Coming Out Under Fire

Author: Allan Berube
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0743210719
Size: 38.73 MB
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Among the many histories of fighting men and women in World War II, little has been written about the thousands of homosexuals who found themselves fighting two wars--one for their country, the other for their own survival as targets of a military policy that sought their discharge as "undesirables." To write this long overdue chapter of American history, Allan Bérubé spent ten years interviewing gay and lesbian veterans, unearthed hundreds of wartime letters between gay GIs, and obtained thousands of pages of newly declassified government documents. While some gay and lesbian soldiers collapsed under the fear of being arrested, interrogated, discharged, and publicly humiliated, many drew strength from deep wartime friendships. Relying on their own secret culture of slang, body language, and "camp" to find each other and build spontaneous communities, they learned, both on and off the battlefield, to be proud of their contribution and of who they were.--From publisher description.

Coming Out Under Fire

Author: Allan Bérubé
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807899649
Size: 78.76 MB
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During World War II, as the United States called on its citizens to serve in unprecedented numbers, the presence of gay Americans in the armed forces increasingly conflicted with the expanding antihomosexual policies and procedures of the military. In Coming Out Under Fire, Allan Berube examines in depth and detail these social and political confrontation--not as a story of how the military victimized homosexuals, but as a story of how a dynamic power relationship developed between gay citizens and their government, transforming them both. Drawing on GIs' wartime letters, extensive interviews with gay veterans, and declassified military documents, Berube thoughtfully constructs a startling history of the two wars gay military men and women fough--one for America and another as homosexuals within the military. Berube's book, the inspiration for the 1995 Peabody Award-winning documentary film of the same name, has become a classic since it was published in 1990, just three years prior to the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which has continued to serve as an uneasy compromise between gays and the military. With a new foreword by historians John D'Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman, this book remains a valuable contribution to the history of World War II, as well as to the ongoing debate regarding the role of gays in the U.S. military.

Ask And Tell

Author: Steve Estes
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807889855
Size: 30.13 MB
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Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was the directive of President Clinton's 1993 military policy regarding gay and lesbian soldiers. This official silence continued a collective amnesia about the patriotic service and courageous sacrifices of homosexual troops. Ask and Tell recovers these lost voices, offering a rich chronicle of the history of gay and lesbian service in the U.S. military from World War II to the Iraq War. Drawing on more than 50 interviews with gay and lesbian veterans, Steve Estes charts the evolution of policy toward homosexuals in the military over the past 65 years, uncovering the ways that silence about sexuality and military service has affected the identities of gay veterans. These veteran voices--harrowing, heroic, and on the record--reveal the extraordinary stories of ordinary Americans, men and women who simply did their duty and served their country in the face of homophobia, prejudice, and enemy fire. Far from undermining national security, unit cohesion, or troop morale, Estes demonstrates, these veterans strengthened the U.S. military in times of war and peace. He also examines challenges to the ban on homosexual service, placing them in the context of the wider movement for gay rights and gay liberation. Ask and Tell is an important compilation of unheard voices, offering Americans a new understanding of the value of all the men and women who serve and protect them.

Thanks For The Memories

Author: Jane Mersky Leder
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780275988791
Size: 70.12 MB
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The collective consciousness of World War II revolved around the virtues of bravery, sacrifice, and commitment. Members of the Greatest Generation toed political and social lines in hopes of winning the war. They fell into lockstep, not asking many questions and breaking few social and sexual mores. Or did they? In fact, World War II, like all wars, was an era of sexual experimentation and a general loosening of morals. During this time of conflicting emotions and messages, of great sacrifice, and of discovery, some groups, especially women, experienced a relaxing of bonds that had kept them in check. "Thanks for the Memories: Love, Sex, and World War II" is the true story of how that generation responded to the fervor of war and how those passions changed their livesand the relationships between the sexesforever. But this book is more than that. As Jane Mersky Leder writes, "Thanks for the Memories" opens the hearts and memories of a generation that is dying, by one estimate, at the rate of more than 1,000 a day. It not only exposes the Greatest Generation s sexual and romantic escapades, it underscores how those four war years revolutionized relationships (including those between gays) and helped set the stage for the second wave of the women s liberation movement. Many who never thought their stories mattered, Leder writes, now feel the pull of limited time, and the importance of leaving an accurate account for their children and grandchildren of what it was like to be a young man or young woman during World War II. This is their collective story. "

My Desire For History

Author: Allan Bérubé
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 0807877980
Size: 10.79 MB
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This anthology pays tribute to Allan Berube (1946-2007), a self-taught historian and MacArthur Fellow who was a pioneer in the study of lesbian and gay history in the United States. Best known for his Lambda Literary Award-winning book Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II (1990), Berube also wrote extensively on the history of sexual politics in San Francisco and on the relationship between sexuality, class, and race. John D'Emilio and Estelle Freedman, who were close colleagues and friends of Berube, have selected sixteen of his most important essays, including hard-to-access articles and unpublished writing. The book provides a retrospective on Berube's life and work while it documents the emergence of a grassroots lesbian and gay community history movement in the 1970s and 1980s. Taken together, the essays attest to the power of history to mobilize individuals and communities to create social change.

Queer America

Author: Vicki Lynn Eaklor
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 0313337497
Size: 72.78 MB
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Details the history of homosexuality in the United States, focusing on its political and cultural relationships with society, and on American history with respect to queer theory.

