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Stonewall Paperback – Illustrated, May 1, 1994

4.0 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A police raid on the Stonewall, an unlicensed Greenwich Village gay bar, set off a series of riots in the summer of 1969 that mark the birth of the modern gay and lesbian political movement. Duberman ( Paul Robeson ) re-examines this event through the vibrant, intertwined portraits of six people--two lesbians, three gay men, one transvestite--whose lives converged at the Stonewall Rebellion and in the militant movement it spawned. Politically, his six subjects run the gamut from ex-priest Jim Fouratt--a leftist and Yippie cohort of Abbie Hoffman--to Foster Gunnison, who devoted his energies to moderate gay causes and later became a conservative. Yvonne Flowers, a black feminist, overcame her suspicion that the gay movement was not open to people of color, while transvestite Sylvia Rivers faced hostility from lesbians. Duberman, himself gay, exposes schisms in gay liberation that pitted gay men against lesbians, male chauvinists against feminists, whites against blacks. Photos. First serial to Grand Street; QPB selection.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Historian Duberman, author of Cures: A Gay Man's Odyssey ( LJ 2/15/91), chronicles here the Stonewall riots that occurred in New York City during the summer of 1969. Involving gays and lesbians who fought back against a police raid at a Greenwich Village bar, these street battles marked a watershed event in gay and lesbian rights in this country. Duberman's work is a combination of biography and history that is primarily viewed through the words of six participants (four men and two women) who were either at the Stonewall riots or involved in the gay and lesbian politics of the time. It is often a powerful and compelling narrative that shows how an oppressed minority arrived at a historic moment and changed forever the way they would view themselves and how others would view them. Recommended for all public libraries and gay and lesbian special collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/93.
- Richard Drezen, Merrill Lynch Lib., New York
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (May 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452272068
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452272064
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
For those unfamiliar with the word, "Stonewall" was a gay bar of the 1960s Greenwich Village district in New York. Like most gay bars of its place and time, it was mafia operated and kept its doors open through repeated pay-offs to a corrupt police beaurocracy; even so, in an era when gays and lesbians were considered intrinsically criminal it was subject to repeated raids and its staff and customers were often arrested.

In the early morning hours of 28 June 1969, police officers conducted such a raid--but instead of encountering a fearful, easily managed crowd, they ran afoul of a handful of people who had had enough of police intimidation and harassment. The resulting confrontation spilled into the street and quickly exploded into a full-blow riot that continued on and off for several days.

Although it received little coverage by mainstream media, the incident was quickly recognized by many in the gay and lesbian community as a turning point, and the gay rights movement suddenly became activistic in tone. That activism would shape the drive toward decriminalization, an increasing openess, and a determination to obtain equal rights that continues to direct gay and lesbian issues to this day.

Given its central role in a controversial social movement, the Stonewall riots are more than worthy of a detailed examination by a major historian, and certainly Martin Duberman is all of that, a highly respected academian and noted author who is particularly noted for his documentation of the gay experience in 20th Century America. But in truth, you will find out very little about the riots from his 1993 book STONEWALL. In a 282 page text, neither Stonewall nor the riots are mentioned until page 181--and Dubberman's account of the riots is all of twenty pages long.
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Format: Paperback
As a straight female raised in the bible belt, my level of education about the Gay Rights movement was at best minimal. We learned about Women's Rights and Civil Rights in school, but never Gay Rights. Anyway, I became very interested in Gay Literature earlier this year, and was often confused by references to Stonewall and other historical events/places/people.
Mr. Duberman's book, which, to be honest, I picked because it was the only book of its type available at the bookstore here in my small Texas town, was interesting and a fast, entertaining read. I especially liked the way Duberman followed a small group of people over a long period of time. Learning about an historical event through the eyes of people who were actually there gave me a far better understanding than a bland, general history might have.
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Format: Paperback
The "Stonewall" in the title of this intriguing, if narrow, study by Martin Duberman was a mobster-controlled New York City bar which was the scene of a series of "riots" in the summer of 1969, now regarded as an important milestone in the movement for gay and lesbian rights. Duberman, who teaches at the City University of New York, has written extensively in the field of gay and lesbian studies, and this is one of his best-known books. This is more a work of anthropology than a comprehensive history of the origins of the gay liberation movement because it is built around a series of sketches of gay and lesbian life in New York in the 1960s. Duberman focuses on the lives of six gay and lesbian activists, and his research is prodigious, but, whether the lives he selected were representative of the times is subject to debate. In the preface, Duberman acknowledges the book's "emphasis on personality," and the story it tells also includes an interesting mix of petty mobsters and corrupt cops, as well as walk-on appearances by the famous and later-to-be famous, including future San Francisco Mayor Harvey Milk, Yippie leaders Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, civil rights pioneer Bayard Rustin, author Rita Mae Brown, and Jim Morrison, The Doors' front-man. But there is more to writing history than profiling the leaders even of great social movements.
Duberman is well aware of the important context surrounding the events about which he writes. According to the author: "'Stonewall' is the emblematic event in modern lesbian and gay history" because the series of riots "has become synonymous over the years with gay resistance to oppression." He asserts that his focus on individuals "will increase the ability of readers to identify...with experiences different from, but comparable to, their own.
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I enjoyed learning about Stonewall. Martin Duberman begins with a biographical look at some of the participants. This gives us a
good idea of the background of the times and the people involved. He paints a strong picture of the difficulties gays and lesbians had to face and the culture clashes leading up to the riot. His research into the details is incredible. However, I found it difficult to keep the people straight, and after reading a dozen or so of the biographical sections I lost some of the characters. Nevertheless, the book manages to show the hell that gays and lesbians went through and the ongoing desire to create a national organization. As the civil rights movement got stronger and stronger and the fight for freedom and justice began to be realized, so did the desire of gays and lesbians to be free from harrassment and violence, to be free from the stigma of the medical community's view of them as sick people, and to have the same rights as other people. When the police decided to raid the Stonewall bar on the night of Judy Garland's death, the patrons felt it was time to stop running and time to stand and fight.
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