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My Desire for History: Essays in Gay, Community, and Labor History Paperback – June 1, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0807871959 ISBN-10: 0807871958 Edition: 1st

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My Desire for History: Essays in Gay, Community, and Labor History + Bodies of Evidence: The Practice of Queer Oral History (Oxford Oral History)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (June 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807871958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807871959
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,553,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The essays adapted from the acclaimed slide shows that Berube produced are powerful."--Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

"Particularly engaging."--Gay & Lesbian Review

"D'Emilio and Freedman deserve our unreserved thanks for rescuing these significant Berube writings from obscurity, and for making his courageous life's story available to us all. My Desire for History will be a rich and thought-provoking addition to your library. Do yourself a favor and buy it."--Gay City News

Book Description

"Allan Berube was a meticulous archival researcher, a gifted oral historian, and a concise and graceful writer. In addition, he thought creatively about the process by which scholarship can contribute to making a more just world. This collection beautifully demonstrates these strengths; in truth, I often couldn't put the essays down."--Elizabeth L. Kennedy, University of Arizona

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Dynes on June 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I met Allan Bérubé on several occasions. He was charming, intelligent, and articulate. His 1990 book, Coming Out Under Fire, was an important pioneering work. Unfortunately, he seemed to have lost his bearings after that and, despite substantial support from the McArthur Foundation, he seemed unable to find his way. Allan Bérubé died at the age of 61. His friends have tried to make him into an icon of "community history," exalting his working-class origins, which are less clear than they claim. In fact, there is no "community history," only history.

It is probably best to skip this book, and acquire Coming Out Under Fire instead--it is an enduring achievement.
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1 of 13 people found the following review helpful By othoniaboys on March 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
I respect Berube for his research on lesbian/gay participation in WWII, but there is one essay in this collection that makes me see Red (pun intended). This is "How Gay Stays White and What Kind of White It Stays." It is ironic that Berube used to live in a trailer park, because you know that White people who commit the ultimate crime of identifying with their own race are generally imagined as living in trailer parks. Berube did not identify with his race. He had his homosexuality to identify with, and we all know that White gay men are expected to identify solely with their sexuality and never, never, never with their evil, wicked, mean and nasty race. Berube's conflict about his working-class origins and middle-class destination didn't help. Well, what is wrong about White gay men who identify both with their sexuality and with their impossibly evil race? I, for example, identify with both, and I don't even live in a trailer park. It doesn't faze me one bit to know that my race is impossibly evil, because my sexuality is also considered to be impossibly evil, and I couldn't care less.
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