Skip to main content

Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities

Second Edition

Second Edition

2d edition
With thorough documentation of the oppression of homosexuals and biographical sketches of the lesbian and gay heroes who helped the contemporary gay culture to emerge, Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities supplies the definitive analysis of the homophile movement in the U.S. from 1940 to 1970. John D’Emilio’s new preface and afterword examine the conditions that shaped the book and the growth of gay and lesbian historical literature.

"How many students of American political culture know that during the McCarthy era more people lost their jobs for being alleged homosexuals than for being Communists? . . . These facts are part of the heretofore obscure history of homosexuality in America—a history that John D’Emilio thoroughly documents in this important book."—George DeStefano, Nation

"John D’Emilio provides homosexual political struggles with something that every movement requires—a sympathetic history rendered in a dispassionate voice."—New York Times Book Review

"A milestone in the history of the American gay movement."—Rudy Kikel, Boston Globe

Table of Contents

Preface, 1998

Part 1. Identity, Community, and Oppression: A Sexual Minority in the Making

1. Homosexuality and American Society: An Overview
2. Forging a Group Identity: World War II and the Emergence of an Urban Gay Subculture
3. The Bonds of Oppression: Gay Life in the 1950s

Part 2. The 1950s: Radical Visions and Conformist Pressures

4. Radical Beginnings of the Mattachine Society
5. Retreat the Respectability
6. Dual Identity and Lesbian Autonomy: The Beginnings of Separate Organizing Among Women
7. The Quest for Legitimacy

Part 3. The 1960s: Civil Rights and the Pursuit of Equality

8. Gay Life in the Public Eye
9. Civil Rights and Direct Action: The New East Coast Militancy, 1961-1965
10. The Movement and the Subculture Converge: San Francisco During the Early 1960s
11. High Hopes and Modest Gains

Part 4. The Liberation Impulse

12. A New Beginning: The Birth of Gay Liberation
13. Conclusion

Afterword, 1998

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press