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Mother Camp: Female Impersonators in America 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226577609
ISBN-10: 0226577600
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Esther Newton is Professor of Anthropology and Kempner Distinguished Professor at State University of New York at Purchase. She is the author of several books, including Mother Camp, a groundbreaking study of American drag queens, and Cherry Grove, Fire Island: Sixty Years in America??'s First Gay and Lesbian Town.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 158 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (May 15, 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226577600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226577609
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Linda Wayne on September 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
Newton's research in Mother Camp is now dated, however its lasting value is in the rich snapshot that she has captured of gay street and performace life pre-liberation and feminist movements. For those who were there, much of Newton's work will ring true and for those who weren't, her book measures the distance between where gay liberation was and where it is today. The reader may wish for a more poignant feminist or cultural analysis of Newton's subject but when one considers the date of the research and writing (1965-69), Newton's analysis actually displays a surprisingly astute and diasporic handling of the sex/gender system. Newton steers clear of the exceptional epi-centers of gay activity (New York, San Fran) and in doing so manages to sieze upon a drag sensibility that may be more familiar to the majority of middle American gays and lesbians. In my estimation, this book makes a perfect if not necessary historical compliment to studies that include films such as Paris is Burning or other works on drag, camp, performance, or early gay culture.
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Format: Paperback
Mother Camp is one of the foundational texts of gay studies, and for good reason. Not only is it incredible ethnographic work, but Newton was one of the first to treat queer culture with the kind of scholarly care it deserved. It's beautifully written, sharply observed, and filled with empathy for her subjects. Particularly given the resistance to her work she had to deal with (which she details in her essay collection "Margaret Mead Made Me Gay"), Mother Camp is a courageous, groundbreaking piece of scholarship. And without Esther Newton there would have been no Judith Butler: Newton's work is crucial for Butler's analysis of drag in "Gender Trouble."
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Format: Paperback
Me gusto mucho el libro, ademas ha sido de gran ayuda para poder acercarse a un trabajo antropologico, especificamente de etnografia. Claro que es un clasico y vale la pena constrastarlo con trabajos contemporaneos, pero en general es un libro que logra cautivar al lector, los ejemplos son nutridos y los analisis muy interesantes. Es un libro que debe ser leido.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another classic history of drag in the United States
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