Irresistible Revolution (Hardcover)

Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Politics

By Urvashi Vaid

Magnus Books, 9781936833290, 238pp.

Publication Date: October 30, 2012

List Price: 21.95*
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From one of the nation's best-known social justice leaders and community activists comes a strategic and informed argument about the pitfalls of limited political vision, and the benefits of an agenda that encompasses, yet moves beyond, equality.

The LGBT movement is on one of the most active, contested, and engaging social movements in the world. This optimistic book challenges advocates for LGBT rights in the U.S. to aspire beyond the narrow framework of equality. It outlines a more substantive politics with race, class, and gender at its foundation, and suggests that such a politics will produce greater and more meaningful change for a larger number of people.

Irresistible Revolution is intended for a broad and general audience. The book turns an experienced and thoughtful lens onto many common controversies, rhetoric, and strategic questions that face contemporary social change movements: pursuit of broad or narrow agendas, integration of economic and racial justice, integrating sexual orientation and gender identity in human rights frameworks, the persistence of sexism, the dilemmas of bipartisanship, and the challenge of seeing beyond the short term to secure gains made for the long run.

About the Author

Urvashi Vaid is a community organizer and attorney who has been a leader in the LGBT and social justice movement for thirty years. Currently the Director of the Engaging Tradition Project at Columbia Law School's Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, Vaid is a former staff attorney with the ACLU National Prison Project, and a former executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Vaid has worked in global philanthropy, serving as executive director of the Arcus Foundation and as deputy director of governance and civil society programs at the Ford Foundation. Vaid is a graduate of Vassar College, and of Northeastern University School of Law. She lives in New York City with her partner of twenty-four years, the humorist Kate Clinton.

Praise For Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Politics

Irresistible Revolution is more than a collection of revivifying, incisive, provocative, scrupulously argued, and beautifully articulated speeches and essays. It's more than a fantastically useful roadmap through the convulsive politics of these perilous times, more than the fearless analytical acumen and the clear-eyed, mature, impassioned perspectives available on every page. People in the LGBT community, people everywhere who are struggling to assimilate this era’s unnerving contiguity of hope and despair will find what’s written here indispensable.”

Tony Kushner, playwright

"Urvashi Vaid’s extraordinary collection of essays on the movement for LGBT rights reveals her capacity for audacious critical analysis, her attention to creative political strategies and her principled commitment to forge a complex unity out of the major struggles of our time. Most importantly, she urges us to embrace feminist and anti-capitalist frameworks that link campaigns against homophobia to radical movements against racism, xenophobia and war."

Angela Y. Davis, University of California, Santa Cruz

"Irresistible Revolution is a brave reckoning. Potent and invigoratingwritings that call us to our most radical and truthful selves. Writings that call us to reclaim rights, freedoms, and expressions sacrificed in the need to belong. Writings that remind us that freedom does not come through narrowing our concerns but through the expansion of them."

Eve Ensler, playwright and activist

"Urvashi Vaid brings her three decades of experience pushing for gender, racial, and economic justice in gay and lesbian politics in this new book. She applies herself to some of most urgent dilemmas facing today's queer activists: cooptation, the limits of marriage equality’ demands, and the relationship of LGBT people to U.S. military imperialism. In these honest, readable, provocative essays, Vaid lets us in on her self-described ambivalence’ about the LGBT movement, providing an excellent set of entry points into the most urgent questions facing LGBT activists today."

Dean Spade, author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law