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Linda Hirshman
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Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  180 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
In the vein of Taylor Branch’s classic Parting of the Waters, Supreme Court lawyer and political pundit Linda Hirshman delivers the enthralling, groundbreaking story of the gay rights movement, revealing how a dedicated and resourceful minority changed America forever.

When the modern struggle for gay rights erupted in the summer of 1969, forty-nine states outlawed sex betw
ebook, 464 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Harper
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(showing 1-30)
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Catherine Woodman
The author goes through a century of the history of the slow but steady change towards equal rights for gay men and women in the United States. The going was tough, after a remarkably good step forward during Prohibition (when the culture of doing things that were not condoned by the main stream became almost main stream by virtue of prevalence), but the book does not have a downbeat tone--quite the contrary, it is uplifting throughout.

The author does not waste any time defending the concept tha
Frank Sloth Aaskov
I really enjoyed the book which invites you on a journey of American gay civil rights through the last 80 years. It has a strict focus on civil liberties and rights and the official attitude towards the LGBT citizens such as the psychiatrists' classification of LGBT peopleas mentally ill, sodomy laws and funding for AIDS research. It did not focus on the change in public opinions, the change in the framing of LGBT people in the media or what caused this change, but instead focused on the social ...more
My actual knowledge of gay history is embarrassingly minimal, so I picked this up from the library. Hirshman's focus here is on the American gay rights movement and it's meteoric ascent in the last 60 years, not on American gay culture as a whole. She does an excellent job of examining how that history developed, going all the way back to the 1920's and 1930's and showing the development of the first informal, hopelessly ineffective gay organizations and groups decades before phrases like 'Stone ...more
I found this book fascinating and well-written at first, but then I got lost in the swirling pool of names and dates. The author keeps jumping back and forth in time, which makes following the many threads confusing. That's probably unavoidable considering the large number of gay-rights leaders involved, but I just couldn't wade through this title. It would be good for someone determined to know the entire story, for people looking for detailed information on the gay-rights movement, and for peo ...more
University of Chicago Magazine
Linda R. Hirshman, JD'69

A Supreme Court lawyer and political pundit details the enthralling and groundbreaking story of the gay rights movement, revealing how a dedicated and resourceful minority changed America forever.

When the modern struggle for gay rights erupted—most notably at a bar called Stonewall in Greenwich Village—in the summer of 1969, most religious traditions condemned homosexuality; psychiatric experts labeled people who were attracted to others of the same sex "crazy"; and
Bob H
This book is timely: it wraps up just as the court cases, in California and elsewhere, are heading toward a showdown at the U.S. Supreme Court. Indeed, the author seems to understand the case law up till now -- I would know, having the legal training to appreciate it -- and she explains it in straightforward prose. She understands the historic record as well, and has consulted the past leading LGBT historians: John D'Emilio, Randy Shilts, Alan Berube, George Chauncey.

Above all, this is a book of
Apr 15, 2012 Lynn rated it it was amazing
A bit confusing for me who didn't know all the court cases and history of the Gay Rights movement, I learned to tolerate any frustration and read on to get an idea of what was going on. The story of gay rights. begins in the late 1800s when people migrating to cities to work have options to live in rooming houses segregated by sex. While acts of sodomy have always of occurred more people discover they prefer to have sex and live their lives together though they are the same sex. The word homosex ...more
Jun 27, 2014 Minna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Alla intresserade.
Boken är en bra översikt över historien över HBTQ-rörelsen i USA och dess framgångar och motgångar.

Det är väldigt mycket namn och datum i boken och känns ibland lite förvirrande när de inte tas upp i kronologisk ordning. Ibland hoppar författaren mellan nutid och dåtid och jag var tvungen att backa några meningar för att kolla att jag inte missuppfattat någonting när jag blivit förvirrad. Lite tydligare markörer på kronologisk nutid och dåtid hade inte skadat läsupplevelsen.

En annan sak som ja
Oct 02, 2012 Tucker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
An excellent, thorough history of the gay movement in the United States over the last century. Moves seamlessly from Supreme Court decisions to civil rights movements to community organizations to individual personalities. Already hefty, it is understandable that its scope had to be constrained--nevertheless, it's worth mentioning that it seems mostly (although certainly not entirely) about white men and others in the mainstream media view. It's not about the teenage punk band scene. Transgender ...more
Kevin Warman
Jul 05, 2016 Kevin Warman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am very pleased I read this book. Hirshman covers over a century's worth of LGBQT+ history. She is particularly strong at highlighting important court cases. Indeed, I feel like I learned a lot on legal battles alone. However, equally compelling, I felt that Hirshman was able to tell a people's history. Lots of attention to quotes and journal entries. At times though, I got lost in detail. I felt like a new name was introduced pretty much every single paragraph.

