Queer America: A GLBT History of the 20th Century

Hardcover (Print)


Perhaps no topic today is politically more divisive than homosexuality, particularly when it is coupled with the deeply rooted concept of civil rights. This work focuses on 20th/21st- century U. S. history as it pertains to GLBT history. Major issues and events such as the Stonewall riot, Don't Ask, Don't Tell in the military, same-sex marriage, gay rights, gay pride, organizations and alliances, AIDS, and legal battles and court cases are discussed. Also included are sidebars highlighting major debates, legal landmarks and key individuals. A timeline and further reading sections concluding each chapter as well as a full bibliography and black and white images enhance the text.

In these opening years of the 21st century in the United States, perhaps no topic is more divisive than homosexuality, particularly when it is coupled with the deeply rooted concept of civil rights. The same-sex marriage debate, for example, is but part of a larger discussion over issues crucial to American life, such as the role of law in the lives of individuals, relationships among law, economics, and morality, and the values thought to distinguish and define us. GLBT history is not just the struggle for rights, it is people simply living their lives the best they knew how regardless of the terms they or others use for them. This work focuses on U. S. history and, within that, the 20th century, particularly because the vast majority of work in GLBT history has been during this place and time. Major issues and events such as the Stonewall riot, Don't Ask, Don't Tell in the military, same-sex marriage, gay rights, gay pride, organizations and alliances, AIDS, and legal battles and court cases are discussed.

Included in this reference work are sidebars highlighting major debates, legal landmarks and key individuals. A timeline and further reading sections concluding each chapter as well as a full bibliography and black and white images enhance the text.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Queer America works well as both a broad-based history and a gateway to the key literature of the field. Eaklor . . . organizes Queer America as a chronology of GLBT life during specific eras. These engaging chapters weave together primary writings and interviews with political events and social history. . . . Queer America is recommended for academic libraries and public libraries with well-developed GLBT reference holdings. . ."


Reference & User Services Quarterly

"A great deal has been written about twentieth-century U.S. history as well as about the history of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered (GLBT) people, but this excellent volume is unique in combining the two as a survery of GLBT twentieth-century American history. An outstanding reference that belongs in every academic and public collection, Queer America is written for the general reader with a view to documenting how fully in the last century GLBT history is U.S. history….Queer America is eminently successful in accomplishing its goal of being a one-stop handbook to U.S. GLBT history of the twentieth century."



"Within the context of historical events, the author discusses the growth of gay issues throughout the 20th century. An extensive time line opens the book and includes landmarks in civil rights and women's rights, as well as gay rights, which are explored in subsequent chapters. The writing is scholarly with few illustrations, but each chapter includes a boxed insert that further explores key debatable questions, such as the importance of the Stonewall Riot and whether homosexuals should serve in the military."


Curriculum Connections

School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up

Arranged chronologically except for a laborious beginning chapter explaining what gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender history is, this scholarly and sometimes dense overview meticulously places the record of GLBT America in the context of U.S. history as a whole. For example, in a chapter on the 1960s, the author discusses Vietnam; the Great Society; and the civil rights, feminist, and peace movements before discussing the gay community during that era. Each chapter includes a sidebar with a pertinent debate topic, such as "How Important Was the Stonewall Riot?" In addition, the book has a time line of key events from 1890 to 2005 and an extensive bibliography, which add to the usefulness of this source for reports or for serious older teens who simply want to learn more about GLBT history in the U.S. Queer America will complement well Alsenas's Gay America (Abrams, 2008), which is for younger students.-Betty S. Evans, Missouri State University, Springfield

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313337499
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/30/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 1,530,677
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

VICKI L. EAKLOR is Professor of History at Alfred University. She has edited, authored, and contributed to numerous works including Bringing Lesbian and Gay Rights Into the Mainstream: Twenty Years of Progress; "Where Have We Been, Where Are We Going, and Who Gets to Say?" in Modern American Queer History; and "Striking Chords and Touching Nerves: Myth and Gender in Gone With the Wind," in Images: A Journal of Film and Popular Culture, imagesjournal.com.

