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Rock the Sham! The Irish Lesbian & Gay Organization's Battle to March in New Yor Paperback – 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Street Level Press (2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972929630
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972929639
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,569,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Voelcker on March 20, 2006
CAVEAT: I'm hardly an unbiased reviewer, since I marched with ILGO in 1991 and was arrested several times thereafter.

That said, Anne's book is hardly unbiased either. It's a personal history, written from the inside, by one of the main actors in a political and civil-rights drama that exploded into an international news story. Anne has a point of view, and she's never shy of expressing it. She also has a wicked sense of humour, and thankfully that comes through as well.

I knew much of the history, though she reminded me of a lot I'd forgotten. There are episodes I'd urge her to expand, people to mention, and other perspectives to include. But what surprised and touched me was Anne's utter honesty about the emotional toll the fight took on her and her lover Marie, at the time, and after.

"Rock the Sham!" is a must-read ... whether you're a student of civil rights, an Irish queer (especially if you're an AOH member), or simply a citizen of the world drawn to people who stand up for what they believe in.

I'm glad this book exists. And the fight's not over. After all, who'd have believed that one Irish-American lesbian who was arrested with ILGO is now the second most-powerful elected official in all of New York City? There are more chapters to come.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lee Shoulders on March 3, 2006
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I found this book to be a fascinating document of the ILGO's struggle for equal rights.

The detailed and thorough personal account takes the reader right along for the journey. It was riveting and I honestly couldn't put it down.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Fane on March 20, 2006
I just finished this book in 2 days, which is a record for me! It was so compelling I couldn't put it down. It's an example of personal and political storytelling at its best. The cast of characters is unique and the author brings them to life.

In this book, Anne Maguire brings fierce honesty to her personal and political struggle to live as both an Irish person and a lesbian in a world trying to force her to choose one identity or the other.

She also chronicles the sometimes messy, sometimes transcendent process of people from all walks of life coming together (often at great personal cost) to meet in coffee shops and apartments to make a stand against some of the most powerful political forces in New York. They must do this in order to reclaim their Irish heritage from a group of narrow minded bigots who think they can define what it means to be Irish.

It is an infuriating and inspiring at the same time. I'd recommend it if you are someone who refuses to let others tell you who to be and when to be it. You'll relate to ILGO's story BIGTIME.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cool Dude on March 20, 2006
I have to disagree with Video maker's inaccurate review. This book was a great read and really authentic. For sure Maguire gave it to those who deserved harsh words, which was institutions of power and politicians, not friends or the "gay community." I wonder if video maker actually read the book! Rock the Sham was written with much generously, great humor and a total lack of bitterness-in other words, honestly. As someone who is an activist Rock the Sham was like a breath of fresh air - activists are not perfect and as Joan Nestle says the author "tells secrets." Perhaps the last anonymous reviewer is a snake in the grass. I too marched in 1991 and have been arrested with ILGO and have found the details and history in Rock the Sham inspiring. My name is Paul Maher. Rock the Sham! Rules!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jenny McPhee on March 7, 2006
Anne Maguire tells an earthshattering tale of a small group of people who fought for justice against all odds. It is a heroic story in the most profound sense--defeat results only in their fighting harder for truth. The wide cast of characters involved in this epic--from the famous to the impossibly shy--Maguire describes in powerful, humorous, and poignant detail. Her prose is so fluid and rich, and she is such an accomplished storyteller, the intricacies of legal, political, moral, and personal agenda transform into a page-turning thriller. This book should be read by everyone and will be on the syllabi of a range of university courses for years to come.
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