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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  576 ratings  ·  33 reviews
The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar in New York's Greenwich Village. At a little after one a.m. on the morning of June 28, 1969, the police carried out a routine raid on the bar. But it turned out not to be routine at all. Instead of cowering -- the usual reaction to a police raid -- the patrons inside Stonewall and the crowd that gathered outside the bar fought back against t...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 1994 by Plume (first published 1993)
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If there's any one thing that has the potential to evoke instant violence from individuals, it's the idea of homosexuality. Today, nothing seems to polarize so many people. Anyone growing up has heard "fag" as a basic insult in the grammer of teenagers and beyond, and I really suspect there's a lot of people who are in the closet in some way that know that if they came out at all of even being remotely attracted to members of the same sex (however you want to define that), then they would becom...more
Duberman’s classic work of nonfiction on the Stonewall Inn riots and the early years of the gay rights movement is now available as an e-book. I had heard of the Stonewall riots but never really learned anything about it so I thought I’d give this book a go. I am so glad I did. I had NO IDEA just how tough it had been for gay people in the 20th century. (Hi. I live in a bubble, but I’m trying, okay?) I mean, the stigma and shame and abuse, my God, how did they have the courage to wake up every m...more
A compelling history of the gay rights movement leading up to the riots at the Stonewall Inn and ending at the first Gay Pride marches in LA and NYC. Duberman follows the lives of six activists - from a tough queen raised on the streets to a conservative intellectual to reluctantly-involved black lesbian affected with Lupus to a militant, boisterous cohort of Abbie Hoffman. He offers an in-depth chronicle of the challenges of organizing, the repercussions of "coming out" and doesn't shy away fro...more
Stonewall by Martin Duberman provides an interesting and relatable perspective on the LGBT history of counter-cultural activism taking place before the Stonewall riots in 1969. Rather than a dry offering of facts and figures, Duberman relates events through the perspective of six disparate individuals, providing a unique blend of anecdotal and objective history.

The chapter describing the Stonewall riots was absorbing: Duberman’s writing evokes the tense ambience, the collective throwing off of o...more
Less a portrait of the Stonewall riots and more a history of the blooming gay rights movement of the sixties, Stonewall is solid in its presentation of the cultural atmosphere and the stories of six individuals deeply involved in activist activity. The events of Stonewall itself are given their own section in the book, although the conflicts and passions that set the stage are delved into and analyzed much more thoroughly, which is actually the most intriguing part of the read. The surrounding h...more
The beginning of the book was great, I really got drawn into story. I like the diversity and different settings of characters and I was secretly hoping that this will be a story of six people getting together, organizing and making a remarkable part of history for LGBT people, but in the end I lost track and I was left with bunch of organization names, political happenings, capital letters (ECHO, NACHO, GAA, GFL...) and I just stopped following the story.

Maybe my concentration was low or my Engl...more
Brenden O'Donnell
There's something really refreshing about reading a history book every once in a while. When I read a theoretical text of any kind, I always come out with more questions. It's nice to experience a simple filling-in of knowledge gaps.

Of course, even when looking for that experience, Duberman's _Stonewall_ isn't simply historical. It weaves a few narratives together to provide a holistic portrait of the political, social, and sexual landscape of the late 60s and early 70s. The relation between the...more
Jean Marie Angelo
Actually read it years ago during 1994, the year of Stonewall 25. Skimmed it for a newspaper assignment. I am very happy I picked it up again and read from cover to cover. It takes time for a movement to take shape and for those who are impacted to appreciate the work that went before. The Stonewall uprising is so much more than a series of evenings in late June 1969 at the Stonewall Inn and bar in NYC. Of course, the riots at Stonewall were a first for gays and drag queens to stand up and fight...more
What a beautiful and inspirational book! I picked this up a few years ago to read in time for LGBT History Month, which happens to commemorate the very event it depicts. Taking the histories of six individuals present during the Stonewall Riots, Martin Duberman manages to beautifully craft their lives into a cohesive narrative.

