A Supreme Court lawyer and political pundit details the enthralling and groundbreaking story of the gay rights movement, revealing how a dedicated and resourceful minority changed America forever.
When the modern struggle for gay rights erupted—most notably at a bar called Stonewall in Greenwich Village—in the summer of 1969, most religious traditions condemned homosexuality; psychiatric experts labeled people who were attracted to others of the same sex "crazy"; and forty-nine states outlawed sex between people of the same gender. Four decades later, in June 2011, New York legalized gay marriage—the most populous state in the country to do so thus far. The armed services stopped enforcing Don't Ask, Don't Tell, ending a law that had long discriminated against gay and lesbian members of the military. Successful social movements are always extraordinary, but these advances were something of a miracle.
Political columnist Linda Hirshman recountsthe long roads that led to these victories, viewing the gay rights movement within the tradition of American freedom as the third great modern social-justice movement, alongside the civil rights movement and the women's rights movement. Drawing on an abundance of published and archival material, and hundreds of in-depth interviews, Hirshman shows, in this astute political analysis, how the fight for gay rights has changed the American landscape for all citizens—blurring rigid gender lines, altering the shared culture, and broadening our definitions of family.
From the Communist cross-dresser Harry Hay in 1948 to New York's visionary senator Kirsten Gillibrand in 2010, the story includes dozens of brilliant, idiosyncratic characters. Written in vivid prose, at once emotional and erudite, Victory is an utterly vibrant work of reportage and eyewitness accounts, revealing how, in a matter of decades, while facing every social adversary—church, state, and medical establishment—a focused group of activists forged a classic campaign for cultural change that will serve as a model for all future political movements.
They have done extensive research and both written more than one good book on this topic.
Very well written and compelling, it tells the rich, awe-inspiring, and quite incredible history of the gay community.
"Victory" is a really fascinating and thorough look at the history of the gay movement in America.
Excellent chronological history and I experienced it from the 40's to the present. Well written and I have sure changed my mind about some presidencies and focus on the family. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Steve Harrington
What a really great history filled book. I would recommend it to anyone who would like the real story.Published 5 months ago by AJN13
Fantastic encapsulation of a movement so long overdue yet hindered at every turnPublished 6 months ago by Luke McGreevy
Eye opening, so much of this happening during my youth and young adulthood that I was so unaware of.Published 6 months ago by susan robedee
Gays have won the revolution. The author sets forth numerous examples of battles fought, of battles won and lost and points out the biggest victory of all: the ongoing war against... Read morePublished 7 months ago by dormouse3
The author gives us the history of the gay rights movement on the precipice of a Supreme Court decision to allow gay marriage nationally. Well written. Very readable. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Brian Eckert
And The Band Played On by Shilts was much better if you want to read a book about gay people. Of course he can't write any more since he died of AIDS, but this book is just not... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Survivor
My actual knowledge of gay history is embarrassingly minimal, so I picked this up from the library. Hirshman's focus here is on the American gay rights movement and it's meteoric... Read morePublished 10 months ago by jafrank