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On the Fringe: Gays and Lesbians in Politics 1st Edition

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0801483745
ISBN-10: 0801483743
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Editorial Reviews


"In Great Britain, Canada, and the United States, gay and lesbian people have attained political clout that was inconceivable ten years ago. However, Rayside . . . argues that their influence is more marginal than is readily apparent. Here he presents a comparative overview of the political systems and the current status of 'sexual diversity' in these three countries. Case studies analyze progay legislative initiatives, with detailed, sympathetic, and nonjudgmental consideration given to the dynamics that led to victory or defeat in each circumstance. The roles of three openly gay politicians―British MP Chris Smith, Canadian MP Svend Robinson, and U.S. representative Barney Frank―are also chronicled. . . . A thoughtful, intelligent work recommended for all gay studies and political science collections."―Library Journal

"Written by a Canadian political scientist, this study of gay political movements in Britain, Canada, and the United States is comprehensive and timely. . . . The book's strength for American readers is its message that the gay political experience is not strictly an American phenomenon; indeed, developments here and in Canada and Britain are substantially similar."―Hastings Wyman, Washington Post Book World

"Rayside's book offers a thorough assessment of the significance of legislative politics for the gay and lesbian agenda. . . . Timely and highly informative. General readers; upper-division graduates and above."―Choice

"In addition to being an insightful comparative analysis of the state(s) of the movement(s) in . . . three countries, On the Fringe is the first scholarly work to clearly demonstrate the crucial role of openly gay officials in our struggle for equal rights. . . . Rayside does a brilliant job of illuminating the ideological and strategic differences that often serve to divide us."―Kathleen DeBold, Lambda Book Report

"David Rayside's book offers clear analysis and distinct lessons from some of the major recent civil rights battles to take place in the three most important English-speaking nations of the northern hemisphere. . . . An accessible look at recent gay and lesbian political history."―Quill and Quire

"An impressive accomplishment. . . . On the Fringe will provide an invaluable resource for many years to come. . . . A significant contribution to lesbian and gay scholarship on political campaigns in the legislative arena."―Canadian Journal of Political Science

"David Rayside's book on gay men, lesbians, and the political process in Britain, the United States, and Canada is an impressive piece of work, wholly unlike anything that I know in the literature. On the Fringe is elegantly written and lucidly argued, and it brings together an ambitious set of compelling cases. The cumulative force of the argument makes David Rayside's nuanced but clear conclusions persuasive and insightful."―Timothy Cook, Williams College

"In this elegantly written and carefully researched study, David Rayside has made an invaluable contribution to the gay and lesbian politics, and the comparative social movement literatures. On the Fringe will be of great interest to teachers, students, and activists, largely due to its thoughtful comparative analysis of political access and the impact of the gay and lesbian movement in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom."―Craig A. Rimmerman, editor of Gay Rights, Military Wrongs: Political Perspectives on Lesbians and Gays in the Military

"Homosexuality, which once could not be named amongst respectable people, let alone legislators, has in recent years become a touchstone issue in many western countries. It poses fundamental questions both about our cultural response to sexual diversity, and about the effectiveness of popularly elected bodies in responding to profound social change. David Rayside's book has for the first time examined in depth the challenge and the difficulties of the legislative route to sexual equality across several important jurisdictions. The result is a salutary study of the necessity of legal change and of the hazards of the legislative journey. The book provides a necessary map, but also an insightful analysis of the combustible mixture produced by the marriage of lesbian and gay politics and the traditional democratic process."―Jeffrey Weeks, author of Invented Moralities

"This is a landmark political analysis of the legislative gains and losses of gay and lesbian movements in three countries; includes insightful biographies about the art of survival and success among three out gay politicians."―Barry D. Adam, University of Windsor, author of The Rise of a Gay and Lesbian Movement

"This book is an important milestone in that it uses gay and lesbian political struggles to illuminate broader truths about the political systems of three significant states. It is a pioneering work in the creation of a queer political science."―Dennis Altman, La Trobe University

"Rayside's blend of lively narrative and incisive analysis makes this a fine read. This will be a major contribution to our understanding of lesbian and gay politics."―Shane Phelan, author of Getting Specific: Postmodern Lesbian Politics

From The Washington Post

Rayside gives great moral credence to the activist's romantic, right-or-wrong, all-or-nothing view of politics, but he never justifies their case. Probably when it comes down to it, their strategy leaves the gay community not on the fringe but beyond it.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (March 26, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801483743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801483745
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,183,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Peggy H. Chase on April 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book was more detailed and shall we say "technical?" than what I expected....not the kind of book that I would sit down and read from cover to cover.....just skimmed through it when I first received it,,,may look at it again some day
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