Elegantly written, the book argues a principal historical transformation, from a rural penetrative sodomy paradigm to an urban masturbatory homosexual paradigm, dating roughly from the 1920s and 1930s.
Rigorously researched, Sinners and Citizens mines government reports, the daily press, scientific journals, forensic psychiatric statements, mental hospital records, church periodicals, and sex reform movement literature, as well as questionnaires from 286 informants born before 1945.
Taken together, the pieces offer not only a retrospective of where the field has been, but an agenda for the future in terms of bringing race and class more centrally into LGBT history.
D’Emilio and Freedman’s skillful introduction situates Bérubé’s journey within a broader story about the origins of LGBT history in community history projects. state during the twentieth century carves out a bold new place for sexuality at the center of political and legal history.
Through a careful and finely textured analysis of the writings of prison officials, inmates, reformers, and academic investigators, Kunzel places the prison right in the middle of the history of sexuality in the United States.
She argues convincingly that attention to sexual relationships in prison dramatically complicates any simple straight-line theories about the historical evolution of sexual identities.
Stewart-Winter deftly examines how the defining moments of queer political ascendancy in Chicago—protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention and the 1983 electoral victory of Harold Washington as Chicago’s first African American mayor—were collaborative operations built on shared commitments to end police brutality and to overcome political exclusion.
Such focus allows Stewart-Winter to rework the somewhat familiar narrative of queer urban history, opening up fresh opportunities for future scholars to examine how the rise of queer political power was a collaborative venture.
This monograph is analytical intersectionality at its best, building on and contributing to studies of race, immigration, citizenship, gender, sexuality, and urban history.
Especially admirable is Stewart-Winter’s attention to how queer activism in Chicago was always coalitional, involving work across races, genders, and sexual identities.