Cover image for Historical dictionary of the gay liberation movement : gay men and the quest for social justice
Historical dictionary of the gay liberation movement : gay men and the quest for social justice
Hunt, Ronald J., 1940-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lanham, MD : Scarecrow Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xxiv, 241 pages ; 23 cm.
Format :


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HQ76.5 .H86 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Despite its relative youth, the gay liberation movement is one of the most vigorous and quickly growing of the contemporary social movements. The efforts of a handful of individuals put in motion a movement which now involves millions of people, and spans the globe. The agenda of the movement, like its membership, has grown tremendously, with new causes, organizations, and strategies for reaching goals constantly being adopted. The Historical Dictionary of the Gay Liberation Movement traces the evolution from the early homosexual rights movement through a century of history and into the contemporary gay and lesbian rights movement. It defines the key organizations and presents their leaders, the essential issues and the strategies those issues suggest, and the situation in numerous countries. Entries for numerous countries provide a global perspective. Most of the information is provided through extensive entries in the dictionary which are supplemented and put into context by the introduction and chronology. A comprehensive bibliography aids the researcher in further study. This volume focuses on the impact of gay and bisexual men (and their allies) on the gay liberation movement. A subsequent volume will trace the role of lesbians in the movement.

Author Notes

Ronald J. Hunt (Ph.D., Political Science, Ohio State University) is Associate Professor of Political Science at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He has been teaching "Gay and Lesbian Politics" there since 1984.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Gay liberation is the youngest of the movements covered in the "Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies, and Movements" series edited by Jon Woronoff, of which this is number 22. A brief chronology charting significant events from 1864 to 1999 precedes a 28-page introduction describing three distinct periods: the early homosexual rights movement centered in Germany; the modern homosexual rights movement beginning after World War II in Britain, France, the Netherlands, and North America; and the contemporary gay and lesbian rights movement marked by the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York, now international in scope. Hunt (political science, Ohio State Univ.) "focuses on the impact of gay and bisexual men (and their allies)" with promises of a subsequent volume tracing the role of lesbians. The alphabetical entries describe key organizations, their leaders, and the issues and strategies of numerous countries worldwide. Fifty pages of bibliographical references complete this valuable volume. Recommended for specialized collections.√ĄJames E. Van Buskirk, San Francisco P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Entries in this excellent reference source are detailed, clear, and concise. Besides the dictionary section, which has nearly 150 entries, there is a well-written introduction, an acronyms list, and a thorough bibliography. The coverage, worldwide and chiefly 20th century (although some earlier people and groups are covered), emphasizes individual people and the groups that they founded to further the cause of liberation. It is nevertheless hard to understand why the Gay Liberation Task Force (now the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Task Force of the American Library Association) has been omitted--it was the first such group founded within a professional association. Although the series editor promises that a volume on lesbians and bisexual women will follow, the division between the sexes seems artificial, especially since most of the organizations rating entries include both men and women. This work belongs in the general reference collection of all college libraries. S. J. Stillwell Jr.; University of North Texas