eBook A Queer History of the United States – Mariahilff.de

Winner of aStonewall Book Award in nonfictionThe first book to cover the entirety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history, from preto the presentIn the s, Thomas Morton broke from Plymouth Colony and founded Merrymount, which celebrated same sex desire, atheism, and interracial marriage Transgender evangelist Jemima Wilkinson, in the early s, changed her name to Publick Universal Friend, refused to use pronouns, fought for gender equality, and led her own congregation in upstate New York In the mid nineteenth century, internationally famous Shakespearean actor Charlotte Cushman led an openly lesbian life, including a well publicized female marriage And in the late s, Augustus Granville Dill was fired by W E B Du Bois from the NAACP s magazine the Crisis after being arrested for a homosexual encounter These are just a few moments of queer history that Michael Bronski highlights in this groundbreaking book Intellectually dynamic and endlessly provocative, A Queer History of the United States is than a who s who of queer history it is a book that radically challenges how we understand American history Drawing upon primary documents, literature, and cultural histories, noted scholar and activist Michael Bronski charts the breadth of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history, fromto the s, and has written a testament to how the LGBT experience has profoundly shaped our country, culture, and history A Queer History of the United States abounds with startling examples of unknown or often ignored aspects of American history the ineffectiveness of sodomy laws in the colonies, the prevalence of cross dressing women soldiers in the Civil War, the impact of new technologies on LGBT life in the nineteenth century, and how rock music and popular culture were, in large part, responsible for the devastating backlash against gay rights in the late s Most striking, Bronski documents how, over centuries, various incarnations of social purity movements have consistently attempted to regulate all sexuality, including fantasies, masturbation, and queer sex Resisting these efforts, same sex desire flourished and helped make America what it is today At heart, A Queer History of the United States is simply about American history It is a book that will matter both to LGBT people and heterosexuals This engrossing and revelatory history will make readers appreciate just how queer America really is


10 thoughts on “A Queer History of the United States

  1. Laura Laura says:

    I picked this book up because I am always interested in the erased parts of my nation s culture the side of things that we don t learn about in school, or anywhere else.So you can imagine my disappointment when I found that same erasure happening here In a book claiming to show the queer voices in American history, the voices of the trans, bi, intersex, asexual, and really any identity NOT lesbian, gay, or occasionally transvestite to quote the book , were oddly silent Not once was the w I picked this book up because I am always interested in the erased parts of my nation s culture the side of things that we don t learn about in school, or anywhere else.So you can imagine my disappointment when I found that same erasure happening here In a book claiming to show the queer voices in American history, the voices of the trans, bi, intersex, asexual, and really any identity NOT lesbian, gay, or occasionally transvestite to quote the book , were oddly silent Not once was the word asexual used Not once was an individual described as bisexual , even if their relationships with both men and women were being discussed Never was the gender dichotomy challenged Trans individuals were mentioned, but often the descriptions of their lives were brief, when compared to the lengthy paragraphs devoted to the lives of lesbian suffragettes, gay writers, or the homosexual community in general.While I recognize that evidence is sparse, the utter lack of any queer presence in this book beyond lesbian, gay, and trans was extremely troubling It does no good to shine a light in the ignored places of our history if that same light shuts out others I expected better


  2. V. Briceland V. Briceland says:

    A Queer History of the United States takes the Schoolhouse Rock approach to surveying queer culture in America It s fast moving, it hits all the expected high and low points, it s affirming, and it never explores its subject beyond cartoon depth All it really lacks is a catchy tune Though the book alleges to cover a period of time spanning from before 1492 to the present, its pre colonial and colonial history is at best sketchy in fact, just about anything before the turn of the twentieth cen A Queer History of the United States takes the Schoolhouse Rock approach to surveying queer culture in America It s fast moving, it hits all the expected high and low points, it s affirming, and it never explores its subject beyond cartoon depth All it really lacks is a catchy tune Though the book alleges to cover a period of time spanning from before 1492 to the present, its pre colonial and colonial history is at best sketchy in fact, just about anything before the turn of the twentieth century is simply a quick run down of the usual literary and political suspects Walt Whitman might ve been gay, y all And by the present , Bronski means 1990, the year at which he unapologetically cuts off his narrative.Bronski s gallop through several hundred years of history certainly covers a lot of territory, and for that it may be worth reading Anyone expecting analysis or a critical eye may be disappointed to find that the read is a bit like attending a cocktail party and hearing all the expected names dropped, but not being able after to remember if anything interesting about them was said


