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A Desired Past: A Short History of Same-Sex Love in America

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  103 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
With this book, Leila J. Rupp accomplishes what few scholars have even attempted: she combines a vast array of scholarship on supposedly discrete episodes in American history into an entertaining and entirely readable story of same-sex desire across the country and the centuries.

"Most extraordinary about Leila J. Rupp's indeed short, two-hundred-page history of 'same-sex l
Paperback, 241 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1999)
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LGBT History
136th out of 192 books — 34 voters

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May 10, 2009 Brittany rated it it was amazing
"A Desired Past" by Leila J. Rupp is a great book! It a great introduction to same sex history. This book goes into great detail into the aspects of some of the struggles that same sex couples go through in society. This book was picked for a LGBT studies class, and I really appreciate my professor for introducing me to this book. It was a great read and I could not put it down once I started. Rupp did not hide any detail; it was a very detailed book. It was a great introductory book to same sex ...more
Courtney Shah
Apr 15, 2014 Courtney Shah rated it really liked it
Clear, concise history of same-sex love in the US, giving an overview of some important secondary lit. A nice place to start your historiography.
ONTD Feminism
Nov 15, 2010 ONTD Feminism rated it really liked it
LJ user munkymp3 says, "Another brilliant documentation on the history of queer "behavior" during the Industrial Revolution. You also learn how we have regressed and progressed in terms of queer acceptance and relationships (for example, you could have 'romantic friendships' in the past where you're friends with someone and you deeply love them but you don't want to be with them; it's not like 'friends with benefits' where there are no strings attached)."
Lord Beardsley
Jan 29, 2008 Lord Beardsley rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those in the process of "coming out" (even though I hate that term)
Recommended to Lord by: Paul
Shelves: books-read-2005
A very good introduction to 20th century studies in lesbianism in the United States. I felt I learned a great deal from this and it was easy to read, not too clinical, very personal and told through stories of various different women at different points throughout the 20th century. It also explores how the concept of lesbianism has evolved from girl-crush "smashes" to "Boston marriages" to modern day relationships. Very interesting.
Dec 05, 2007 girlwonder rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in gender and sexuality
Shelves: sociology
This is a great short history of same-sex love and sexuality in the US. Very easy to read (you could teach it in an undergraduate class) and the narrative is extremely engaging. Rupp covers a lot of time in a little room and the analysis is thoughtful and precise. Loved it.
Feb 12, 2013 J rated it really liked it
Very informative read and am pleasantly surprised by Rupp's investment with including race, ethnicity and class into same sex history. I was, though, dissapointed by how little Rupp discussed and analyzed AIDS. Overall, a good and important read for all queers!
Mar 29, 2009 Kimberly rated it really liked it
This book really broadened my understanding of how our culture has perceived homosexuality historically. I read it for my Gay and Lesbian Culture and History class.
May 13, 2016 S rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt
Read for class. A good book on LGBT history, though brief. 3.5*
May 29, 2012 Joy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wgs-type-books
A fantastic queer reading of American same-sex relationship history.
Valerie Sherman
Dec 03, 2007 Valerie Sherman rated it really liked it
A great, thorough history of early to modern gay history.
Feb 10, 2009 Patricia rated it liked it
Good, fairly simple intro to US LGBT history.
Jul 26, 2011 Nichole rated it really liked it
Shelves: glbt
A good history of same sex relationships
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