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Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  471 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
The basis of the PBS American Experience documentary Stonewall Uprising.

In 1969, a series of riots over police action against The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village, changed the longtime landscape of the homosexual in society literally overnight. Since then the event itself has become the stuff of legend, with relatively little hard information a
ebook, 352 pages
Published May 25th 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published June 1994)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,341)
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Oct 07, 2014 Aitziber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who want to know how it all exploded
David Carter's Stonewall is a tremendously comprehensive look at the June/July 1969 riots. Indeed, the book first gives the reader a rundown on the history of Greenwich village, as well as the urban design that led to the short, one-way streets and triangular lots around the bar. If it is related to the Stonewall riots, Carter covers it.

Of particular interest were the human stories. Ed Murphy, the gay Mafioso that blackmailed wealthy, closeted gay men, and pimped the underage and poor. Murphy wa
May 16, 2015 11 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glimmer-of-hope
Whenever any oppressed group finds its political voice and asserts its basic rights and dignity, there is just a little more hope for our collective future. If we're lucky, the path of each downtrodden group to empowerment will hold discernible lessons for other groups to follow.

The Indian independence movement had the Salt March; the Civil Rights movement had the Birmingham bus boycott; and the gay rights movement had the Stonewall riots. I’m not saying these very different events achieved the
Jun 28, 2010 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, lgbtq
One of the best books I've read about the Stonewall Riots. I really recommend this to anyone who is looking to learn about the Riots. Easy to read, not a stuffy non-fiction book, with tons of quotes from witnesses. It goes beyond just the weekend of the Riots. You learn a lot from this book. Important read for anyone who is interested in LGBTQ history.
Ramon Esquivel
Engaging history, though I was puzzled by some of the author's conclusions. A number of names are mentioned. Sadly, many of the most compelling figures of the era, like Marsha P. Johnson and Zazu Nova, died before they could be interviewed. Strangely, though the author wrote about lesbians, transgendered individuals, and effeminate gay men of different races and ethnicities, he felt compelled to state that the majority of people responsible for the riots were white, gay, cisgendered men. This co ...more
May 30, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure I was going to like this one. About halfway through, I was seriously considering giving up. Too much in the way of speculation about motives and various shadowy Mafia figures involved in the illegal bars, etc. But then, once the buildup to the bust of the Stonewall Inn and the subsequent riots began, the book was EXCELLENT. Very good "frontline" story telling. It also gave the perspective of the police who were initially trapped inside the building, which I quite liked.

I also found
alphonse p guardino
This is a meticulously researched and documented account of the actual riots along with information of the previously existing gay and lesbian rights organizations and how the riots influenced and changed those organizations. The author also briefly discusses similar previous riots elsewhere in the country and addresses ideas as to why those other riots did not have the same influence as Stonewall.
Jan 03, 2016 Simon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first part of the book is somewhat plodding as he sets up the mise en scene, but when Carter comes to the actual riot, his narrative becomes riveting as hell. He gives a clear, concise and even chilling account of the initial event from so many viewpoints that the reader will have little difficulty imagining what happened.

My only criticism is the lack of resolution for the cast of characters. What happened to these men and women who initiated one of the great civil rights movements in Americ
Joey Comeau
Dec 24, 2011 Joey Comeau rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is so good. But holy shit does it ever make me want to punch a cop.
Aug 13, 2014 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding account of the seminal event that sparked the Gay Rights Movement, including an excellent background on gay history in New York. The book was riveting, moving, infuriating, and hopeful as the events leading to and after the Stonewall Riots is examined. Thoughtfully and clearly written, this is not a dry history book or bland third person account - highly recommend to anyone who loves history and is curious about what started the move toward equal equality for everyone, regardless of ...more
Jul 31, 2011 Alexander rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to any gay person who wants to know were it all started.
Shelves: books-i-own
finished (most of it)
although tireing at some point, as it is drawn out and there isnt a conistent person.
it is without a doubt the best book on the subject, and definatly worth reading if you can stomach a long and sometimes confusing book.
definatly hard to keep track of all persons mentioned, you could do well by writing down each persons name and a breif description of them as you encounter them so you can keep them all straight (lol, straight)
aside from that, it is very informative, astoundi
Dec 27, 2008 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2008
One of the best and most interesting history books I've ever read - I know most history books try to be exciting because dramatic stuff has happened, but this one applied to me, I am of this heritage. My other, pioneer heritage is less exciting: the pioneers sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked, and they didn't even eat each other like the Donner Party did.