  3. Lydia Lydia says:

    I read all but one of two of the first chapters of this book, for research for a gay historical fiction novel and some of it was really good, some of it was mediocre, but I found it had a lot of contradictions This is a very general history of gay culture in the United States, and with its broad brushstrokes, sometimes it wins, sometimes it loses I took lots of notes and found many enjoyable details the chapter on the production and marketing of gender was an unexpected joy I found lots I read all but one of two of the first chapters of this book, for research for a gay historical fiction novel and some of it was really good, some of it was mediocre, but I found it had a lot of contradictions This is a very general history of gay culture in the United States, and with its broad brushstrokes, sometimes it wins, sometimes it loses I took lots of notes and found many enjoyable details the chapter on the production and marketing of gender was an unexpected joy I found lots of bisexual asexual and trans erasure present not only in the historical text but in the text itself I liked that it often challenged and called out racist ideals of the time, as well as well known historical figures who were racist, but I was just disappointed at times in the overall tone of this book, upon reflection This feels very white centered and very along the gay lesbian binary, as well as the male female binary I m pleased with the notes I made, but I just found this to be well intentioned and equally harmful At one point, Bronski conflates the queer struggle with the struggle for equality amongst African Americans in the United States He makes one or two interesting points I suppose, but to conflate and compare struggles is harmful and has already been done a thousand times over He then goes on to elaborate that we shouldn t compare struggles, but like lots of white male cis writers, lacks the subtlety to break down the intersectionality of blackness and queerness in any meaningful way He then makes a smart move and quotes Audre Lorde, and then leaves the quotation unattended TheI think about this, theit sours in my mouth, which is sad because it was an enjoyable read, but I often wanted Bronski to check his privilege and drop his pejorative views Oh well _ _


  4. Cody VC Cody VC says:

    Would be five stars if not for some significant flaws I would recommend this for any introductory course on US history, as long as it was supplemented with other texts such as The Transgender Studies Reader.Bronski does a fair job including gender variance in the beginning, but peters out somewhere around the 1940s and never adequately recovers not even a mention of Christine Jorgensen Really Yet even the early mentions could have been handled better for instance, Bronski says in the text Would be five stars if not for some significant flaws I would recommend this for any introductory course on US history, as long as it was supplemented with other texts such as The Transgender Studies Reader.Bronski does a fair job including gender variance in the beginning, but peters out somewhere around the 1940s and never adequately recovers not even a mention of Christine Jorgensen Really Yet even the early mentions could have been handled better for instance, Bronski says in the text that berdache is inaccurate and offensive, yet makes no attempt to use an alternative term a failing made all thestriking when the book jacket captions one of the illustrations with the current term two spirit He also discusses a person who refused to use pronouns by repeatedly referring to this person as her. The book could also have benefited from onelook over by an editor I found a few typos here and there, and there were a couple of places where facts could have been introduced somewhat earlier in terms of narrative.I do still hope that this comes to be considered an important text, because it is sorely needed


  5. Jay Jay says:

    Messy and not my jam A number of pitfalls that are real centering whiteness centering cis experiences, esp amab cis experiences conflation of desire and labels gltbqqia uncreative notions of what resistance can look like that glorify violent actions and invisibilze other ways ppl have resisted and survivedwhere s the intersectional, anti colonial framework to at least hold space for the possibility of radical kinds of queernesses throughout time it s hard to write these histories in w Messy and not my jam A number of pitfalls that are real centering whiteness centering cis experiences, esp amab cis experiences conflation of desire and labels gltbqqia uncreative notions of what resistance can look like that glorify violent actions and invisibilze other ways ppl have resisted and survivedwhere s the intersectional, anti colonial framework to at least hold space for the possibility of radical kinds of queernesses throughout time it s hard to write these histories in ways that don t fall into these and other pitfalls , glad this author have it a go but for real there need to be better books than this.anybody have other book suggestions


  6. Lauren Stoolfire Lauren Stoolfire says:

    I d seen this nonfiction history book making the rounds at the library quite a bit recently so I thought I d give the audiobook edition a try The narrator does a very good job presenting the information The book is a great primer on the subject and it covers a few hundred years like the author says there is so muchout there especially if you were to do a deep dive on a particular time period or figure On the bit about free love, I was pleased to hear Victoria Woodhull get a mention.


  7. lavende lavende says:

