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 victor... 1. Language: English. Narrator: Mark Norman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/105844/bk_acx0_105844_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
From Robert Macfarlane, the acclaimed author of The Old Ways-a celebration of the language of landscape and the power of words to shape our sense of place For years now, the British writer Robert Macfarlane has been collecting place-words: terms for aspects of landscape, nature, and weather, drawn from dozens of languages and dialects of the British Isles. In this, his fifth book, Macfarlane brilliantly explores the linguistic and literary terrain of the British archipelago, from the Shetlands to Cornwall and from Cumbria to Suffolk, offering themed glossaries of hundreds of these rare, deeply local, poetical terms, organized by such geographical terrains as flatlands, uplands, waterlands, coastlands, woodlands, and underlands. Interspersed with this archive of place words are biographical essays in which Macfarlane writes of his favorite authors who have paid close attention to the natural world and who embody in their own work the huge richness of place language-from Barry Lopez and John Muir to Nan Shepard, J. A. Baker, and Roger Deakin. Landmarks is a book about the power of language and how it can become a way to know and love landscape, from a writer acclaimed for his own precision of utterance and distinctive, lyrical voice.