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Same-Sex Dynamics among Nineteenth-Century Americans: A MORMON EXAMPLE Paperback – June 20, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Historian Quinn, a former Brigham Young Univ. professor and now an independent scholar, has written a book that is nothing short of astonishing. Who could have possibly imagined the tolerance with which same-sex relationships were accepted by the Mormon Church, as recently as the 1940s? Quinn carefully sets the theoretical parameters of his work in the first chapters and then demonstrates, with thorough documentation, several examples of long-term relationships among Mormon same-sex couples and the environment in which they flourished. His extraordinary accomplishment is especially notable for the subtlety of his claims and the nuanced interpretation he gives them, all supported by exhaustive documentation. Strongly recommended for any collections interested in American history, religion, or queer studies.?David Azzolina, Univ. of Pennsylvania Libs., Philadelphia
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Nothing short of astonishing. . . . [Quinn's] extraordinary accomplishment is especially notable for the subtlety of his claims and . . . nuanced interpretation. -- Library Journal

Quinn's elegant book is a model of critical religious history. -- Publishers Weekly

Sterling scholarship, balanced interpretation, insightful analysis. . . . One of the most important studies to date on the topic of American sexuality. -- Anne M. Butler, Journal of American History

Thoroughly researched, comparative in approach, and subtly argued. . . . A valuable contribution to gay, lesbian, and gender studies. -- Richard D. Oueletter, Religious Studies Review
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; Reprint edition (June 20, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252069587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252069581
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #265,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gnarly1 on February 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Recently Mormon Church general authority Boyd K. Packer, a life long homophobe, once again embarrassed his church by publicly declaring homosexuality as "unnatural." His remarks were later amended in the written record.

Although published in the 1996, Quinn's book is highly germane today, as the topic of "same sex" relationships continues in heated discussions throughout the country. Mormons strongly reject those who do not fit its stereotypical "man, woman and six kids" view of marriage and sexual relations. It's strong financial support for California's punitive Proposition 8 barring same-sex marriage is another manifestation of its hostility to those "unnatural" men and women who wish to marry a person of their choice. As Quinn painstakingly shows, such intolerance was not always so in Utah or the Mormon Church. Church authorities born prior to the turn of the 20th Century had much more "liberal" attitudes toward same-sex relationships. Anti-gay Mormonism did not take hold until the 1950s.

Quinn does exhaustive research on any topic he pursues. The footnotes after each chapter are overwhelming. A reader could take days just reading through them, let alone reading the sources upon which they are based. As a consequence, there is plenty of evidence to support the proposition that homophobia has no deep roots in Mormonism and that it does not have to be such a big part of its agenda today. However, don't expect any significant changes in Mormon attitudes until Packer and his ilk are gone.
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58 of 78 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent read, and hits the history of Mormon attitudes regarding same-sex dynamics right on the nail's head. As one who has had first hand experience with both Mormonism and same-sex dynamics, I can assure you this book covers the these topics with astounding factual evidence and is devoid of any biasing, or personal agendas. As you can see from earlier reviews by folks from the Mormon hub of the U.S., this book strikes a raw nerve with their own personal and religious agendas. As Quinn so often and eloquently states: "Physical orientation and sexual orientation are not moral issues, and majority/minority phenomena in nature do not involve natural versus unnatural categories. The exceptional in nature is still natural, whether the exception is left-handedness or the homosexual orientation of erotic desire." And, I also agree with him when he states "that every human being, even those whose values or behavior I reject, is of value to God and to me."
Oh, what a kind and non-judgemental world it would be if people would love each other unconditionally, and actually put into practice, not just in word but in deed, their religious beliefs concerning tolerance, love and understanding of each other. Until that time, we all need to accept each other for who we are and bridge the gulf of misunderstanding that often leads to intolerance and hate.
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31 of 43 people found the following review helpful By gail@spacelab.net on November 8, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Best scholarship I have read in a long, long time. It is not often I can say a book actually made me see myself and my beliefs differently. As a believing Mormon I find Quinn's research into the "many silences of Mormon history" not only enlightening, but, contary to the Church's fears, inspiring. Bravo, Michael. ~Gail Richards Dedrick
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31 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Very good book. A must read for anyone who is interested in the history of same sex dynamics in American or Mormon history. Everything in the book is well documented. Its amazing to see how the church and its members attitudes towards homosexuality has changed over the years.
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 10, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Excellent scolarship and abundant reference material make this book a must for anybody interested in the subject. May be the author sees "too much" in a few things but that cannot hurt in a church that denies the obvious presence of homosexuals in its midst. It shows how the perceived perversions were not such in the past and how they are a product of recent fears and denials.
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