Winner of Randy Shilts Award In the half century before the Nazis rose to power, Berlin became the undisputed gay capital of the world. Activists and medical professionals made it a city of firsts-the first gay journal, the first homosexual rights organization, the first Institute for Sexual Science, the first sex reassignment surgeries-exploring and educating themselves and the rest of the world about new ways of understanding the human condition. In this fascinating examination of how the uninhibited urban culture of Berlin helped create our categories of sexual orientation and gender identity, Robert Beachy guides readers through the past events and developments that continue to shape and influence our thinking about sex and gender to this day.
To think what is true, to sense what is beautiful, and to what is good, hereby the spirit finds purpose of a life in reason. (Johann Gottfried Herder, 18th century German philosopher and poet) In 2012, the German capital recorded a staggering 700,000 people at its CSD Parade, with about 500,000 making it all the way to the end of the joyous march, which is said to have been the biggest and most well-attended pride parade of the year. Berlin´s mayor, Klaus Wowereit, among the first openly gay politicians in Germany, famous for uttering the now locally iconic phrase, ´´Ich bin schwul, und das ist auch gut so (I´m gay, and that is a good thing)´´, inaugurated the splendid march. Elaborately decorated floats carrying both muscular men in flamboyant period costumes and fabulous queens in their best lace-fronts and drag, wield rainbow flags and dance to techno music as they lead the tremendous party from the Kreuzberg District to the Pariser Platz. As the members of the LGBT community, local and from out of town, surrounded by their friends, family, and allies, grooved into the night, the Brandenburg Gate was converted to a colossal rainbow flag. Other than culture and love and equality, the Brandenburg Gate is also where the locals celebrate triumphant victories and honor their modern-day heroes, i.e. their sport stars. In mid-July of 2014, a throng of 400,000 ecstatic Germans flooded the streets (many of whom had camped out at the site overnight), starting a ´´fan mile” that originated from the fabled gate. It was here that they welcomed the FIFA World Cup champions with German flags, banners, capes, leis in black, red, and gold, and confetti poppers galore. The black Mercedes truck transporting the players, coaches, and crew members could barely move through the swarm of fans. To the locals today, the Brandenburg Gate, understandably one of the nation´s top tourist attractions, is synonymous with spectacle, felicity, and victori 1. Language: English. Narrator: Mark Norman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/105844/bk_acx0_105844_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
´Enormously pleasurable, deeply moving. A bid to save our rich hoard of landscape language, and a blow struck for the power of a deep creative relationship to place´ Financial Times Landmarks is Robert Macfarlane´s joyous meditation on words, landscape and the relationship between the two. Words are grained into our landscapes, and landscapes are grained into our words. Landmarks is about the power of language to shape our sense of place. It is a field guide to the literature of nature, and a glossary containing thousands of remarkable words used in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to describe land, nature and weather. Travelling from Cumbria to the Cairngorms, and exploring the landscapes of Roger Deakin, J. A. Baker, Nan Shepherd and others, Robert Macfarlane shows that language, well used, is a keen way of knowing landscape, and a vital means of coming to love it. ´Thoughtful and lyrical writing . . . It´s gorgeous´ Independent on Sunday ´His writing has a confidence and enjoyment, a passionate purpose . . . he celebrates our vast, but evaporating, vocabulary for the landscape´ Daily Telegraph ´A book that ought to be read by policymakers, educators, armchair environmentalists and active conservationists the world over´ Guardian ´What is remarkable about these words is how precise they are, and how deeply local. They feel as if they somehow grew out of the land itself. A delight´ Sunday Times ´Few books give such a sense of enchantment; it is a book to give to many, and to return to repeatedly´ Independent SHORTLISTED FOR THE SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE