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Out of the Past: Gay and Lesbian History from 1869 to the Present
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Out of the Past: Gay and Lesbian History from 1869 to the Present

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  282 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
A unique and hugely absorbing narrative history of gay life—from Oscar Wilde to the first gay marriage performed in San Francisco in 2004—by the award-winning journalist and distinguished author of Out in the World and Sex- Crime Panic. Miller accompanies his narrative with essays and excerpts from contemporary and historical writings, and the text is illustrated with phot ...more
Paperback, 677 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by Advocate Books (first published 1995)
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This was very similar to the LGB class I took at my school. The information covers from 1869, starting with Walt Whitman, to about 1995 with Clinton being the president. It would be interesting to see an updated version covering the past two decades.

This is an essential book to read for LGBT history though it focuses mostly on Lesbians and Gays, there are a few pieces on Transgender people and some notable bisexuals are mentioned as well.

It is also notable that there is some global prespective
Vance Woods
Apr 02, 2013 Vance Woods rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been immersed in this book for a little over a month, and it has been one of the more fascinating reading experiences I have had in a very long time. As one who has come fairly lately (at least openly) to the ongoing LGBT debate, I feel that my eyes have been opened by Miller's work. Exhaustively researched and personably written, it invites the uninitiated into a world redefined: I have met many of my favorite historical personages again, in many ways for the first time, and I have a muc ...more
Mar 23, 2011 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer-history
This is a wonderful book - moving, engaging, accessible, and as comprehensive as any book on a 'community' bound only by their sexuality can be - covering Oscar Wilde and Harvey Milk, gays in the military, Japanese samurai warriors, lesbian-feminist activists, the AIDS epidemic. But the idea of a gay community is something Miller comes back to repeatedly in this book - how often the gay and lesbian community has been fractured and divided by the fact that the only common link is sexuality, that ...more
Dec 20, 2007 Laura rated it it was amazing
Tremendously interesting and engaging "textbook" on gays and lesbians in Western history since 1869. But, don't let the word "textbook" make you shy away - this is really readable and so, so enjoyable. Lots of sidebars and excerpts from primary sources break up the secondary source analysis. Attempts to provide a balanced look across Western culture, though the emphasis is on America with pokes here and there at Japan and Africa, too. Very little on transgendered and transsexual people, and it t ...more
This was a fairly comprehensive, and therefore long, overview of a gay and lesbian perspective on history over the last 150 or so years. While the authors made a point of covering gay issues from all over the world, most of the history was a bit Eurocentric, so that was a little disappointing. Then again, it was already long and being any more broad in scope would have simply made it longer, so maybe it was a good choice to limit most of the coverage to Europe and the United States. Overall this ...more
Very academic, but mostly readable in spite of that, possibly because everything is presented in short, almost anecdotal bursts. Primarily covers the history of gay men in the US (and to some extent the UK) with a little lesbian history, and occasional coverage of other countries like Germany, Japan and Africa. And, it ends with the beginnings of the Clinton administration, so it's not even particularly up to date anymore.
Dec 13, 2008 Sally rated it it was amazing
This is the definitive history of the gay adventure/journey. Reading it caused me to purchase no fewer than fifty new books on the topic. You have to love history and sociology to make it to the end of this book...which I do, so I reveled in it!
Jul 03, 2012 Jane rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, queer
maybe the subtitle of "gay and lesbian history" should've tipped me off, but this book is the absolute worst at that thing where you talk about trans history without being a cissexist, misgendering asshole (aka, talk about trans history accurately w/r/t identity and pronoun choice)
J. Whitley
Jun 11, 2012 J. Whitley rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, lgbt
This is a great history and very readable. I whipped through most of the book. When it got to the era where I was affected by the history it too me longer to read merely because of the emotions and memories it brought back. Great read.
Jun 23, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, sexuality
Details, details... An in depth history that, thankfully, doesn't limit itself to the USA. Very well worth the read if you're interested in how the LBGT community has been shaped, or if you're interested in the changes society in general has come through.
Craig Chapman
May 05, 2012 Craig Chapman rated it it was amazing
I read this book a few years ago, i found it very informative and helped my put some of my own history and experience in place. I grew up not knowing most of this and was/am facinated that it was all happening around me and i did not even know.
Mar 29, 2011 Greg rated it it was amazing
A well-written and accessible history of homosexuality from 1869 to present. A must-read for anyone even mildly interested.
Mar 25, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing
an excellent general history of GLBT studies around the world, though largely with a focus on the west, especially the US
Sara Jaye
Feb 21, 2008 Sara Jaye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent primer! But Miller doesn't pay nearly enough attention to the traditionally less enfranchised within the queer community - so don't take it as the whole story.
Aug 07, 2009 Bear rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of those books that is a must read for our generation. To understand what came before, and how much further we have to go.
Jul 10, 2013 Myrivername rated it really liked it
I liked the book, but there were a lot of minor grammatical errors, like leaving out "the" or leaving off the d for a past tense verb, that distracted from the flow.
Samantha Breza
Sep 08, 2016 Samantha Breza rated it really liked it
Very good, but a bit outdated now. There's very little in it about the transgender or intersex community though.
Pretty good overview of gay and lesbian history. Whoever copy edited this book did a terrible job, though.
Ivan T. alzate
It was an insight on the occidentaland Western European and North American queerness, but it lacks a more insightful look at a more world wide view on homosexuality.
Luhua rated it really liked it
May 26, 2009
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