The political science major in
Chris Leuchtenburg
Dec 06, 2012 Chris Leuchtenburg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
An amazing saga, tragic, complex, often heroic. Sometimes the thicket of tiny, fractious political organizations are reminiscent of Ten Days That Shook the World, difficult to follow but still interesting. The comparison to the civil rights and feminist movements is well nuanced, but sometimes pushed a bit too hard. The sometimes dense political, philosophical, sociological, psychological narrative is relieved by blunt statements such as in a discussion of the Romer court decision, “...the law i ...more
Oct 27, 2012 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
To be honest, I kept getting lost in this book. Basically the story of gay rights from the 50s to present and so...dozens and dozens of names and, my god, the acronyms. Every page more people and more acronyms and it felt more like an alphabet than a straightforward narrative. To be honest, I found it kind of a slog. While it is remarkable how quickly gay rights went from being completely politically toxic to almost the "norm," this didn't do it for me in either the how or why. It was also inter ...more
Dustin White
Jul 30, 2013 Dustin White rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Garbage. I spent most of the first 250 pages wishing that this were a little more scholarly and a little less disjointed. You can tell a compelling narrative history without cursing and without using phrases like "omigod". It was a struggle to get through the last 100 pages, as the author bashes Obama over and over, unjustly. She demeans all of the efforts of the gay friendliest President in history while comparing the president of the Log Cabin Republicans to Thurgood Marshall. Somebody, somewh ...more
Jul 07, 2012 Lily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer, glbt, lawyers
This is a wonderful, engaging history of the gay civil rights movement, and gave me quite a lot to think about. Hirshman talks quite persuasively about how the gay civil rights movement came from much further behind than either the black civil rights movement or the feminist movement but managed to keep going after either of the others ran out of steam. Her essay "What Stonewall Got Right that Occupy Got Wrong," available online, is also worth reading.

I had to laugh when coming to the end of th
Kelley Brown
"As this most marginalized group of Americans fought for full inclusion in the social order, they didn't only change their world; they changed everyone's world. Because they were different, the makers of the gay revolution could not take the path of showing they were acceptable citizens under an old order. They had to change the meaning of the core concepts of - morality, sanity, loyalty - itself." Hirshman takes the reader through the history of the queer rights movement from the late 1800's th ...more
Dec 02, 2012 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't quite ready to declare "Victory" before I read this book, but Hirshman made a good case. This is one of my favorite types of books, one that covers a period I lived through and/or has information familiar to me, but makes connections or gives background detail that helps me see events in a new way. Hirshman's clear-eyed review of the chronology of 20th-21st century gay and lesbian movements showed their erratic but steady progress and, yes, success. An excellent first, or even only, boo ...more
Jordan Lombard
This was a great book with a TON of information. But if you don't know anything about gay history, don't start with this book. There are a lot of people mentioned, more gay organizations and acronyms than I knew about, and more court cases mentioned in passing.

What this book needs is an index at the end specifically about these three things. I didn't know a lot of the cases, so having a brief line stating what they were about, even the big ones we learned in school would have been helpful.

Aug 01, 2013 Merrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Victory" is a remarkable book that covers the advances for LGBT American civil rights from 1950 to 2011. Although there is not yet full equality, Hirshman effectively illustrates how the LGBT community has gained political strength. The efforts she writes about- passing non-discrimination ordinances, winning at the Supreme Court, electing openly LGBT elected officials- should all give us hope for the better and more equal America to come.
"Linda, an alum of our Law School (Class of 1969), has written a wonderfully readable and insightful account of how American attitudes towards homosexuals changed. It is a story filled with fascinating characters, interesting anecdotes, and important lessons about the nature of political movements in America." - Geoffrey R. Stone
Holly Foley (Procida)
This was not the most well organized non fiction I have ever read. I did appreciate learning about the civil rights movement of homosexuals and understanding the limitations imposed on them historically because of their sexual orientation. I respect all advocates for equality. It is fascinating that these social and political changes have all taken place during my lifetime.
Scott G Brown
Jun 03, 2016 Scott G Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good source on gay rights for the time period covered during the early stages of the gay revolution, but Victory really can be attributed to the achievement of same-sex marriage and the the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 25, 2015.
Brian Hotchkiss
Sep 19, 2015 Brian Hotchkiss rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An exhaustive, page-turning chronicling gays in America. Hirshman's spot-on vignettes bring colorful characters to life. A must-read for any person who's into their same sex, history, or wants to write about either.
Nov 13, 2012 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
The first half is a fascinating, thorough, and intimate history of the gay rights movement that unfortunately turns into a slog through recent memory in the second; which is to say, Hirshman's book will age very well for people who haven't lived through it. Recommended.
randy potts
Gay rights history gloss; no more, no less.
Jul 12, 2012 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just started this one
Oct 11, 2013 Daivd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
That was then. This is now.
Al Menaster
Dec 27, 2016 Al Menaster rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good book. History of the political struggle for gay rights, covering almost 100 years. Could have been more polished writing, but the stories were compelling.
Kari Twogood
Tough read
Sean Meehan
Sean Meehan rated it liked it
Sep 07, 2013
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  • A Queer History of the United States
  • Making Gay History: The Half Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights
  • The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle
  • Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A.
  • Pray the Gay Away: The Extraordinary Lives of Bible Belt Gays
  • How to Be Gay
  • Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America
  • Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA
  • Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas
  • Oddly Normal: One Family's Struggle to Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms with His Sexuality
  • Stonewall
  • Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America
  • The Invisibles: Vintage Portraits of Love and Pride
  • When We Were Outlaws
  • Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation
  • A Little Gay History: Desire and Diversity Around the World
  • Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality
  • The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America since World War II

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