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Homophobia: A History

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  128 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
In this tour de force of historical and literary research, Fone, an acclaimed expert on gay and lesbian history and professor emeritus at the City University of New York, chronicles the evolution of homophobia through the centuries. Delving into literary sources as diverse as Greek philosophy, Elizabethan poetry, the Bible, and the Victorian novel, as well as historical te ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published November 3rd 2001 by Picador (first published February 1st 2000)
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Ronald Lett
Dec 26, 2011 Ronald Lett rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
While it necessarily skips over some of the history, the author shares a well-supported history of the possible origins of homophobia, its connections with misogyny and sexism, and speculation as to why it remains one of the last acceptable prejudices (Sexism and even misogyny are still pretty widespread). It is extensively rich with detailed information and references on the parts of history that it does cover; for the parts that are skipped, there are full books written on those topics to fill ...more
Melissa Nickles
Jan 14, 2008 Melissa Nickles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This should be required reading for every person who voted to ban or rescind gay marriage equality.
Mary Anne
I'm not sure how I acquired this book. Since I randomly have a couple of books about homosexuality and history, I can only assume I found them at a used bookstore and wanted to learn more, and now seemed like an okay time to read the biggest one.

I was not aware of the history of homophobia, and actually, the terms sodomy and sodomites were lost on me for quite some time. I certainly learned a lot about the history of homosexuality and homophobia, and there was quite an emphasis on and inclusion
Carlos Michael
Sep 30, 2008 Carlos Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Homophobia has links with sexism and well as with anti-Semitism and with prejudice against people of color." Pg.5

"Homophobia is not limited to heterosexuals." Pg.6

"Homophobia can represent multiple prejudices." Pg.6

"Homophobia remains, perhaps the last acceptable prejudice." Pg.3

Byrne Fone did a great job opening my eyes to the ugliness of homophobia and how terrible that it "Homophobia," remains that last acceptable prejudice.
Thorn MotherIssues
Sep 24, 2009 Thorn MotherIssues rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2009
There was a lot of stuff I knew already, but it's so dense and expansive that there were plenty of things I didn't know. Almost nothing about women, but that's sort of the point. It's not a complete history (Europe didn't stop having homophobia when Victorian England becomes the focus of the book and England didn't just magically improve and give way to the US for Stonewall) but it's a good one. I'm glad I read it.
Will Bellais
Sep 11, 2007 Will Bellais rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: graduate students
This is the book all those who want to know why gays and lesbians are persecuted should want to read. Persecuting others is in our nature. The book is filled with compassion for gays and lesbians I found refreshing. It may even better than "Homosexuals in Civilization." Well, not quite, because it limits its study, but here is a new insight to gay history and gay literature.
May 09, 2012 Nan rated it really liked it
It's a great book of research. The author compiles lots of historic documents and literature all over the world so one can understand how homophobia developed its poisonous claws. I must confess that sometimes it's so repetitive, but in the end, it's worth it.
Kathleen O'Neal
Jun 29, 2013 Kathleen O'Neal rated it it was amazing
A fascinating and riveting treatment of the issue of homophobia directed towards men throughout the history of Western civilization. If you read only one book about gay male history, let it be this one.
Jul 15, 2007 Christina rated it liked it
Shelves: queer, nonfiction
The focus is on gay men, which is fine, but i expected this to be an all-embracing term. Still, the book had really useful information.
Tatiana Escobar
Aug 15, 2016 Tatiana Escobar rated it it was amazing
great book, very informative and interesting. I highly recommend it.
Dec 09, 2014 Levi rated it liked it
Very interesting historical research and opinion but the writing is so dry and repetitive at times that it became a struggle to finish.
Oct 07, 2010 Wasabi rated it liked it
Depressingly real and unattractively revealing.
Scott Dow
Sep 13, 2011 Scott Dow rated it liked it
Expansive and informative. An interesting read, though dense at times.
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“Newer religions, among them Christianity, saw the world as a battlefield between good and evil. In such a world, sex itself became dichotomized and battle was joined between opposing nations of proper sexual practice." - pg. 70” 1 likes
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