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Christine Jorgensen: A Personal Autobiography [Kindle Edition]

Susan Stryker Christine Jorgensen
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In 1951 George Jorgensen, an American man of 26, left for Denmark and returned a year later as the first world-renowned transsexual, Christine Jorgensen. In her own personable style, Jorgensen offers a firsthand account of her ground-breaking life. "Nature made a mistake," she wrote, "which I have corrected."


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This handsome reprint of Jorgensen's 1967 memoir makes it abundantly clear how moments of grace can descend on even the most ordinary of lives. When ex-G.I. George Jorgensen went to Copenhagen in the early 1950s to consult experts in sexual deviance, he was afraid they'd simply proclaim him a fairy. A full battery of hormonal and psychological tests revealed that, while he was drawn to men, he was no garden-variety homophile; he was a lady. Keeping the secret from his family, Jorgensen endured a groundbreaking series of operations, finally emerging in November 1952 as a delicately beautiful young woman. "I merely wanted to correct what I considered a misjudgment of Nature," wrote Jorgensen, who died in 1989. No one seeing the photographs included here (many of them new to this edition) can doubt the success of Jorgensen's transformation or wonder too long at the fascination she engendered back home, where a newspaper bought her story for $20,000 and she was proclaimed New York City's Woman of the Year. A stage and screen career soon followed. As Susan Stryker points out in a new introduction, Jorgensen offers a somewhat flattering and selectively abridged account of herself in the autobiography, but no more so than any plucky girl smiling her way through what must have been, at times, a harrowing and lonely journey, but one that she conducted with remarkable dignity. --Regina Marler

From Library Journal

Jorgensen made international headlines in the early 1950s as the first person to go public about having a sex-change operation. Following the revelation, s/he became the poster child for transsexualism. Her 1967 autobiography is a straightforward account of growing up as a boy with much inner conflict. It goes on to cover the decision to have the surgery, the procedure itself, and her successful career as a Las Vegas entertainer. This contains a new introduction by gay historian Susan Stryker. (LJ 9/1/67)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3865 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Cleis Press Start; 2nd edition (November 1, 2000)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001PGXB7W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #621,289 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Christine Jorgensen: The Lady Revisited. October 19, 2000
Format:Paperback
I had read Jorgensen's book and this is a great reissue of her very polite autobiography originally published in 1967. Susan Stryker's introduction adds a great deal of insight into Christine as she truly was: ambitious,tough,witty, and truly talented. Jorgensen was not a successful nightclub performer because of her sex change, she had taste and talent. She strived for more such as films and theatre. She was successful in the latter a few times. This new edition has great photographs never seen before. Jorgensen had written, at least in part, a new auto-biography that did not hold back intimate information which she felt the audience of the 1960s were not ready for. Why Christine Jorgensen has been largely forgotten (she made TV appearances into the 1980s and died far too young in 1989)is something that I don't understand. She was constantly in the newspapers throughout the 1950s and when this book was originally released, she was on several talk shows. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to understand transsexualism. Christine was not the first, but she was the first major celebrity sex change. The lady had class, dignity, intelligence, and a great wit. It is an intriguing read of a shy lad who was troubled and catapulted into a celebrity status and become very comfortable with herself. One cannot help but to admire her courage. If the reader wants to find out about her love life,back issues of such periodicals as The Advocate will have to be perused.Details of her three surgeries are not described indepth. Nevertheless,she was a phenomenon who is often left out of books on the 1950s. The reissue of her book will enlighten many, bring back memories to others. It will also cause several to wish someone would do a biography on Christine Jorgensen. Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE WORLD'S FIRST FAMOUS TRANSSEXUAL... August 12, 2001
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a must read book for those interested in gender identity issues, as well as for those who enjoy memoirs. Ms. Jorgensen was the first American to have a sex change operation and undergo such public scrutiny. Though she never intended to have her transformation become public knowledge, it was leaked to the press, and from then on, her life was never the same. In the cultural milieu of the nineteen fifties, Ms. Jorgensen's sex change was big news.

Starting her life out as George Jorgensen, she never quite felt that she fit in and became a loner by inclination. One striking issue in the book, however, is that she came from an extremely loving and supportive family who always unconditionally accepted her as she was, both before and after her metamorphosis. Not every transgendered individual is as lucky as Ms. Jorgensen appears to have been with respect to familial relationships. Perhaps it was because her parents were of Danish descent, and Scandinavian people tend to be more accepting of these issues.

