Book Review: Our Queer Nation

A QUEER HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES (Beacon) by Michael Bronski
by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
November-December 2011
Add to My MSN


Content Tools

Related Content

The Meaning of LGBT History

In the latest issue of Utne Reader (Nov-Dec 2011) Mattilda Bernstein reviews Michael Bronski’s A Que...

Troy Davis and Capital Punishment in the U.S.

The execution of Troy Davis should make us all reflect on the use of the death penalty in our countr...

Percy Sledge is a Car Salesman, but Do Not Despair

When music writer Sean Michaels learns that Percy Sledge has turned to car dealership commercials fo...

Usain Bolt’s “Real” Time

An indelible image from last month’s Olympic Games came when Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt dominated ...

A Queer History of the United States is not just a fascinating history of queer people in this country, but is also a “queering” of U.S. history. Author Michael Bronski synthesizes the pioneering work of gay historians and analyzes everything from the construction of U.S. masculinity and white supremacy to shifts in gender roles from 1492 to the present. In doing so, he illuminates the ways in which queer thought over time has “radically changed how some Americans [think] about homosexuality, heterosexuality, gender, gender roles, sexual activity, children’s sexuality, privacy, and, most profoundly, sexuality itself.”

A dominant theme of the book is the battle between social purity movements and liberatory self-expression. Bronski is particularly prescient on the present state of the gay movement, with its narrow focus on fighting for access to marriage and the military using the endlessly parroted mantra of “we’re just like you.” Instead, Bronski spotlights—and celebrates—difference, declaring, “Historically, ‘just like you’ is the great American lie.”

168-cover-thumb.jpgHave something to say? Send a letter to editor@utne.com. This article first appeared in the November-December 2011 issue of Utne Reader.








Post a comment below.

 








Pay Now & Save $5!
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $31.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $36 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!