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Deviant's War : The Homosexual Vs. the United States of America


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Product Description

From a young Harvard-and Cambridge-trained historian, the untold story of a revolution for gay rights that began a generation before Stonewall

In 1957, Frank Kameny, a rising astronomer working for the U.S. Military in Hawaii, received a summons to report immediately to Washington, D.C. The Pentagon had reason to believe he was a homosexual, and after a series of humiliating interviews, Kameny-like gay men and women for generations-was promptly dismissed from the military. Unlike many others, though, Kameny fought back.

Deviant's War is the story of what followed. This book is an assiduously researched history of an early champion of gay liberation, one who fought for the right to follow his passion and serve his country in the wake of Joseph McCarthy's Lavender Scare. We follow Kameny as he explores the underground gay scenes of Boston and Washington, D.C., where he formulates his arguments against the U.S. Government's classification of gay men and women as "sexual perverts." At a time when staying in the closet remained the default, he poked and prodded at the hypocrisies of the American establishment, helping to usher in a broader revolution in sexual morals.

Based on firsthand accounts, recently declassified FBI records, and forty thousand personal documents, Deviant's War unfolds over the course of the 1960s, as the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C.-the group Kameny founded-became the first organization to protest the systematic persecution of gay federal employees. It is a story of America (and Washington) at a cultural and sexual crossroads; of shocking, byzantine public battles with Congress; of FBI informants; murder; betrayal; sex; love-and ultimately victory.

Author: Eric Cervini

Hardcover, Published 2nd June 2020, 512 pages

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