Relentlessly upbeat, the book is a flattering and politely idealized memoir, as if anything too dark were exorcised from its pages. The chapters which cover Ms. Jorgensen's time in Denmark, where her change took place, are somewhat superficial and non-clinical. There is no real indication of any personal struggle or self-doubt with respect to her decision to undergo a life changing transformation. One has to remember, however, that this book was originally published approximately thirty five years ago, when the public's sensibilities on such issues were far more delicate.

What does come across in this autobiography is that Ms.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transexualism September 6, 2005
Format:Paperback
I had read this book before. I am a gay male, 48, and i first read it about 15 years ago. I now have a trans-gendered friend. I never understood transexuals until I read Christine Jorgensen's story. Then, I did. She is candid, very forthright, and a good example for everyone. I recommend that anyone who is inquisitive about the subject, first read this book. It is excellent. She was a pioneer, perhaps and American heroine.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Lazyee
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After reading this book, I understood my transgender son and am his main support system. Parents, read this and help your kids; they need you more now than ever. This books allows you to feel, really feel, the agony our kids and loved ones live with daily. Please read this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars THE WORLD'S FIRST FAMOUS TRANSSEXUAL... December 8, 2006
Format:Paperback
This is a must read book for those interested in gender identity issues, as well as for those who enjoy memoirs. Ms. Jorgensen was the first American to have a sex change operation and undergo such public scrutiny. Though she never intended to have her transformation become public knowledge, it was leaked to the press, and from then on, her life was never the same. In the cultural milieu of the nineteen fifties, Ms. Jorgensen's sex change was big news.

Starting her life out as George Jorgensen, she never quite felt that she fit in and became a loner by inclination. One striking issue in the book, however, is that she came from an extremely loving and supportive family who always unconditionally accepted her as she was, both before and after her metamorphosis. Not every transgendered individual is as lucky as Ms. Jorgensen appears to have been with respect to familial relationships. Perhaps it was because her parents were of Danish descent, and Scandinavian people tend to be more accepting of these issues.

Relentlessly upbeat, the book is a flattering and politely idealized memoir, as if anything too dark were exorcised from its pages. The chapters which cover Ms. Jorgensen's time in Denmark, where her change took place, are somewhat superficial and non-clinical. There is no real indication of any personal struggle or self-doubt with respect to her decision to undergo a life changing transformation. One has to remember, however, that this book was originally published approximately thirty five years ago, when the public's sensibilities on such issues were far more delicate.

What does come across in this autobiography is that Ms.
Read more ›
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Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great merchant
Published 5 months ago by rebecca dekalb
4.0 out of 5 stars looked good.
gave it as a gift. looked good.
Published 5 months ago by harriet stenkvist
5.0 out of 5 stars Every person who knows (or is)a transgender needs to see this.
I had read this book many years ago when it first came out. Why Christine was singled out for such adverse publicity is still baffling. Read more
Published 6 months ago by booklover
5.0 out of 5 stars The real story as told by the person who did it!
I wish I had read this book 40 years ago!

This book is Christine's autobiography of her transition from George Jorgensen to Christine. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
Very interesting, up close and personal detail of a long long struggle. Very brave women that always kept moving forward towards her goal.
Published 16 months ago by Michael Littrell
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential read
While Jorgensen, like any other autobiographer, has an inherent bias towards showing herself in a good light, it does not effect the poignancy of the book. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Aviva Dintenfass
4.0 out of 5 stars Relevant After All These Years
I was surprised at how well written this autobiography was. Was it perhaps ghost written. Irrelevant as I found Christine's story pre-op so relevant and similar to that of many... Read more
Published on February 10, 2010 by Cheryl Cristello
5.0 out of 5 stars CHRISTINE JORGENSEN
EXCELLENT BIOGRAPHY, EASY READING, THOUGH INFORMATIVE AND FUNNY AT TIMES. I HIGHLY RECCOMEND THIS BOOK ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE OF US WHO ARE INTERESTED IN PEOPLE. Read more
Published on August 25, 2008 by John Benitez
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