced the pressure of enemy fire, but also homophobia and prejudice from within. It takes people of great strength and resolve to endure all of this. I can't imagine the stress they faced during the time they served.
Hopefully with the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", things will start to improve. This is an important book, especially since most of the veterans from WWII and the Korean War have passed on. But their stories will live on, thanks to the author, Mr. Estes. It is too bad a book couldn't have been written exclusively about WWII veterans.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Ohl on February 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked the stories told in this book. Too bad there weren't more stories about WWII. Amazing life tales from officers were very interesting. Unfortunately, it is now a little outdated as DADT has been abolished.
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