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Making Gay History: The Half Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights Paperback – May 28, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (May 28, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060933917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060933913
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An ambitious project well realized…smooth-reading text that will surely become a cornerstone of gay American studies." (Booklist)

"[Making History] is a testament to the courage of individuals who have effected a positive change in our society." (Publishers Weekly)

"…Rich and often moving…at times shocking, but often enlightening and inspiring: oral history at its most potent and rewarding." (Kirkus Reveiws)

About the Author

Eric Marcus is the author of several books and coauthor of Breaking the Surface, the number one New York Times bestselling autobiography of Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By MSD on May 31, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent collection of first-person narratives of gay life in America from 1945 to the present. The people interviewed cover everything from the Mattachine society to PFLAG to the GSA movement. Extremely useful for getting a broad look at the LGBT rights movement in America.

I personally prefer "Making History" by the same author because the interviews appear all at once. This edition has events organized by date, which can be a little hard to follow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Fried on June 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What makes this history so important to me is that it is based on interviews of those who were directly involved with the events that have shaped our current understanding of ourselves and our political position within the US. Reading this book was both an emotionally moving and consciousness raising experience as i listened to multiple voices present their perspective on their efforts to bring about positive change for LGBT people.

There is an earlier version of the book which took a slightly different approach in its ordering of the interviews. The newest release of the book covers the new millennia and presents the interviews in the order of the events they discuss. I feel the new ordering is one of the things that helps makes this book more readable than the original, so, make certain you get the latest, updated, version.

This book and The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government.(Book review): An article from: The Historian are the two books i recommend to friends who want to learn about LGBT history. The two books are complements in that The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government.(Book review): An article from: The Historian covers in detail one period of LGBT history that has been all but lost, yet, it was important in driving the events presented in Making Gay History far more than the Stonewall incident.
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By Harry Fox on April 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a really wonderful book. As I read the interviews with so many of the individuals who made gay history, it was a very moving and educational experience.
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Format: Paperback
What is different about Mr. Marcus' book that separates it from the vast numbers of other LGBT collectables?

For one thing, Mr. Marcus allows the characters in his work to speak for themselves. The author does remarkably little editing and most of that is setting the scene for each contributor. In all, over sixty individuals speak of their contributions to LGBT history. As Mr. Marcus puts it, "I'm offering just a taste as told through the stories and recollections of more than sixty people -- from high-profile leaders to the little-known and largely forgotten men and woman who contributed in ways big and small." This was enough to let me know that much of the material would be unfamiliar terrain, rather than previously read historical scenes told in a different way. But would it hold my interest? Mr. Marcus dispelled such concern in his introduction where he wrote,

"Here and there I lowered my bucket into the rich, swirling waters of the gay rights movement. And what I found was astounding, heartbreaking, thrilling and ultimately inspiring."

For the most part, his analysis of his work proved correct. "Making History" is a fascinating book that I found difficult to put down.

He begins with ". . . [T]he years immediately following World War II [which] proved to be an especially fertile time for those gay men and women who dared to imagine that something could be done to improve the challenging conditions under which many of them lived." His first story is the contribution of Dr. Evelyn Hooker.

A young gay man slowly worked his way into a close friendship with his teacher, Ms. Hooker. In time he was able to talk the psychologist into researching and writing what became a landmark study of gay men.
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