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.
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.