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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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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