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Hello Sailor!: The hidden history of gay life at sea Paperback – March 7, 2003
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"What this fascinating book is really about is not 'gay life at sea' in general, but the gay ghettos on many liners and cruiseships during the fifties and sixties."
George Melly, The Mail on Sunday
"...this path breaking book tells the hidden story of passion and liberation at sea. This is a vital addition to the understanding of gay and sea history."
"...candid confessions cause the narrative to leap into life."
Independent on Sunday.
"...a fascinating account."
"...Hello Sailor! transcends its niche as a piece of gay history and, instead, becomes something that has resonances for all readers, whether gay, straight or something in between."
'...an eminently readable, often amusing and original book...'
Journal of Contemporary History, Vol 41, No 1
From the Back Cover
'From Quentin Crisp cavorting with US marines in 'The Naked Civil Servant' to Jean Genet, Fassbinder and 'Querelle', a celebration of sailors has long been a part of gay culture. But very rarely has it been the subject of serious study. Here at last is the book that puts all that to rights. Thoroughly-researched and engagingly written, 'Hello Sailor' looks beyond the butch, bell-bottomed image and explores the real meaning of gay life for sea-faring men.' Paul Burston, TimeOut
"Innovative, revealing and brave, this book peers through previously forbidden portholes and unravels a neglected strand of British history. It tells many fascinating stories of lives lived against the odds¿" Andy Medhurst, University of Sussex
"¿meticulously researched, cogently argued work of high scholarship¿producing an endlessly fascinating and finely nuanced examination of the culture and mores of homosexuality afloat¿This book is greatly to be commended." Dr Campbell McMurray OBE, Director, Royal Naval Museum
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Top Customer Reviews
On the cruise ship gay men were free to be gay long before the coming of gay lib. Moreover, the ships provided an ideal venue for would be entertainment stars or the proud drag queen.
I particularly liked the information about gay life on the Merchant Marine ships where a gay man who could not serve in his country's navy could serve on commercial ships. There the attitude toward gay men was relaxed and accommodating. My favorite line: "If the ship is not tied to the peer, what you do sexually is not queer." It was an attitude straight men, both married and single, practiced.