A Desired Past: A Short History of Same-Sex Love in America / Edition 2

Paperback (Print)
Rent
Rent from BN.com
$6.22
(Save 75%)
Est. Return Date: 11/14/2014
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$16.31
(Save 34%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $6.45
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 74%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (15) from $6.45   
  • New (9) from $23.79   
  • Used (6) from $6.45   

Overview

With this book, Leila J. Rupp accomplishes what few scholars have even attempted: she combines a vast array of scholarship on supposedly discrete episodes in American history into an entertaining and entirely readable story of same-sex desire across the country and the centuries.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While most books on gay and lesbian history tend to be scholarly, at times informed by postmodern analysis that can make them challenging for the general reader, Rupp's survey of four centuries of "same-sex love in America" is, by contrast, extremely accessible. By way of introducing her material, this professor of history at Ohio State University writes very personally about her lesbian aunt, Leila; her own coming out; and her work in the lesbian and gay community, as well as a range of contemporary issues such as antigay political initiatives and gay male urban sexual cultures. The bulk of the book, however, is an engaging but cursory look at such highlights of same-sex desire in U.S. culture as Walt Whitman's life and poetry, Emily Dickinson's "romantic friendship" with her sister-in-law, gender variations among Native American berdaches, the importance of WW II in helping gay men and lesbians come out and the growth of national gay communities. While Rupp invokes the standard sources for gay and lesbian history, including the work of Allan B rube, Esther Newton, George Chauncey, Jonathan Katz and Lillian Faderman, she tends to summarize them rather than build new or larger arguments; there is little new research here. A highly regarded scholar of women's history, Rupp has produced a version of gay American history that's suitable even for young adult readers (the promotional material refers to it as "breezy"). As much as it might be needed, it's an odd offering from a university press. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Rupp (history and women's studies, Ohio State Univ.) presents a synthesis of the work of many historians who have investigated same-sex sexuality. She provides brief accounts of the lives of people throughout American history who in some way demonstrated same-sex desire, from early Native Americans to Walt Whitman and through the aftermath of the Stonewall riot. She offers explanation and analysis of how these people and their experiences reveal prevailing attitudes toward homosexuality in the times and places they lived. Rupp acknowledges her debt to other writers, especially Jonathan Katz (whose Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A., Plume, 1992, includes many more profiles and primary sources, though less analysis). This work is very brief considering its broad scope, but it is engaging and readable. Recommended for all libraries.--Debra Moore, Loyola Marymount Univ. Lib., Los Angeles Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The Cliff Notes version of America's queer history, offering in their distilled essence the themes, struggles, and stories of 400 years of same-sex desire in the New World. Rupp (History and Women's Studies/Ohio State Univ.) frames queer history in reasonable and judicious chapters, including considerations of the sexual culture clash between European settlers and indigenous peoples, the same-sex "romantic friendships" of the 19th century, the social and personal ramifications of the medicalization of homosexuality at the turn of the 20th century, and the emergence of gay communities and organizations up to the present day. The many examples provide strong support and foundation for her argument that same-sex sexuality is a fluid and labile construction, changing and metamorphosing with the cultures it inhabits; however, combining her rigorous historical analysis with personal anecdotes and stories, some more compelling, some more closely tied to the history at hand than others, provides a clumsy narrative link to the history (why does Rupp feel her audience would be interested in her favorite color nail polish?). A Desired Past's conception as a short history teases the reader, as the book's brief synopses of eras of queer history inevitably leave one wanting more examples and analysis. Nonetheless, if one were to read this only for the flashes of insight it gives into how queer people have negotiated the contours and borders of their cultures to express and to embrace the taboo, the panorama of same-sex life which emerges stands as a sufficiently compelling reward for the effort. In a better world, if teaching the history of sexuality were a politically neutral act rather than aflashpoint issue in the culture wars, this would be an excellent text for high-school and lower-level college history classes.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226731568
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 241
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Leila J. Rupp is a professor in and chair of the Department of History at The Ohio State University.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface
1. Introduction: Thinking about Aunt Leila
2. In the Beginning: Same-Sex Sexuality in Early America
3. Worlds of Men, Worlds of Women: Sex and Romantic Friendship in an Industrializing and Expanding Nation
4. Definitions and Deviance: Sexual Transformations at the Turn of the Century
5. Coming Together: Contested Identities and the Emergence of Communities
6. Becoming a People: Lesbian and Gay Worlds and the Organization of Resistance
7. Conclusion: Something Old, Something New
Notes
References
Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)