From Identity to Politics: The Lesbian and Gay Movements in the United States

Overview

A compelling critique of the gay and lesbian movements in the U.S. and the limits of identity politics

Author Biography: Craig A. Rimmerman is Professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He is the author of several books, including The New Citizenship: Unconventional Politics, Activism, and Service.

2002 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, LGBT Studies.

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Overview

A compelling critique of the gay and lesbian movements in the U.S. and the limits of identity politics

Author Biography: Craig A. Rimmerman is Professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He is the author of several books, including The New Citizenship: Unconventional Politics, Activism, and Service.

2002 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, LGBT Studies.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Craig A. Rimmerman (The New Citizenship: Unconventional Politics, Activism, and Service) looks at sociopolitical triumphs, setbacks and future plans in From Identity to Politics: The Lesbian and Gay Movements in the United States. Rimmerman, a professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and a former Capitol Hill staffer, draws on eight years worth of interviews with activists, scholars, journalists and politicos to investigate the historical divide between scholarship, activism and mainstream political processes. Rigorous but accessible, this poli-sci take on the struggle for gay and lesbian rights offers a blueprint for those readers interested in actively linking identity-driven movements with broader progressive agendas concerning class, race and gender issues to forge a coalition for social and political change. Illus. (Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Rimmerman (political science, Hobart and William Smith Coll.; The New Citizenship) asks whether the gay and lesbian movement should pursue narrow, rights-based goals using traditional lobbying and legal strategies or a radical, liberationist strategy that would alter cultural norms and mores. This is not a new debate within the gay and lesbian community. The conservative strategy, for example, has been championed by Andrew Sullivan in Virtually Normal (LJ 9/1/95), while Urvashi Vaid called for a liberationist approach in Virtual Equality (LJ 10/1/95). Rimmerman provides a history of gay and lesbian political groups from the Mattachine Society to the Lesbian Avengers and examines their successes and failures. He devotes a chapter to the Christian Right and discusses its grass-roots organizing efforts to defeat many gay-friendly policies. Rimmerman ultimately aligns himself with Vaid, whom he cites extensively, and argues that the movement must engage in coalition building across race, class, and gender lines and some grass-roots organizing of its own to challenge the assumptions and structures that currently define what it means to be an American. Well researched and thought-provoking, this book is recommended for academic libraries. Debra Moore, Cerritos Coll., Norwalk, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566399050
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Series: Queer Politics, Queer Theories Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,263,558
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Perspectives on the Lesbian and Gay Movements 1
2 The Assimilationist Strategy: Electoral Politics and Interest-Group Liberalism 18
3 The Legal Rights Strategy 45
4 Unconventional Politics as a Strategy for Change 82
5 The Christian Right's Challenge 121
6 Critical Reflections on the Movements' Futures 155
App A Platform of the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation 187
App B The Millennium March Agenda: A Status Update 191
App C Another Divisive Anti-Gay Initiative from the OCA: Bringing Discrimination into Oregon's Schools 195
App D Basic Rights Oregon Targets Queer Youth Activists 197
Notes 199
References 215
Index 229
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