At any rate, being a child of the 90's in relative peace put me at a distance from all the rights movements and activism. I k
Apr 15, 2015 J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intense and informative look at the Stonewall riots. I like the author's approach of telling the stories of the sources that were there rather than simply synthesizing a kind of grand narrative. Having said that, though, the section on the riots themselves, though, could have been a bit more coherent. The best part, oddly enough, is the conclusion where the author debunks some of the major narratives that have circulated for a long time about causes and effects of the riots. An excellent book ...more
OK. I'm glad I learned more about this powerful moment in history, but the book just didn't grab me. Also, some of the actions of the protesters were hard to write off as, "Well, it's for a good cause." The ends don't justify all means. Of course, lots of legit anger involved. If Tea Party folks or anti-war protesters, or any other group of Americans were treated as harshly as gays were back then, the fighting would probably have been more intense (or the whining louder). The potential for the e ...more
Jordan Allen
May 27, 2015 Jordan Allen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. There were things known and not known that were shed in this book. If you like reading about gay history, this should be one of the books you should read.
Keith Weir
A powerful and important story. Incredibly well written and very thoroughly researched. I knew very little about the Stonewall riots before this book, but this did a good job of explaining how the fight for gay rights started, and how it relates to the civil rigs movement as well.
Jan 05, 2016 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this because of everything that's happened in the past few years. And also because multiple times this year I've had a straight cis person tell me that the parade is about them too. It's not.

Anyway. The writing is not my favorite, but once it gets to the actual riots the writing style matters less and less. When he talks about everyone in terms of the gender spectrum things tend to get confusing, but he does note at the end that he tried to use 60's terminology as much as possible. Still
Jan 12, 2008 Vanessa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 25books
This is another book that i read for my American History research paper. My thesis question was whether or not the Stonewall Riots of 1969 had sparked the gay liberation movement. I had looked at the many different ways that the stonewall riots had influenced the formation of gay activist groups and how the stonewall riots had allowed homosexuals to reveal their homosexuality to the public. This book revealed the tragedies homosexuals had undergone the night of June 29th. It shows the brutality ...more
Mar 01, 2009 Djrmel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, glbt
A detailed account of what started out as just one of many raids on Mafia ran, illegal gays bars in NYC during the summer of 1969, and turned into an event that brought about political, legal and cultural changes in the United States. Carter includes a history of Greenwich Village, the building itself, and the back stories of many of the people who were there that first night and at the subsequent riots, and then goes on to show how the actions of people that were at the time seen as the lowest ...more
Douglas Wickard
Mar 13, 2015 Douglas Wickard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good research material.
May 04, 2014 Nelson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Apr 26, 2015 ShamSham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nyc
Quite a fascinating history of the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City and the broader context surrounding this event, which led to the rise of modern gay rights movement. I was surprised to learn just how repressive New York was for gays, even into the late 1960's. Due to restrictions on gay establishments, which could be arbitrarily closed down by the city, the Mafia had an undue role in running gay bars and clubs, including the Stonewall, which was then raided by the police.
Carter wrote a history of queer people's 6 day struggle with the police for control of the gay ghetto in New York in 1969. A dense history, heavy with details and anecdotes gleaned from the author's seemingly tireless search for every interview and bit of coverage that even tangentially related to Stonewall. The book would have been a lot easier to follow and digest after editing, but it's so rich in resources that it's hard to fault Carter including everything he could find.
Jul 28, 2015 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Riveting, comprehensive, loved the history of the Village and vignettes of all involved.
Jan 19, 2010 B.Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Upon reading Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter; I felt an overwhelming urge to fight as a gay rights activist, knowing the history of our beloved Pride Festival. Every gay man, lesbian, bisexual and/or transexual needs to own a copy of this book on your literary shelves. Filled with heavy details, Carter paints you a clear picture of life as a gay man or lesbian during the late 60s and beyond.
Apr 15, 2012 Jenn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Who'd have thought that an episode of RuPaul's Drag Race would have inspired me to pick up a book?

A fantastic account of the Stonewall Riots and how the Pride movement began. Anyone who supports the GLBTQI movement or civil rights in general should read this. If nothing else, see the parallels between this movement's inception in 1969 and the anti-war movement or the civil rights movement at the same time.
There is some interesting and important history in this book, but it felt like an endless string of interviews and events. "This happened, and this person was there; this happened, and these groups were important; then this happened." One thing I did enjoy was encountering many different elements of the gay subculture in 1970s New York that I didn't know about before.
May 02, 2013 Lacy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After seeing a play about the Stonewall riots, I was intrigued to know how much of it was accurate. This is a compilation of excerpts, quotes, and history that attempt to explain the hows and whats of the infamous Stonewall riots of 1969.
Loved the history and liked the photos, but wish there had been more.
Jan 09, 2010 Sumayyah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book not only details the Stonewall Rebellion, but also explains the events leading up to it, and concludes with the immediate aftermath. Well written; includes and appendix with notes. This is a must read for anyone interested not only in the explosive Stonewall riots, but the climate surrounding it.
Apr 07, 2013 Adrianna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating and gripping read. Carter provides an absorbing history of pre-Stonewall New York. He lends insight into and analyzes the historical context that gave rise to the Stonewall Riots and weaves a captivating narrative culled from exhaustive research and personally conducted interviews.
Stephanie Salerno
Fantastic historical account of the 1969 Stonewall Riots and the consequent beginning of gay activism in NYC. The author is thorough, narrative and thoughtful in his conclusions about how really happened, why it matters and what it means to the ongoing fight for human equality. Brilliant piece.
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