In a hugely ambitious study that crosses continents, languages, and almost a century, Gregory Woods identifies the ways in which homosexuality has helped shape Western culture. Extending from the trials of Oscar Wilde to the gay liberation era, this book examines a period in which increased visibility made acceptance of homosexuality one of the measures of modernity. Woods shines a revealing light on the diverse, informal networks of gay people in the arts and other creative fields. Uneasily called ´´the Homintern´´ (an echo of Lenin´s ´´Comintern´´) by those suspicious of an international homosexual conspiracy, such networks connected gay writers, actors, artists, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, politicians, and spies. While providing some defense against dominant heterosexual exclusion, the grouping brought solidarity, celebrated talent, and, in doing so, invigorated the majority culture. Woods introduces an enormous cast of gifted and extraordinary characters, most of them operating with surprising openness, but also explores such issues as artistic influence, the coping strategies of minorities, the hypocrisies of conservatism, and the effects of positive and negative discrimination. Traveling from Harlem in the 1910s to 1920s Paris, 1930s Berlin, 1950s New York, and beyond, this sharply observed, warm-spirited book presents a surpassing portrait of 20th-century gay culture and the men and women who both redefined themselves and changed history. 1. Language: English. Narrator: John Sackville. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/027231/bk_adbl_027231_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
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.
Vividly capturing the heady times in the waning months of World War II, Ronald Weber follows the exploits of Allied reporters as they flooded into liberated Paris after four dark years of Nazi occupation. He traces the remarkable adventures of the men and women who lived, worked, and played in the legendary Hôtel Scribe, set in a highly fashionable part of the largely undamaged city. Press jeeps and trailers packed the street outside, while inside the hotel was completely booked with hundreds of correspondents. The busiest spot was the dining area, where the clatter of typewriters combined with shouts of correspondents needing hot water to brew coffee from military powder. But the basement-level bar was the hotel?s top attraction, where famed war correspondents like Ernie Pyle, Walter Cronkite, A. J. Liebling, Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, Janet Flanner, Lee Miller, Marguerite Higgins, Irwin Shaw, Edward Kennedy, Charles Collingwood, Robert Capa, and many others held court while in the company of military censors and top brass. Weber uncovers the struggles between correspondents and Allied officials over censorship and the release of information, the heated press chaos surrounding the war?s end, and the drama of the second German surrender orchestrated by the Russians in shattered Berlin. The elation of total victory was mixed with the abrupt emptiness of a task finished. While work on the Continent remained for journalists, it now dealt with the slog of the occupation of Germany rather than the blood and glory of war. Yet Weber shows there were many reasons to carry on after VE Day in this delightfully entertaining account of the hotel where correspondents were regularly briefed on the war and its aftermath, wrote their stories, had them transmitted to international media outlets, and rarely neglected the pleasures of a Paris reborn until December 1, 1945, when the Hôtel Scribe was officially vacated by the American military.