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The World Turned: Essays on Gay History, Politics, and Culture Paperback – October 8, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A rabble-rousing college student in the 1960s, a gay liberation activist from the 1970s on, and a former director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Public Policy Institute in the 1990s, University of Illinois history professor John D'Emilio witnessed first-hand the flowering of gay rights and gay acceptance in American culture, as well as the political backlash. He records these in The World Turned: Essays on Gay History, Politics, and Culture. The previously published personal essays, speeches, reviews and biographical sketches cover such subjects as the career of civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, the evolution of D'Emilio's sex life, the search for the "gay gene" and Pat Buchanan's homophobic star turn during the 1992 Republican National Convention.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Collections of previously published academic essays are useful primarily because of the convenience they provide readers already interested in the author's work and glad to throw away their accumulated photocopies. But the essays and speeches collected here hold together in a more profound way. Leading gay activist D'Emilio (Univ. of Illinois, Chicago) is one of the great pioneers of gay history, having published the first academic monograph on the subject in 1983. He was also head of the Public Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. The 16 pieces collected here, which cover historical topics, contemporary issues, and personal essays, blend together into a vivid portrait of gay thought in the past 15 years, showing how the gay community became a vital part of American life during the 1990s. D'Emilio's historical interest in Bayard Rustin, the unsung hero of the civil rights era, dovetails well with his contemporary political commentary. There are also essays on the influence of AIDS activist and writer Larry Kramer, the gay gene controversy, the legacy of radical gay liberation, and more. All academic libraries will want this title, and many public libraries need to consider it as well because the essays are not only inherently interesting but also clearly and accessibly written. D.S. Azzolina, Univ. of Pennsylvania Libs., Philadelphia
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (October 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822330237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822330233
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,152,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery Mingo on October 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book reflects D'Emilio's roles as gay history scholar and policy director at the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF). It resembles both his rigorous scholarly "Sexual Politics,..." and his social commenting "Making Trouble." This book will be both a challenge and a pleasure to everyday gay folks and nerdy queer theorists. The book is a compilation of essays regarding gay rights in the 90s, civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, and other such topics. Some people may not like the scrapbook feel here. D'Emilio chose to start the work with the heady academic stuff and that may scare off readers who will really enjoy the rest of it. Many of the entries are speeches he gave and they become repetitive after a while. Still, he does a great job of assessing gay rights in the last decade and summarizing the struggle over the past half century. D'Emilio is ever the counterintuitive thinker, but that's exactly what open-minded gay people need to be reading. A lot of the chapters center upon boys, but D'Emilio still maintains his status as a very pro-feminist, anti-androcentric gay male theorist. He does include this chapter about his changing sex life which implies that he and his partner are celibate; a fact that I highly doubt. However, his discussion about NGLTF is wonderful; there hasn't been enough analysis of gay institutions. At times, the book is kinda preachy and defensive. Still, I'm glad he opens a space for gay work that is not as light as "The Advocate" but not as heavy as Foucault. He still shows that he's a sharp progressive thinker and many ppl would benefit by getting their hands on this book.
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