An indelible collection of wise voices resonating with experience, pride, resilience, and revolution.

THE STONEWALL GENERATION

LGBTQ ELDERS ON SEX, ACTIVISM, AND AGING

LGBTQ community elders reflect on the decades since the Stonewall uprising.

After conducting an expansive statistical research project on the sexual satisfaction of LGBTQ elders, veteran sex educator Fleishman acknowledges this demographic’s “invisibility,” and she channels her findings into a book of profiles of LGBTQ seniors whose memories and experiences form a moving tapestry of American gay history. Perhaps the most outspoken interviewee is transgender rights advocate Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, one of the few remaining survivors of the uprising and a major influence who has served as a “mother and grandmother figure to countless trans and nonbinary people around the world.” Among the couples interviewed are Bob Isadore and his partner, David Velasco Bermudez, who was inside the establishment that night in 1969 to mourn Judy Garland’s death; and late-stage activist lesbians Edie Daly and Jackie Mirkin, who met in their 60s and married in 2008. Many other contributors—diversified by age, race, and locale—share their opinions on ageism, sex, and their methods of staying true to the integrity of a liberation movement they helped foster. Mandy Carter, a veteran justice organizer, shares her coming-of-age experience as a black lesbian; at 70, she appreciates “the importance of being humble, dreaming big, and taking risks.” Activist Hardy Haberman reflects on a 1964 Life Magazine article about homosexuality that sparked an interest in kink and leather subcultures and the misconceptions about sexual violence involved in those cultures. As Fleishman convincingly demonstrates, these significant voices embody the legacy of a movement for equality, anti-discrimination, and sexual freedom; they also encourage younger community members to take an active role in the preservation of those hard-earned liberties. Though this inspirational volume represents just a small sampling of the community’s movers and shakers, it deserves prominent placement on LGBTQ history bookshelves. Kate Bornstein and Barbara Carrellas provide the foreword.

An indelible collection of wise voices resonating with experience, pride, resilience, and revolution.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-55896-853-0

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Skinner House

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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A refreshingly candid, fearless look into a model’s body of work and its impact on her identity and politics.

MY BODY

The international model embarks on a nuanced investigation of her body and identity.

Ratajkowski’s exploration of fame, self-identity, and what it means to be a “beautiful” woman is surprisingly engaging. Originally thrust into the spotlight in 2013 due to her scantily clad appearance in the music video for Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” the author eventually became known for her stances about beauty and sexuality and how they are commodified. Now that she is a wife and mother, she writes, “I feel a tenderness toward my younger self. My defensiveness and defiance are palpable to me now. What I wrote and preached then reflected what I believed at the time, but it missed a much more complicated picture. In many ways, I have been undeniably rewarded by capitalizing on my sexuality….But in other, less overt ways, I’ve felt objectified and limited by my position in the world as a so-called sex symbol.” This short book includes the juicy tidbits that avid celebrity-memoir readers seek, and the author shares how she really felt about the video shoot and how the aftermath affected her. Beyond that, the book is a reflective coming-of-age-in-the-industry tale, a story that is never maudlin but contains a few thick, murky sections. Ratajkowski attempts to break down the construction of her identity and sexuality in relation to the ever present male gaze as well as her relationships with the women in her life. The charm of this book lies in the author’s largely relatable writing, which shows the complex emotions and confusion of a young woman experiencing her sexual development and maturation into a capable adult. Admitting that the “purpose of the book is not to arrive at answers, but honestly to explore ideas I can’t help but return to,” Ratajkowski grapples directly with a host of thorny issues.

A refreshingly candid, fearless look into a model’s body of work and its impact on her identity and politics.

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-81786-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Metropolitan/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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A solid work of investigation that, while treading well-covered ground, offers plenty of surprises.

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PERIL

An account of the last gasps of the Trump administration, completing a trilogy begun with Fear (2018) and Rage (2020).

One of Woodward and fellow Washington Post reporter Costa’s most memorable revelations comes right away: Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calling his counterpart in Beijing to assure him that even after Jan. 6 and what Milley saw as an unmistakable attempt at a coup d’état, he would keep Trump from picking a war with China. This depiction has earned much attention on the talking-heads news channels, but more significant is its follow-up: Milley did so because he was concerned that Trump “might still be looking for what Milley called a ‘Reichstag moment.’ ” Milley emerges as a stalwart protector of the Constitution who constantly courted Trump’s ire and yet somehow survived without being fired. No less concerned about Trump’s erratic behavior was Paul Ryan, the former Speaker of the House, who studied the psychiatric literature for a big takeaway: “Do not humiliate Trump in public. Humiliating a narcissist risked real danger, a frantic lashing out if he felt threatened or criticized.” Losing the 2020 election was one such humiliation, and Woodward and Costa closely track the trajectory of Trump’s reaction, from depression to howling rage to the stubborn belief that the election was rigged. There are a few other modest revelations in the book, including the fact that Trump loyalist William Barr warned him that the electorate didn’t like him. “They just think you’re a fucking asshole,” Barr told his boss. That was true enough, and the civil war that the authors recount among various offices in the White House and government reveals that Trump’s people were only ever tentatively his. All the same, the authors note, having drawn on scores of “deep background” interviews, Trump still has his base, still intends vengeance by way of a comeback, and still constitutes the peril of their title.

A solid work of investigation that, while treading well-covered ground, offers plenty of surprises.

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-982182-91-5

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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