The Triumphant Gay Revolution
By Linda Hirshman
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061965517, 464pp.)
Publication Date: June 2013
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Supreme Court lawyer and political pundit Linda Hirshman details the stunning story of how a resourceful and dedicated minority transformed the notion of American marriage equality and forged a campaign for cultural change that will serve as a model for all future political movements. In the vein of Taylor Branchs classic Parting of the Waters, Hirshmans groundbreaking Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution is the powerful story of a massive shift in American culture. Hirshman offers an insiders view of the crucial struggle that is leading to change, incorporating her unique experiences and insights and drawing upon new interviewswith movement titans such as Frank Kameny and Phyllis Lyon, with next-generation activists such as Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry, and with allies including the likes of New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrandto create a comprehensive, inspiring history of change in our time.
Linda Hirshman, a lawyer and a pundit, is the author of Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World and many other books. She received her JD from the University of Chicago Law School and her PhD in philosophy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and she taught philosophy and womens studies at Brandeis University. In recent years, she has appeared on network and cable television shows, including 60 Minutes and The Colbert Report. She has also written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Slate, Newsweek, the Daily Beast, and Salon.
Linda Hirshman's new book Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution draws on hundreds of in-depth interviews and archival material to chronicle the fight for gay rights in America. Hirshman talks to Michel Martin about some key leaders in this history and how their accomplishments have expanded opportunities for those who do not identify as LGBT. More at NPR.org
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“As popular history, Victory excels. Hirshman is a nimble storyteller with an agile curatorial eye for what matters. . . . Exemplary. . . . I find Victory to be an astute jolt, as remarkable for its emotional punch as for its historical insight.”
-Rich Benjamin, New York Times Book Review
“Hirshman has produced a remarkable history of the gay-rights movement in America by chronicling many of the people and events that shaped it. She has a smart and engaging style, which is serious but not ponderous. . . . with new clarity and simple, fresh insight.”
“Sharp and cogent throughout. . . . Victory is ultimately a deeply moving narrative of a not-quite-finished freedom struggle.”
“Given that the gay rights saga is very much in process, the ending of Hirshman’s book is a cliffhanger, but she does a masterful job of making her readers, whether they’re familiar with the material or not, want to know what happens next.”
-Los Angeles Times
“Exhilarating. . . . As an overview of recent American LGBT history, Victory has plenty to recommend it. . . . A good starting point for learning about recent gay history.”
-San Francisco Chronicle
“Victory is one of the most important (and readable) gay-history texts around.”
-Philadelphia City Paper
“An inclusive, fascinating history of the gay rights movement that provides fertile grounds for passionate debate.”
“An astonishing work that seamlessly weaves together multiple stories into one authoritative volume. Highly recommended for political scientists, civil rights activists, and students of LGBT history.”
-Library Journal (starred review)
“Victory tells the fascinating inside story of how gay activists changed America for the better, not just for themselves but for everyone. There’s inspiration here for everyone who wants a fairer, more equal society-- and plenty of hope as well.”
-Katha Pollitt, Nation columnist
“Linda Hirshman has written an important and necessary book that should be read in every school and every home in the country.”
-Amanda Foreman, author of A World on Fire
“Hirshman . . . offers perceptive comparisons between the gay-rights movement and other, concurrent movements for equality.”
“This exuberant history of arguably the final and most difficult civil rights struggle relates, in surprisingly upbeat fashion, the fight ‘to slowly bend the arc of history toward justice’ for gay men and women. . . . Undeniably inspiring.”
“Before he died, gay rights hero Arthur Evans told Linda Hirshman to tell our story. And she does so brilliantly--with insight, passion and the keen eye of a fierce social scientist. And what a story it is! Arthur Evans would be proud.”
-Eric Marcus, author of Making Gay History and What If Someone I Know Is Gay?
“I picked this book up one night and never got to sleep. Victory is an epic account of our movement’s progress; a beautifully written and fast moving narrative that is poignant, humorous, and inspiring.”
-Cleve Jones, Founder of The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt
“Linda Hirshman’s Victory is the chronicle that the brilliant, unremitting gay movement deserves. Deeply informed with human detail, political theory, and legal analysis alike, it moves fluidly out of the closet to the precincts . . . A genuine, sparkling tour de force.”
-Todd Gitlin, author of Occupy Nation
“A compulsively readable mix of philosophy, social history and journalism, Hirshman’s [book] provides an invaluable understanding of the people across the years who have worked so passionately to increase liberty and justice in our union.”
-Rebecca Traister, author of Big Girls Don't Cry
“Hirshman has done a great service in putting the question of morality in this movement on the table. Though important chapters are yet to be written, this book will help the world to see that gay is good-and getting better.”
“Victory’s tone is thoughtful and modest, exploring large themes through individuals’ stories. . . . The book gives a moving picture of a history many won’t know.”
“Her analysis of what makes social movements succeed is always thoughtful and sometimes profound. . . . The result is always entertaining and frequently exhilarating.”
“Hirshman provides an excellent and very readable history that is buttressed by an impressive amount of research and personal interviews.