    I found this on overdrive read it because I wanted to learn about American History anyway this year which I was never taught about in school pretty much at all it obviously wasn t supposed to be an all encompassing work of every facette of American history, so it was fine to get an overview through a gay white, male, middle aged to old ish lens with I did find it lacking in several departments, though When I use quotes they aren t direct quotes from the text, but paraphrased from memor I found this on overdrive read it because I wanted to learn about American History anyway this year which I was never taught about in school pretty much at all it obviously wasn t supposed to be an all encompassing work of every facette of American history, so it was fine to get an overview through a gay white, male, middle aged to old ish lens with I did find it lacking in several departments, though When I use quotes they aren t direct quotes from the text, but paraphrased from memory.First of all, I disliked its approach which led to a lot of word count over colonial and racist, misogynistic, transphobic or ableist homosexuals occasionally feminists , which is fine insofar as that the deeply flawed ideologies of prominent figures of LGBT history should definitely be highlighted, but that left very little space to contrast those people with black, native american and other LGBT people of color, women and specifically lesbians, trans people, disabled or at least nom eugenicist LGBT people etc Especially the way the author talked about native Americans and, relatedly, fetishization of both native men and women in this book, by white men was not great Since I m a white person myself, what I m about to say is just as much seen from a white perspective as the original text by Michael Bronski The fact that Morton and a number of other white men in the Merrymount colony invited native women to their maypole celebrations and that interracial marriages of those native women and white men were encouraged by Morton is described as a proof for a liberal attitude held by Morton and Merrymount in regard to sexuality in general, implicitly including a potential tolerance of homosexuality To me, it seems like plain fetishization of nonwhite, specifically native women Later, Bronski attributes a positive quality to fetishization of romantic friendships between black and native men in popular literature by a white gay, but not exclusively audience, since the racist stereotype of sexuallynatural less repressed by social conventions men of color helped white gay men embrace their own sexuality I mean It s still bad Apart from that, there was an okay amount of mentions of lesbians, but Bronski almost exclusively referred to bisexuals as homosexuals who slept with opposite sex , for example James Dean, which I did find very odd He does mention bisexuality occasionally, but never explicitly talks about it the way homosexuality is talked about Obviously it can be hard to label people who didn t have the same understanding of sexuality as we do now, but that doesn t explain why the author had no problem labelling people as homosexual , heterosexual or sometimes queer The focus transgender people and activism in this book is so miniscule that it pretty much doesn t exist A handful of organizations and people are named, but it does in no way help understand the state of transgender people s lives and rights throughout American history Here, again, exists an overlap between gay people and trans people who would ve identified differently through history than today, but again, barely mentioning something at all that is explicitly included in the word queer as well as the acronym LGBT which Bronski used to define the group of people whose history he was going to write about, is just bad academic writing plain and simple


  8. Saige Saige says:

    This book was informative, but it missed the mark for me It spent a lot of time talking about attitudes towards sexuality and gender in early America, yet a lot of the arguments were hard to follow It would touch on subjects that I thought neededexplanation and do deep dives into topics that I found too shallow to warrant the attention I liked the emphasis it placed on the authors and texts that shaped the movement, but sometimes the examples provided didn t mesh well with the paragraph This book was informative, but it missed the mark for me It spent a lot of time talking about attitudes towards sexuality and gender in early America, yet a lot of the arguments were hard to follow It would touch on subjects that I thought neededexplanation and do deep dives into topics that I found too shallow to warrant the attention I liked the emphasis it placed on the authors and texts that shaped the movement, but sometimes the examples provided didn t mesh well with the paragraphs around them There was also a decided lack of transitions It switched amongst topics in a chapter and I was left searching for a connection that wasn t there I learned some new facts, but overall this is definitely not one of my top texts for LGBT history


  9. J.C. J.C. says:

    This is the textbook for my gay lesbian literature class I found this book a very wonderful history book style story of the queer community At times itsabout the events and the order of history, but putting about 500 years in context really put in perspective for me the struggles of these people It s certainly not perfect, like I said it s very history book ish, therefore it doesn t cover everything In fact it ends with the AIDS epidemic of the 80 s Certainly things have changed sin This is the textbook for my gay lesbian literature class I found this book a very wonderful history book style story of the queer community At times itsabout the events and the order of history, but putting about 500 years in context really put in perspective for me the struggles of these people It s certainly not perfect, like I said it s very history book ish, therefore it doesn t cover everything In fact it ends with the AIDS epidemic of the 80 s Certainly things have changed since then he mentions this in the epilogue but doesn t really give much beyond that, for whatever reason Recommended if you want a basic history of queer history, but if you re already knowledgeable in the subject, I don t think there s much here for you that you might not already know


  10. Jane Jane says:

    The book s thesis is that queer US history is US history that the two are inseparable and I suppose it succeeds in conveying this However, the sheer task of compressing 500 years of history from the Puritans to the AIDS epidemic into 300 pages results in a book that feels like a litany of important names and events I think it would have benefited a lot from just focusing on a handful of events withdepth and nuance Should also be noted that the focus is primarily on people who identi The book s thesis is that queer US history is US history that the two are inseparable and I suppose it succeeds in conveying this However, the sheer task of compressing 500 years of history from the Puritans to the AIDS epidemic into 300 pages results in a book that feels like a litany of important names and events I think it would have benefited a lot from just focusing on a handful of events withdepth and nuance Should also be noted that the focus is primarily on people who identify as gay or lesbian, with very little writing afforded to bisexual, non binary outside of cross dressing , and other identities