Metropolitan Lovers: The Homosexuality of Cities

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"From the destruction of Sodom to the selling of Gay Street and from Tales of the City to The L Word, urban life and homosexuality have been made inseparable in Western culture. In this book, Julie Abraham investigates the evolution of this symbiotic relationship over the past two centuries, tracing how homosexuals have simultaneously become model citizens of the modern city and avatars of the urban." Exploring the lives of prominent gay men and women, literary depictions of gay city life, classic works of urban theory, and the rhetoric of political reformers, Abraham challenges conventional thinking about what it means to be metropolitan and what it means to be queer. From Paris, London, and Manchester, to Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, Abraham maps the connections, the exchanges of meaning, and the transfers of value that inform ideas of homosexuality and the city, ideas that have shaped modern life. While the city and homosexuality have long been associated, Abraham analyzes their convergence with unprecedented insight and reveals the inescapable consequences - both positive and negative of this union.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
From San Francisco's historic Castro neighborhood to New York's Chelsea district, the gay and lesbian community is alive and well in cities across America, bringing gentrification, social change and tight-knit communities with them. In this analytical survey, author and professor Abraham (Are Girls Necessary?, Diana: A Strange Autobiography) takes a look at the link between cities and homosexuals, presenting pros and the cons from both sides. A central focus is the stigma and obstacles faced by homosexuals generating community; Abraham sees homosexuals in public life as "simultaneously-and inextricably-a social outcast and a weaver of social webs," who nevertheless are cementing their place through the popular and "mutually reinforcing" ideas of both urban life and homosexual life as "lacking family or domestic ties."Throughout, Abraham makes such unlikely, interesting connections between gay and straight figures; regarding Jane Jacobs and James Baldwin, Abraham pursues "the resonance of her work with contemporary gay concerns, and the centrality of his conceptions of the city to his understandings of the world." Abraham's deft look at this seemingly disparate duo is echoes throughout, especially in more ambivalent discussions about modern-day (post-Stonewall) "ghettoized" gay communities. Bolstered by expertise, balance and solid reporting, this sociological report is a solid addition to any GLBT studies library.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816638185
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 2/20/2009
  • Series: Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Ser.
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 357
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface: The Lives of Homosexuals in the Idea of the City

Pt. I Setting Terms

1 Les Lesbiennes, or The City in History 3

2 Oscar Wilde in Los Angeles 37

Pt. II Claiming Residence

3 Perverts in Groups 83

4 City of Women 111

5 Radclyffe Hall at the Chicago School 141

Pt. III The Fear and Hope of Great American Cities

6 Paris, Harlem, Hudson Street - 1961 169

7 City of Feeling 221

Afterword: Queer in the Great City 273

Notes 301

Index 351

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