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Showing 1-10 of 31 reviews(1 star). Show all reviews
on November 1, 2015
this is a very inaccurate account of the gay rights movement and the fight for equality. There is a lot of selective reporting and incomplete information. To those of us who were there from the beginning, this is an offensive piece of literature. Do not read. If you want a book on marriage equality chose Michelangelo Signorile's It's Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia, and Winning True Equality
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on April 22, 2014
Being interested in LGBT history, I purchased this book with the expectation that it would provide an insightful take on the recent events surrounding the fight for Same Sex Marriage. This book does not do anything close to that. This is basically a very long press release for Chad Griffin and Ted Olson. The book offers no insight into the sweeping, grassroots campaign that led to the overturn of Prop 8. Additionally, there is absolutely no perspective provided about the numerous courageous and brave LGBT activists who worked hard to bring about the recent same sex marriage wins. Please avoid this book if you're looking for insight into the same sex marriage debate. Instead, do check out Dudley Clendinen's Out for Good, a much well-research and intelligent account of same sex marriage.
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on April 22, 2014
So . . . Ms. Becker, a pulitzer prize winner as you have no doubt heard, has decided to write a work of creative fiction. After reviewing this book, I am flabergasted by its complete annihilation of actual history. The movement towards marriage equality has been a long one in the United States. This book ignores that, comtemplating that the turning point was in "2008." It says the turning point was the decision to pursue a litigation strategy that would take gay marriage to the Supreme Court and thereby establish a right to gay marriage under the US Constitution's equal protection clause. The book makes claims that this decision led to convincing the Vice-President and President to change their positions on gay marriage. There are several clear factual problems with this thesis, but I'll point out the most obvious ones. First, that court case--it didn't happen. Yes, they brought the case. Yes, it went to the Supreme Court. And NO, the Supreme Court did not rule for Ms. Becker's heros. It ruled on a technicality and did not comment on gay marriage. In a case decided the same week, however, the Windsor case, the Supreme Court did strike down DOMA--a strategy precipitated by gay activists shortly after the enactment of DOMA in the 90's. It is the Windsor case, not Ms. Becker's case, that has been used by 18 district courts to strike down bans on gay marriage. The case which Ms. Becker erroneously claims changed everything---is not cited in those district courts. Second, the idea that civil rights movement was launched or turned around in 2008 is countervened by the polling. Gay marriage has, since 1998, experienced a strong uptick in support. The actions in 2008 did not change everything. Third, former white house officials, including David Plouffe, have denied the account she gives. Ms. Becker's account relates how certain "handsome 30-something gay man" persuaded the white house, based on that individuals account. It would appear Ms. Becker should have consulted additional sources.

The publisher should rescinde this book with shame before it hits the shelves. Having reviewed it, I must say, it reads as if someone wrote a history of the women's suffrage movement and gave all the credit to Ms. E. Roosevelt. Shame on Ms. Becker.

The only problem is that she contend that
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on April 22, 2014
Ms. Becker does a fabulous job detailing the amazing work of a talented team in California. It's too bad she, and by extension, Chad Griffin, Ted Olsen and Dustin Lance Black, thought they had to attempt to destroy other super talented leaders and philanthropists in the movement. If you can ignore the waxing, undeserved glorification of Chad and his dream team, the book is insightful to what happened in CA - which was basically a failed lawsuit that thankfully wasn't defended by anyone with standing from the state and dismissed by that technicality by the Supreme Court.

I do think Penguin Press should consider demanding a revised version from Becker that eliminates the thesis that the marriage revolution began in 2008 and eliminate, the what has now been shown in released video, the lies that Becker states prodded Griffin and Black to go alone when addressing experienced philanthropists. Shame on HRC's board of directors for allowing Griffn to spend his first year as the leader of the nations largest LGBT organization to participate in a book that holds such vociferous contempt towards his contemporaries in the movement. Perhaps we should hold off on any victory laps and historical accounts until we have marriage in all 50 states and pass ENDA in the 29 remaining states that still allow LGBT persons to be fired from their job because they are gay.
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on April 29, 2014
If this book is a history book, it is akin to the history of World War 2 that starts with the Normandy invasion at D-Day and forgets to mention the British.
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on April 22, 2014
This is a PR campaign funded by well-heeled Hollywood latecomers who want to be the heroes of the LGBT movement. It ignores 40+ years of brutal history. Do not buy.
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on April 29, 2014
of the history of the struggle for marriage equality.

If Becker simply told the story of 1 group of activists pursuing 1 case (prop 8) there would be no outrage. However the author portrays the prop 8 case as a seminal revolutionary moment that catalyzed the marriage equality cause. This is a distortion of the real history of marriage equality movement.

Marriage equality is a grass roots movement propelled by thousands of activists, lawyers, and ordinary people who stood up for their rights. The issue was intensely discussed all throughout the 1990s (DOMA was not passed in a vacuum). Vermont, Iowa, and Massachusetts passed marriage equality before 2008 and the shift in public opinion towards marriage equality was already underway.
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on April 22, 2014
Jo Becker completely ignored decades of struggle and the people who waged the fight for marriage equality long before Prop 8 came along. This is a feel-good screenplay version of history that captures but a small piece of the story.
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on April 29, 2014
I think this author must have been paid by Chad Griffin to write this BS hagiography. I read about half of a friend's copy, skimmed the rest, and was flabbergasted at what a crock of total horses*** this is. Not sure the motivations were impure, and assume its just lazy, shoddy, half-assed journalism (using this term loosely). Shame on Jo Becker for distorting what really happened, giving credit to HRC (who fought tooth and nail against marriage equality litigation), and minimizing and actually ridiculing the people who really made it happen (e.g., Evan Wolfson). Don't waste your money, this book is at best mediocre fiction.
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on April 29, 2014
This is a shameful piece of non-journalism. Jo Becker is a PR flack for hire for three men who appeared on the scene after half a century of work by the real heroes who led us to marriage equality.
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