A jovial yet passionately delivered self-portrait inspiring awareness about LGBT history from one of the movement’s true...

AND THEN I DANCED

TRAVELING THE ROAD TO LGBT EQUALITY

The life and times of an intrepid gay rights activist.

Segal’s swiftly written debut memoir looks back at his coming-of-age years in New York City through his achievements both personal and political, which have made him the “dean of American gay journalism.” Growing up isolated in the 1950s with “the only Jewish family in a South Philadelphia housing project,” the author, son of a decorated war hero, set his sights on New York (“the center of everything”) while passing his childhood years with eyes glued to the men’s underwear section of the Sears catalog and bonding with his civil rights advocate grandmother, who “celebrated diversity before it was fashionable.” Segal’s first interest in newspapers manifested as a young door-to-door salesboy, and then he branched out in later years as a founding journalist of the Philadelphia Gay News. He went on to chair political movements and lobby for LGBT anti-discrimination legislation with learned diplomacy and the launch of a series of nonviolent, press-frenzying “zaps,” which included crashing the sets of the Tonight Show and the CBS Evening News. Amid schisms within the gay community and the beginning of the nightmarish “deadly war” on AIDS, Segal fearlessly pressed onward, befriending pivotal politicos like Barney Frank and spearheading the development of LGBT senior housing projects. In other sections, the author vividly describes his firsthand experience as a teenager inside the Stonewall bar during the historic riots, his participation with the Gay Liberation Front, and amusing encounters with Elton John and Patti LaBelle. In a fitting coda to a vigorous life story, Segal, now 64, writes of finally wedding his longtime partner and of finagling a coveted photograph together with Michelle Obama.

A jovial yet passionately delivered self-portrait inspiring awareness about LGBT history from one of the movement’s true pioneers.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-61775-410-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Open Lens/Akashic

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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