The Columbia History Of Post World War Ii America

Author: Mark C Carnes
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231511809
Size: 57.78 MB
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Beginning with an analysis of cultural themes and ending with a discussion of evolving and expanding political and corporate institutions, The Columbia History of Post-World War II America addresses changes in America's response to the outside world; the merging of psychological states and social patterns in memorial culture, scandal culture, and consumer culture; the intersection of social practices and governmental policies; the effect of technological change on society and politics; and the intersection of changing belief systems and technological development, among other issues. Many had feared that Orwellian institutions would crush the individual in the postwar era, but a major theme of this book is the persistence of individuality and diversity. Trends toward institutional bigness and standardization have coexisted with and sometimes have given rise to a countervailing pattern of individualized expression and consumption. Today Americans are exposed to more kinds of images and music, choose from an infinite variety of products, and have a wide range of options in terms of social and sexual arrangements. In short, they enjoy more ways to express their individuality despite the ascendancy of immense global corporations, and this volume imaginatively explores every facet of this unique American experience.

Soldiers To Citizens

Author: Suzanne Mettler
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199887098
Size: 68.20 MB
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"A hell of a gift, an opportunity." "Magnanimous." "One of the greatest advantages I ever experienced." These are the voices of World War II veterans, lavishing praise on their beloved G.I. Bill. Transcending boundaries of class and race, the Bill enabled a sizable portion of the hallowed "greatest generation" to gain vocational training or to attend college or graduate school at government expense. Its beneficiaries had grown up during the Depression, living in tenements and cold-water flats, on farms and in small towns across the nation, most of them expecting that they would one day work in the same kinds of jobs as their fathers. Then the G.I. Bill came along, and changed everything. They experienced its provisions as inclusive, fair, and tremendously effective in providing the deeply held American value of social opportunity, the chance to improve one's circumstances. They become chefs and custom builders, teachers and electricians, engineers and college professors. But the G.I. Bill fueled not only the development of the middle class: it also revitalized American democracy. Americans who came of age during World War II joined fraternal groups and neighborhood and community organizations and took part in politics at rates that made the postwar era the twentieth century's civic "golden age." Drawing on extensive interviews and surveys with hundreds of members of the "greatest generation," Suzanne Mettler finds that by treating veterans as first-class citizens and in granting advanced education, the Bill inspired them to become the active participants thanks to whom memberships in civic organizations soared and levels of political activity peaked. Mettler probes how this landmark law produced such a civic renaissance. Most fundamentally, she discovers, it communicated to veterans that government was for and about people like them, and they responded in turn. In our current age of rising inequality and declining civic engagement, Soldiers to Citizens offers critical lessons about how public programs can make a difference.

The Legalist Reformation

Author: William E. Nelson
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807875562
Size: 57.14 MB
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Based on a detailed examination of New York case law, this pathbreaking book shows how law, politics, and ideology in the state changed in tandem between 1920 and 1980. Early twentieth-century New York was the scene of intense struggle between white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant upper and middle classes located primarily in the upstate region and the impoverished, mainly Jewish and Roman Catholic, immigrant underclass centered in New York City. Beginning in the 1920s, however, judges such as Benjamin N. Cardozo, Henry J. Friendly, Learned Hand, and Harlan Fiske Stone used law to facilitate the entry of the underclass into the economic and social mainstream and to promote tolerance among all New Yorkers. Ultimately, says William Nelson, a new legal ideology was created. By the late 1930s, New Yorkers had begun to reconceptualize social conflict not along class lines but in terms of the power of majorities and the rights of minorities. In the process, they constructed a new approach to law and politics. Though doctrinal change began to slow by the 1960s, the main ambitions of the legalist reformation--liberty, equality, human dignity, and entrepreneurial opportunity--remain the aspirations of nearly all Americans, and of much of the rest of the world, today.

Boardwalk Of Dreams

Author: Bryant Simon
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199883297
Size: 65.88 MB
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During the first half of the twentieth century, Atlantic City was the nation's most popular middle-class resort--the home of the famed Boardwalk, the Miss America Pageant, and the board game Monopoly. By the late 1960s, it had become a symbol of urban decay and blight, compared by journalists to bombed-out Dresden and war-torn Beirut. Several decades and a dozen casinos later, Atlantic City is again one of America's most popular tourist spots, with thirty-five million visitors a year. Yet most stay for a mere six hours, and the highway has replaced the Boardwalk as the city's most important thoroughfare. Today the city doesn't have a single movie theater and its one supermarket is a virtual fortress protected by metal detectors and security guards. In this wide-ranging book, Bryant Simon does far more than tell a nostalgic tale of Atlantic City's rise, near death, and reincarnation. He turns the depiction of middle-class vacationers into a revealing discussion of the boundaries of public space in urban America. In the past, he argues, the public was never really about democracy, but about exclusion. During Atlantic City's heyday, African Americans were kept off the Boardwalk and away from the beaches. The overly boisterous or improperly dressed were kept out of theaters and hotel lobbies by uniformed ushers and police. The creation of Atlantic City as the "Nation's Playground" was dependent on keeping undesirables out of view unless they were pushing tourists down the Boardwalk on rickshaw-like rolling chairs or shimmying in smoky nightclubs. Desegregation overturned this racial balance in the mid-1960s, making the city's public spaces more open and democratic, too open and democratic for many middle-class Americans, who fled to suburbs and suburban-style resorts like Disneyworld. With the opening of the first casino in 1978, the urban balance once again shifted, creating twelve separate, heavily guarded, glittering casinos worlds walled off from the dilapidated houses, boarded-up businesses, and lots razed for redevelopment that never came. Tourists are deliberately kept away from the city's grim reality and its predominantly poor African American residents. Despite ten of thousands of buses and cars rolling into every day, gambling has not saved Atlantic City or returned it to its glory days. Simon's moving narrative of Atlantic City's past points to the troubling fate of urban America and the nation's cultural trajectory in the twentieth century, with broad implications for those interested in urban studies, sociology, planning, architecture, and history.