This book gives an excellent view into the social and political movements that came beforehand and afterwards, as well as shedding light on how the transgender community i...more
Oct 11, 2009 Mary added it
Duberman places the 1969 riots as the climax, rather than the origin, of gay rights activism, taking time to explore the burgeoning "homophile movements" that preceded the violence that June. He uses narrative well, closely following six key LGBT activists (Craig Rodwell, Yvonne Flowers, Karla Jay, Sylvia Ray Rivera, Jim Fouratt, and Foster Gunnison, Jr) from their childhoods through their adult participation in the riots and the resulting action. Although informative and undeniably readable, Du...more
Jan 28, 2008 AnitaDurt rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: homo's. activists. movement history buffs.
the history of the queer movement in the US has always been fascinating to me. i also love first hand accounts of history, so this was a good balance of giving context and then letting the individuals' interviewed give their side of what happened. Stonewall was the catalyst for a more visible queer rights movement, although it wasn't the very beginning of that movement. I liked all the analysis and comparison between the Gay Liberation Front (as well as other more militant, multi-issue groups) a...more
Good stuff. Sylvia Rivera's bits especially interesting. Funny how the trans lib movement has reclaimed the Stonewall riots as an action mostly by gender deviants and outlaws to the extent that some actually make Sylvia out to be a trans woman. I'm not sure if her identification changed over time, but at least when she was interviewed for this book she talks about taking a stab at hormones and deciding to go off them because she was more of a genderfuck (my words) than a woman.

Got it from the us...more
Kari Twogood
Great book for personal stories about gay activism. It is worth the time to read it.
I liked the author's approach - taking a handful of disparate gay right's crusaders and following them from their various childhoods through Stonewall and beyond. Although I've read about this period before it always fascinates me to see how far gay-lib has come in 50 years (granted, we had a long long way to go). My only criticism here is that the section on the actual Event seems a bit short. While focusing on a few individuals seems to open up the rest of the book, it provides too narrow a fo...more
Overall, really good. I liked delving into the pasts of some early activists, and the description of the riot itself captured what must have been a very crazy, confusing moment in time. It got a little dull, sometimes, when discussing some personal aspects of the people. I recommend it as a good history of a pivotal moment in our history.
Lily C.
If you're interested in learning about the gay liberation movement, this is a good book to pick up as a starting point. It's told through biographical accounts of six people who had some major roles surrounding the events that took place before and after the Stonewall Riots, and it opened up my eyes a lot more concerning the gay liberation movement. It took a while to grab my attention, but it started to get really interesting around the middle, especially when it finally reached the start of th...more
i read this book a few years after coming out as queer, when i realized i wanted to know something about my people, the gays, our history and culture. i like the way this book is formatted because it tells a handfull of people's real stories, starting before stonewall and ending afterwards, kind of narrating the evolution of the gay rights movement. i don't remember any critiques i might have had. it was definitely better than that movie called stonewall.
Feb 16, 2009 Beth rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Beth by: Taylor Bailey
Shelves: non-fiction, stalled
The first 200 pages or so of this book FLEW by. And then... Then, not so much. The story of the six people's childhoods and young adulthoods were really compelling, but then things got a little boring.

I'm sure it's a great historical piece and I wish I could finish it. Perhaps I will when I'm feeling more patient.
Best synopsis of the Stonewall riots and the gay rights movement both before and after this event. My favorite individual that the author profiled was Sylvia, hands down. Duberman's writing style is easily accessible, and is a must read for anyone who is either gay and/or interested in the movement surrounding gay rights.
my high school english teacher mrs. carlson gave me this book after i came out. she was a wiccan in all the olympia ways: lots of rings, purple smocks, loose fitting pants, world music. i read it so long ago i'm not sure i'd trust my review of it.
A good way to learn one person's perspective of what occurred over those three days and the events leading up to them. I've since been told that there are other- quite conflicting- accounts...
so juicy, so fun. kinda politically incorrect, but hey, it's a product of its moment. a total page turner that transported me to the historic event--I highly recommend it!
Ryan Splenda
A really well-researched and interesting portrayal of the gay rights movement in the United States. A great read for anyone interested in social movements of the 1960s.

Timely read. Very interesting but the last three sections make the book. For my full review, read it here
Should be compulsory reading for any 'straight acting' gay men who don't realise the debt they owe to New York's drag queens.
Anne Paschke
I love the focus on six individuals of the movement, but difinitely got a bit bogged down in the bicking minutia of the movement.
Megan Osterbur
This is a must read for those who were not around to experience Stonewall and want a personalized perspective.
This was the very first "gay" book I ever read...♥ I am thankful that I started with history!
Great profile of some of the players involved in the stonewall riots and what it meant to so many.
Jun 15, 2009 Pattie added it
This is part of my 1960's Social Issues paper research.
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Martin Bauml Duberman is a scholar and playwright. He graduated from Yale in 1952 and earned a Ph.D. in American history from Harvard in 1957. Duberman left his tenured position at Princeton University in 1971 to become Distinguished Professor of History at Lehman College in New York City.
More about Martin Duberman...
Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past Paul Robeson Cures: A Gay Man's Odyssey Black Mountain: An Exploration in Community Howard Zinn: A Life on the Left

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