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LaGuardia Library Book of the Week – The Gay Revolution

LaGuardia Library Book of the Week – The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle by Lillian Faderman

The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle by Lillian Faderman cover

“The sweeping story of the modern struggle for gay, lesbian, and trans rights—from the 1950s to the present—based on amazing interviews with politicians, military figures, legal activists, and members of the entire LGBT community who face these challenges every day.

The fight for gay, lesbian, and trans civil rights—the years of outrageous injustice, the early battles, the heart-breaking defeats, and the victories beyond the dreams of the gay rights pioneers—is the most important civil rights issue of the present day. Based on rigorous research and more than 150 interviews, The Gay Revolution tells this unfinished story not through dry facts but through dramatic accounts of passionate struggles, with all the sweep, depth, and intricacies only an award-winning activist, scholar, and novelist like Lillian Faderman can evoke.

The Gay Revolution begins in the 1950s, when law classified gays and lesbians as criminals, the psychiatric profession saw them as mentally ill, the churches saw them as sinners, and society victimized them with irrational hatred. Against this dark backdrop, a few brave people began to fight back, paving the way for the revolutionary changes of the 1960s and beyond. Faderman discusses the protests in the 1960s; the counter reaction of the 1970s and early eighties; the decimated but united community during the AIDS epidemic; and the current hurdles for the right to marriage equality.

In the words of the eyewitnesses who were there through the most critical events, The Gay Revolution paints a nuanced portrait of the LGBT civil rights movement.” -– – From the publisher’s website: http://books.simonandschuster.com/

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LaGuardia Library Book of the Week – Wedlocked

Wedlocked: The Perils of Marriage Equality - How African-Americans and Gays Mistakenly Thought the Right to Marry Would Set Them Free - By Katherine Franke

 Wedlocked The Perils of Marriage Equality By Katherine Franke

“The staggering string of victories by the gay rights movement’s campaign for marriage equality raises questions not only about how gay people have been able to successfully deploy marriage to elevate their social and legal reputation, but also what kind of freedom and equality the ability to marry can mobilize.

Wedlocked turns to history to compare today’s same-sex marriage movement to the experiences of newly emancipated black people in the mid-nineteenth century, when they were able to legally marry for the first time.”

“Wedlocked is a brilliantly conceived cautionary tale of the risks of securing a ‘freedom to marry.’ Drawing upon original research into the complications that marriage rights carried for slaves freed in the 1860s, Katherine Franke warns that marriage rights are not the unalloyed triumph for gay people and same-sex couples that the Supreme Court and virtually all commentators have claimed. Anyone interested in gay marriage should read this book—but so should anyone concerned about the stubborn perseverance of racism in America. For those who appreciate irony, compare this fascinating book with Justice Thomas’s skeptical dissent in the recent marriage equality cases.”-William N. Eskridge Jr.,author of Dishonorable Passions: Sodomy Laws in America, 1861-2003

– From the publishers website: http://nyupress.org

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LaGuardia Library Book of the Week – The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper

BOOK OF THE WEEK

The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America

The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America by Ethan Michaeli

“Without the Chicago Defender, there would be no Great Migration. There would be no presidents John F. Kennedy, Harry S. Truman, or Barack Obama. In fact, without the Chicago Defender, there would be no Chicago. At least not one we’d recognize.

If those claims sound hyperbolic, read The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America, Ethan Michaeli’s captivating account of the Chicago Defender’s history and its undeniable impact—physical, social, and political—on the United States. From its genesis at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition to its post-war heyday and eventual decline, Michaeli’s painstakingly researched narrative isn’t just the story of a newspaper, nor of a single African-American community, but the story of the entire city, country, and century.”

(Morgan, Adam. "Ethan Michaeli’s The Defender Will Change the Way You See Chicago." Chicago Review of Books. N.p., 01 Feb. 2016. Web. 02 June 2016.)

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See our previous Books of the Week here.