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Discharged in 2002 from the US Army under the provisions of ?Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell,? Alexander Nicholson was shocked to learn there was no group advocating DADT?s repeal that was reaching out to active military or veterans organizations. Nicholson believed the repeal effort needed spokespersons who understood military culture, who could talk about DADT?s impact on those who serve to those who serve and served. Someone like him.
From this idea Servicemembers United, the largest ...
Discharged in 2002 from the US Army under the provisions of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Alexander Nicholson was shocked to learn there was no group advocating DADT’s repeal that was reaching out to active military or veterans organizations. Nicholson believed the repeal effort needed spokespersons who understood military culture, who could talk about DADT’s impact on those who serve to those who serve and served. Someone like him.
From this idea Servicemembers United, the largest organization for gay and lesbian servicemembers, was born. Nicholson and several others who had been discharged under DADT toured the United States, where they spoke at American Legion posts, on radio talk shows, and at press conferences across the South and on both coasts. Surprised at the mostly positive reception that the tour provoked, Nicholson and Servicemembers United were propelled to the forefront of the DADT repeal fight.
In time Nicholson became the only named plaintiff in the successful lawsuit that ordered the policy overturned, forcing the US Congress to act. Fighting to Serve gives a no-holds-barred account of the backstage strategies and negotiations, revealing how various LGBT organizations, the Congress, the Pentagon, and the White House often worked at cross purposes. But in the end, it was the pressure brought by active veterans, a court ruling out of California, and a few courageous senators, representatives, and military leaders that brought the destructive policy to an end.
"[Nicholson] provides a rarely seen look at how activist organizations tirelessly work to build delicate alliances in Washington. . . An intriguing look at gay activism inside the Beltway." —Kirkus
"Nicholson opens a window on the world of issue advocacy politics, providing keen insight into a realm of political operations that generally occurs out of the public view while offering a working model of a successful movement." —Publishers Weekly
"Former Servicemembers United founder Alexander Nicholson gives an insider's look at the multi-year effort, all in a surprisingly approachable manner. His own military story would have been reason enough for a book, but thankfully we now have a fascinating—and important—look at history, too." — Instinct Magazine
"Don't read this if you don't want to see how the sausage is made." — Outsmart
1 "I Am Not an Activist" 1
2 Revival 15
3 A Call to Duty 21
4 New Partnerships 43
5 Hearings and Elections 57
6 "Servicemembers' Milestone" 69
7 Executive Options 77
8 A New Quarterback on the Field 89
9 State of the Union and Secret Meetings 103
10 Bombshell Hearings 119
11 Celebrities on the Stage and Soldiers at the Gate 137
12 Old Partnerships 151
13 The Amendment and Not-So-Secret Meetings 165
14 Victory and Defeat 177
15 Winning the Lottery 197
16 Lame Ducks 211
17 The Report, More Hearings, and Final Victory 227
18 Certification and the Countdown to Repeal 249
19 Beyond Repeal 269
Posted February 6, 2013
Posted September 22, 2012
They say don't judge a book by its cover, but in this case the self serving cover photo matches the grandious ego the author puts on full display in the contents of this literary dud. I've already returned this item back to the store.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 17, 2012
An exceptional telling of the struggle and eventual victorious repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”. Mr Nicholson tells an honest (and at times humorous) firsthand account of the repeal of DADT. This book is a great read for anyone looking for a historical account, or simply a great book that will have you laughing, crying, and eventually celebrating one of the greatest moments in 2011. I can only hope that Mr Nicholson will be available to write the story of the repeal of DOMA as well.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.