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Scandal: Infamous Gay Controversies of the Twentieth Century

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Examine the cornerstone incidents of modern gay political history!

Scandal: Infamous Gay Controversies of the Twentieth Century is a compelling and thorough examination of same-sex controversies that range from accusations of obscenity and libel to espionage, treason, murder, and political dissent, with penalties that included censorship, imprisonment, deportation, and death. In each case, scandal brought the subject of homosexuality into public view in an explosive, sensational manner, stalling (and sometimes reversing) any progress made by the gay and lesbian community in mainstream society. Author Marc E. Vargo details the dignity, courage, and wisdom displayed by the gay men and women under attack in the face of public judgment.

A unique blend of biography and gay political history, Scandal: Infamous Gay Controversies of the Twentieth Century recounts seven international incidents that tally the cost of being homosexual in a heterosexual society. In each episode, gay men or lesbians are targeted for legal persecution, subjected to sensationalized media coverage, and publicly condemned. The book examines the short- and long-term consequences of each controversy for those involved and the impact each scandal had on gay and mainstream society.

Scandal: Infamous Gay Controversies of the Twentieth Century documents the stories of:

  • Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini--his 1975 murder and its subsequent cover-up
  • British diplomats Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean--their defection to Russia at the height of the Cold War
  • Cuban political dissident Reinaldo Arenas--his imprisonment in the 1960s that led to the exposure of the violent homophobia of the Castro regime
  • Irish consul Roger Casement--his execution on treason charges and the later accusation that crucial evidence had been forged
  • South African human rights activist Simon Nkoli--his persecution by his country's all-white, pro-apartheid government
  • British writer Radclyffe Hall--the obscenity trial in the 1920s surrounding her novel, The Well of Loneliness
  • German emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II--the exposé of his relationship with Prince Eulenburg

A scholarly work of historical significance, Scandal: Infamous Gay Controversies of the Twentieth Century is written in a straightforward tone that appeals to academics, students, and interested readers, gay or straight. The book stands alone as a record of the role played by public opinion in modern gay history.

Author: Mark E Vargo

Paperback  Published January 2003  210 pages

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