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Table of Contents

Preface     xi
Acknowledgments     xv
Abbreviations     xvii
Timeline: 1890-2005     xix
What Is GLBT History?     1
A Note on Terms     2
GLBT History Today     3
What Is GLBT History?     3
U.S. History and GLBT History     3
Who to Include and Why?     6
Debate: Is Homosexuality Historical?     8
Suggested Resources     11
Into the 20th Century     13
Colonial Legacies     14
Europe before Contact     15
Collision and Dominance     16
Three Revolutions     19
Political     19
Economic     22
Social     24
Organizing Personal Lives in the 19th Century     24
Marriage     25
Friendship     25
Women Passing as Men     28
Limits and Laws     30
Constructing the Medical Model     31
The United States and Europe in the 1890s     32
The Sexologists     33
Sexual Politics at the Turn of the Century     36
Debate: What Are the Roots of Homophobia?     38
SuggestedResources     40
Sexualities and Communities through Two World Wars     43
Life in the Cities to the Twenties     45
Capitalism, Gender, and Sexuality     47
Reform and Reformers     48
New Women     50
Congregating Together     51
World War and Its Aftermath     53
The Jazz Age     54
The Society for Human Rights     55
Blues and Jazz     55
New York, New York     57
Americans and Europeans     59
Depression, New Deals, Old Ideals     61
The United States and the World     61
Gender, Work, and Play     62
Stage and Screen     63
World War II     67
Fighting the War, Fighting the Military     68
The Home Front     69
A New Era     69
Debate: Should Homosexuals Serve in the Military?     70
Suggested Resources     74
Queers in Cold War America     77
Images versus Realities     78
Striving for Consensus     78
Sexology Revisited     79
Simmering Discontent     82
Boiling Over     83
The Politics of Anticommunism     84
The United States in the World     84
Red Scares     86
A Lavender Scare     87
Queer Arts, American Arts     90
A Homosexual Minority     93
Communities and Identities     93
Postwar Organizations     96
A National Movement     99
Debate: What Did the Kinsey Studies Prove?     100
Suggested Resources     103
The Sixties     107
Dreams of Change     108
Marching on Washington     108
Feminism Reborn     111
Culture and Counterculture     112
Cold and Hot Wars     113
Liberalism under Attack     114
Peace and Violence     116
"Gay Is Good"     117
A Public Presence     117
Stonewall     122
Gay Liberation     124
Debate: How Important Was the Stonewall Riot?     124
Suggested Resources     128
Cultures and Politics after Stonewall     131
Communities and Cultural Expressions     132
Towns and Neighborhoods     132
Institutions     133
Images, Types, and Stereotypes      138
In Print     140
Women, Feminists, Lesbians     142
Success and Limits of the Second Wave     142
Lesbian Feminism as Theory and Practice     145
Music and Festivals     146
A Burst of Organizing     148
In the Academy     148
The Task Force and Lambda Legal     149
The APA Victory     150
Outsiders among Outsiders     151
Political Arenas     152
The Democratic Party     153
Running for Office     153
Legislating against Discrimination     155
A National Bill     155
One Step Forward...     156
Debate: Assimilation or Liberation?     158
Suggested Resources     161
Backlash and Regrouping     165
From Carter to Reagan     167
A New Right     168
Antigay Legislation and Violence     169
National Lobbying, Lesbian and Gay Rights     171
The First March on Washington     172
Human Rights Campaign Fund     173
The Challenge of AIDS     174
From "Gay Cancer" to HIV     174
Responses     175
Unity and Division      178
Law and Politics     182
Running for Office     182
The National Bill in the Eighties     184
Families, Relationships, and Work     184
Sodomy Law and Bowers v. Hardwick     186
Visibility, Media, and Culture     187
The Second March and National Coming Out Day     187
As Seen on TV (and Other Media)     189
"Culture Wars"     191
Debate: Should Public Figures Be "Outed"?     192
Suggested Resources     195
The GLBT Nineties     197
New Regime, Old Struggles     198
The '92 Elections     198
Don't Ask, Don't Tell     199
Another March     203
Debates and Division     204
The Mainstream and Its Critics     205
Sex, Gender, Identity     206
Law and Politics     211
(Still) Running for Office     212
In the States     213
The National Scene     215
A Gay Ambassador     217
Cultural Issues and Institutions     218
Education     219
Health     220
Religion     221
Media Old and New      222
Speaking Out     222
Ellen Comes Out     223
TV and Film     224
Words and Music     225
On the Web     226
Debate: Is There a "Gay Gene"?     227
Suggested Resources     230
Into the 21st Century     233
Controversy, Visibility, Diversity     234
The Millennium March     234
In the Media     236
GLBT Plus Q Plus...     237
Law and Politics     238
Elections     239
Lawrence v. Texas and GLBT History     239
Defining Marriage     240
Debate: How Useful Is Queer Theory?     243
Suggested Resources     245
Bibliography     247
Index     263

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