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Making Gay History: The Half-Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  209 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
From the Boy Scouts and the U.S. military to marriage and adoption, the gay civil rights movement has exploded on the national stage.Eric Marcus takes us back in time to the earliest days of that struggle in a newly revised and thoroughly updated edition of Making History, originally published in 1992.Using the heart-felt stories of more than 60 people, he carries us throu ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published May 28th 2002 by Harper Perennial (first published January 1st 1992)
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Paul V.
Apr 24, 2015 Paul V. rated it it was amazing
The definitive history of the gay movement in the United States, starting all the way back in the forties and fifties with short excursions out of the closet, going through Stonewall and its effect on launching the modern gay pride movement. The entire book is told in narratives from gay people and how they describe their moment in history whenever that moment came for them. It's a fascinating book, and the narratives give the reader a feeling of being there when it was happening. The book ends ...more
Feb 15, 2014 Cl rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2013
I read this for a class last semester. I really did enjoy the personal narratives, but there were so many characters to keep track of that I started forgetting who some of them were. Not all of their stories were concluded either. I'm left wondering what happened to some of them. Did they just fall off the face of the planet? Also, I realize the title of this book is Making GAY History, but I really wish there had been more trans* people involved with this book, as I'm sure Sylvia Rivera wasn't ...more
May 28, 2009 Ed rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: absolutely everyone
This book should probably have been called something like Making Gay History in America. Despite not saying so on the cover, that's the only country it deals with.

Despite that minor point, this is the best book I've read in a while. It's told through a series of interviews with different players in the gay rights movement, covering the 1950s right up until the very early 2000s. This book gave me a new perspective, as although I was angered by the passing of Prop 8 in California recently, when I
Oct 31, 2012 Zoe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I happened across this book at the library where I work, and I initially grabbed it off the shelf thinking that it might need to be weeded--I was completely, utterly, embarrassingly wrong. This is a beautiful, essential piece of gay history and I loved reading it. I cried, I laughed, and I felt inspired. I also felt deeply grateful to Eric Marcus and all the work that he did, especially with the folks who were living with HIV/AIDS and passed away shortly after being interviewed.

Given that I was
A great look at the LGBT rights movement, from the 1940s until 2001. Here's hoping Marcus comes out with a sequel. It bothered me somewhat that transgender rights weren't really addressed, but as one of the informants mentioned (paraphrased), "it was just LG back then, the bi and trans didn't come in until later."
Ian Jackson
Nov 08, 2015 Ian Jackson rated it it was amazing
Had to read this for class and I thought it was a great insight into the barely told history of the LGBT community from many different perspectives!
Mar 11, 2011 Ramona rated it really liked it
LOVE this book. It should be required reading for, well, everyone. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because, if I remember correctly, the people profiled in the book were almost exclusively white/Caucasian or African American. Ever since reading this book several years ago, I have dreamed of researching and writing a companion book about the queer history of ethnic minorities in the U.S., especially the Asian American community.
Kerry Riffle
Jul 27, 2015 Kerry Riffle rated it it was amazing
Not always the most compelling read, but it gets 5 stars for being an indispensable primer on gay history. Though personal stories of both "everyday" folk and (now) famous folk (Larry Kramer, Ellen Degeneres, et al.), this book should be required reading for all members of the LGBT community. We must know our history!
Ryan Mishap
Nov 03, 2008 Ryan Mishap rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, glbt
Oral histories are always good. I don't know if he's updated this, but that would be interesting--to contrast the more oppressive era where people had to hide and the struggle with the nineties and oughts and where people are at today.
Jan 02, 2011 Toby rated it really liked it
The personal stories of gay men and women were a beautiful way to present the human side of the modern gay movement. It did not touch much on trans folks though which was unfortunate.
Dec 16, 2009 Tom rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Really interesting way to tell the story of gay rights - through the words of the people who were there. It was also interesting to learn that the movement started long before Stonewall.
Jul 01, 2012 Ella rated it it was ok
It's a pretty easy read, which is nice, but I thought the whole case-study format was sorta dumb and impractical. I really just wanted some straight-up history.
Liz Wollman
Jul 09, 2009 Liz Wollman rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic. A great read--fascinating, engaging, moving, and beautifully edited. Can't recommend this one highly enough.
Thorn MotherIssues
I love oral histories and this is a great one! I'll keep my eyes open for the revised and updated version.
Aug 17, 2008 Tim rated it really liked it
Best darn gay history book I have come across. Contains a lot of writings from the pioneers.
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Eric Marcus is a communications expert who has been communicating with the broad public and specific niche audiences for three decades. His work has ranged from writing consumer-oriented books and developing promotional and informational materials for non-profit and commercial enterprises to production jobs for both documentaries and television network news.

Eric’s ten books include Why Suicide?, W
More about Eric Marcus...

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