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Love Stories: Sex between Men before Homosexuality
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Love Stories: Sex between Men before Homosexuality

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  65 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In Love Stories, Jonathan Ned Katz presents stories of men's intimacies with men during the nineteenth century—including those of Abraham Lincoln—drawing flesh-and-blood portraits of intimate friendships and the ways in which men struggled to name, define, and defend their sexual feelings for one another. In a world before "gay" and "straight" referred to sexuality, men li ...more
Paperback, 440 pages
Published June 15th 2003 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 2001)
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Joey Diamond
Damn this is a well researched and written piece o history. So different to the usual ahistorical gay history stuff. Katz writes a lot about why people shouldn't be "reclaimed" by gay history, they should be researched and appreciated in their own historic context.

I learned a shit tonne about 19th Century ideas about love and sex and how extremely different they are to our own. Solid support for my dislike of people projecting homosexuality and other 20th C ideas backwards.

There is a bit too muc
Great insight on how men-loving men struggled for wording to properly express their desires and emotions in a more positive light than society would allow at the time. Katz was careful to stress the difference of what was acceptable in society then and now when it came to the affection between men and/or their behavior. It served as a helpful reminder of what these men were saying in their original context rather than how it may sound in respect to today's thinking. I very much appreciated his c ...more
I was surprised by how many of these stories I didn't know. I appreciated the author's carefulness in the way he described the relationships, not placing modern ideas of homosexuality on the men. The writing style might be a little dry for some, but if you're interested in the topic, I'd recommend it.
Mar 27, 2013 Susan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 900
So it's quite apropos that I finished this as the Supreme Court is deliberating on the legality of same-sex marriage. The arguments that marriage consecrates a reproductive union kind of echo Katz's theory that non-reproductive sex was in many ways invisible during the 19th century (except for "the crime that Christians dare not name").

Katz's focus on trying to understand the Victorian mindset without putting current sensibilities into play reminded me of Women of the Mito Domain. Yamakawa, wri
Kate McMurray
Really fascinating look at sexuality in the nineteenth century. The book is ostensibly about men desiring sex with men, but it speaks to sexuality more broadly, particularly the disconnect in the minds of many Victorians between sex and love. The book follows a progression from close male friendships with homosocial elements to more explicit sex, but I'm not sure it quite makes it far enough to demonstrate that men in the nineteenth century ever fully connected sex and romantic love in the way w ...more
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Pretty good--I've always had an interest in the history of sexuality, and I find homosexuality particularly interesting because it's one of those things that was happening before there were words to express what was happening. I also learned a lot about Walt Whitman.
Gerry Burnie
Another milestone from the dean of gay history in North America.

See my full review at Gerry B's Book Reviews
Beautiful. Heartbreaking. Eye-Opening. PICK-THIS-UP....Lincoln lovers will be in for a real treat!
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