Cover image for St. James Press gay & lesbian almanac
St. James Press gay & lesbian almanac
Schlager, Neil, 1966-
Publication Information:
Detroit : St. James Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
xv, 680 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ76.3.U5 S75 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

On Order



Aiming to fill the need for current and historical information on international aspects of gay and lesbian life, and based on the advice of an advisory board, this almanac provides information on people, places, events, terms, topics in 23 chapters.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

"But suddenly, our movement was transformed. . . . Where we had quietly discussed `the problem' we began to confront the world. Where we'd begged for understanding, we demanded equality." Activist Jim Kepner's words, quoted in the chapter on politics in this volume, characterize the post-Stonewall shift. Certainly those same words characterize the book; the thought of a work such as the Almanac being produced at any time in history prior to the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion is unimaginable. Offering much more than fast-attack fact searching, the book very capably facilitates in-depth study of twentieth-century American lesbian and gay experience and culture. At nearly 700 pages, weighing in at just under five pounds, pricey, and wonderfully designed and illustrated, this is a work to be reckoned with. The Almanac is divided into 23 chapters covering such topics as family, health, law, employment, and religion. Most chapters include profiles of prominent people. Each chapter ends with a truly extensive bibliography listing books, parts of books, periodical articles, master's theses, videos, and also, when appropriate, references to both organizations and Internet sites. An annotated general bibliography is also provided. Of particular note is chapter 3, "Significant Documents." Here may be found complete papers such as Carl Wittman's "Gay Manifesto," written in 1969; Audre Lorde's "I Am Your Sister: Black Women Organizing across Sexualities"; Harvey Milk's "That's What America Is" speech from 1978; and EDNA, the still nonexistent Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Also noteworthy is chapter 20, "Travel and Leisure." Here the reader will discover a discussion of the powerful roles that women's independently owned bookstores have played in the lesbian community, as well as an overview of the evolution of the International Gay Rodeo Association. Chapter 23, "Local and Regional Views," offers a look at the quality and substance of gay and lesbian life in the U.S. The East, South, Midwest and Great Plains, Intermountain and Southwest, and the Pacific states regions are considered through such perspectives as demography, jurisprudence, and local or regional events important to the lesbian and gay movement. Regarding the question of balance, which will surely be raised, the chapter authors seem fairly evenly split by gender. The content also feels as if every attempt was made to achieve balance between females, males, and shared issues and interests. A weakness lies in the book's index. The Almanac deserves a strong, carefully authored index, with many more see and see also references. Such an index greatly enhances a sense of unity, especially important when a work is multiauthored and contains overlapping information. For example, no index reference could be found to the Kepner statement used to open this review. The Almanac is highly recommended for both the public library and the academic library setting, from the very smallest to the largest. This recommendation also stands without reservation for those libraries that have acquired Completely Queer: The Gay and Lesbian Encyclopedia [RBB Je 1 & 15 98]. Although certainly some of the content of the two is duplicated, the tone, context, and bibliographic support supplied by the Almanac is very different and will prove over time to be an invaluable resource to library users, researchers, and "invisible" members of the lesbian and gay community alike.

Choice Review

This commendable volume offers analysis of gay and lesbian history and culture in great depth. While predecessors such as Out in Culture, ed. By C.K. Creekmur and Alexander Doty (CH, Jan'96), John Preston's Big Gay Book (1991), and the The Alyson Almanac (1989- ) were compilations of trivia, St. James follows a scholarly direction. Like its earlier rivals, it can serve as a quick source of information but is also suitable for substantive research. More than 20 chapters produce a far-reaching overview of US gay and lesbian culture, community, and history. Most chapters analyze specific areas of gay life (e.g., "Family," "Performing Arts," "Education and Scholarship"). Adding depth to the text is the section "Significant Documents," which ranges from Walt Whitman's "A Gay Manifesto" to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Also notable is the first analysis of local and regional views. A bibliography of books, articles, and key Internet sites accompanies each chapter. Also included are a comprehensive index and a general bibliography. St. James is an outstanding reference title for gay and lesbian studies collections in public and academic libraries. M. A. Lutes; University of Notre Dame