STONEWALL

An engrossing—and long-overdue—look at one of the seminal events in the history of gay activism: the Stonewall Riots of June 27-July 2, 1969. By filtering the genesis and events of the riots through the lives of four gay men and two lesbians who were participants, Duberman (Cures, 1991, etc.; History/CUNY) lends immediacy and emotional impact to his narrative. In addition, the diversity of the protagonists' backgrounds—black, Hispanic, WASP, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Christian Scientist—underscores the commonality of the homosexual experience and of gay reactions to legalized intolerance of homosexuality. Of special relevance is Duberman's concise overview of the period in general and of the frequently collaborative but occasionally oppositional agendas that characterized the pre-Stonewall homophile organizations and that laid the groundwork for the love/hate relationship marking many of today's gay-liberation groups. The six featured here range from Foster Gunnison, Jr., a meticulous, buttoned-up Ph.D., to Sylvia Rivera, an in-your-face transvestite and Times Square hustler. Duberman points out that the uprising that erupted outside the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village was a spontaneous expression of gay frustration, as well as a refusal to put up with the police harassment that was a commonplace of gay life during the 1960's. It's uncertain who first lashed back at police manhandling when the bar was raided. The Stonewall itself- -grubby, Mafia-run, overpriced—was an unlikely candidate for historic landmark status. Duberman argues that the management, by paying off police officials, had been warned about earlier raids but that this time, federal agents—aware of the police bribes and informed that the liquor served at the bar was bootlegged or hijacked—conducted the raid suddenly and unexpectedly. And so it was that police corruption indirectly contributed to the emergence of gay liberation. An important and absorbing addition to gay studies. (B&w photos—not seen)

Pub Date: May 6, 1993

ISBN: 0-525-93602-5

Page Count: 315

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1993

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN

Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

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