- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Free Press (April 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743210719
- ISBN-13: 978-0743210713
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,228,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Coming Out Under Fire Paperback – April 1, 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
Berube also reveals the tensions that occurred within the military establishment as efforts were made to refine and reform policies dealing with homosexuality. He discusses the interrogation and imprisonment of gay troops. Other interesting topics covered are gay slang and coded language, and the use of female impersonators in GI shows like "This Is the Army."
The book includes a number of black-and-white photographs and reproductions. There is also a note on sources used, such as interviews, letters, and government documents. There are also extensive endnotes. Throughout the book, Berube brings forth the voices of many WW2 veterans. Ultimately he looks at the impact of WW2 on the evolution of gay culture and political activism. I consider this book to be an essential companion to Randy Shilts' monumental "Conduct Unbecoming: Gays & Lesbians in the U.S. Military," which focuses on the post-WW2 era. "Coming Out Under Fire" is a remarkable achievement: poignant and inspiring, it is a valuable addition to the fields of both lesbian and gay studies and military history.
Gay activists expecting to see a book that falls into the "Gays were fine in the military until Ronald Reagan and all those born again Christians came along" are gonna be REAL REAL disappointed in THIS text. Being gay was no problem in the military until psychiatrists developed cute little oppression theories and wondered if it might be more 'compassionate' to dismiss gays from the armed services. When did THIS happen? Why, just prior and during WWII! The primary motivation was to get respect for their profession of psychiatry and if that meant a few hundred--few thousand--few hundred thousand, by now--gays in the US armed forces had a tougher go of it, well, that was just too bad.Read more ›
It can certainly be said that The United States of America has more to be proud of than most nations. Our achievements are many and justly celebrated. However, there are episodes in our great nation's history which cause us to feel anger, contempt and sorrow. We must remember that it was "we the people" who allowed the near genocide of America's indigenous peoples; the enslavement of hundreds of thousands of Africans; the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII; the persecution of American Leftists during the McCarthy era; and, just as egregious, the wanton and callus betrayal of American soldiers who's only crime was being born gay or lesbian.
Stories of inhuman degradation at the hands of a malicious psychiatric community bent on establishing a solid and permanent reputation within the medical community, are plentiful.
The great majority of these men and women served the Untied States with distinction. That their patriotism was met with contempt, and their lives often ruined by a "blue" discharge, is a stain on our nation's honor.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have not yet read this book (but am looking forward to it). The Amazon description is not quite accurate. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Jay White
Berube has a wealth of interviews, illuminating gay life before, during and after World War II, the intricacies of medical and official policies, and the huge part the war made in... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Mike Barnes
This historical revue is a good source in itself and its bibliography of history of same sex couple during the Second World War. Read morePublished on January 9, 2014 by Steven Cottrell
I had to buy it for a class. It was an interesting and insightful book.Published on September 19, 2010 by M. Gluaymai
This is a very well-researched study of a subject that has long been hidden and ignored. In addition to being a top-quality study of America's treatment of gay & lesbian citizens... Read morePublished on January 30, 2008 by Gregory C. Eaton