- Hardcover: 296 pages
- Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; New edition edition (May 14, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807831158
- ISBN-13: 978-0807831151
- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,006,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ask and Tell: Gay and Lesbian Veterans Speak Out New edition Edition
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The Amazon Book Review
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"Ask and Tell" offers the most comprehensive stories to date and provides a forum for veterans to discuss the legacy of the military's infamous 'don't ask, don't tell' policy."--"Publishers Weekly"
This is a remarkable oral history collection. Estes' book reads as a narrative of the long history of lesbian and gay military service, documenting the challenges and triumphs of lesbian and gay enlisted personnel and officers in every service through eloquent and moving testimonials. Fascinating, provocative, deeply moving, and vitally necessary, these testimonials highlight the courage of ordinary women and men who answered the call to serve and in telling their stories continue to serve this nation by disrupting the collective amnesia that surrounds gay and lesbian military service.--Leisa D. Meyer, The College of William and Mary
Ask and Tell helps us to reclaim the humanity of gay people in the military--to see their stories in all their textured, varied, and contradictory detail. . . . What Estes has done, in short, is to undertake a work of social and historical reconstruction. He distills complex stories of human experience, rendering them approachable without attempting to draw out of them the seamlessness of a legal complaint or the fluency of a novel. Right now, such unembellished reconstruction is just what we need.--The International History Review
Whether one believes the military should lift its ban on open confession of homosexuality or not, it is hard to argue with Estes that 'at the very least, this volume documents courage that should not be forgotten.' Estes's work is a welcome addition to the debate over homosexuals in the military and an appreciable addition to an all-too-elided aspect of military history.--Military Review
[A] compelling book.--Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare
An excellent history of both gay and lesbian life and the gay rights movement. . . . These narratives tell volumes about the experiences of gay servicemen and women, and powerfully illustrate how patriotism and commitment to service cut across gender and sexuality. The narratives will make important contributions to classroom discussions in sexuality, sociology, gender studies, and military history. Highly recommended.--Choice
An indispensable document.--Women: A Cultural Review
The great value of this book lies in the documentation of the personal lives described, and how their career progress and personal happiness were impeded by institutionalized homophobia.--Bay Area Reporter
A deeper understanding emerges of military culture and the way 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' runs counter to the military's core values. [Estes's interviewees] take Senator Sam Nunn's argument--that the cramped living conditions of military life preclude the integration of gay and straight troops--and turn it on its head.--The Journal of American History
While several notable books have considered the experiences of gay and lesbian veterans in WWII and Vietnam, Ask and Tell offers the most comprehensive stories to date and provides a forum for veterans to discuss the legacy of the military's infamous 'don't ask, don't tell' policy.--Publishers Weekly
These oral histories are eloquent, poignant, harrowing, inspiring, and more. The testimony of these veterans forces us to think about American military history and gay life in altogether new ways. Ask and Tell is a revelation.--John D'Emilio, coauthor of Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America
At a time when many are questioning the ability of the US military to sustain a large troop force for a prolonged period in Iraq without draftees or less-qualified volunteers, Steve Estes's Ask & Tell is a reminder that top-quality men and women are not always at home in the service--at least not if the Pentagon thinks they are lesbian or gay.--Journal of American Culture
The stories here are simply riveting. Unlike any other author, Estes has compiled a remarkably broad cast of individuals from every recent era, allowing the reader to trace the history of gays and lesbians in the military in a very comprehensive way. This is an outstanding book that will be of great interest and pleasure to a wide range of readers.--Aaron Belkin, University of California, Santa Barbara
This essential oral history collection tells the stories we were never meant to hear and ultimately calls for an end to one of America's bastions of homophobia.--Curve
Top customer reviews
Hopefully with the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", things will start to improve. This is an important book, especially since most of the veterans from WWII and the Korean War have passed on. But their stories will live on, thanks to the author, Mr. Estes. It is too bad a book couldn't have been written exclusively about WWII veterans.
Steve Estes has done a remarkable job. Through the personal accounts of dozens of gay veterans, the author has woven a coherent and compelling narrative. His subjects span every military branch and rank, every kind of family background and all corners of the U.S. They are endearing, instructive and always entertaining. Their stories show just how capricious military policy on homosexuality has been: some serve openly and honorably, others, no less honorable, are hounded out of the service with an indelible stain on their records and on their lives.
It's always a pleasure to swap war stories with fellow vets, young and old. This collection is now a part of that time-honored tradition. Reading it, I felt like those men and women were talking right to me. Their stories conjured so many memories in me - of basic training, barracks life, sexual politics and, yes, war - that I know I will take great delight in reading and re-reading this book for many years to come.
It is a great read for gay service members especially! It will make you feel much more normal to hear about other service members with similar experiences and how they managed.