Viewing contemporary history from the perspective of the AIDS crisis, Jennifer Brier provides rich, new understandings of the United States' complex social and political trends in the post-1960s era. Brier describes how AIDS workers--in groups as disparate as the gay and lesbian press, AIDS service organizations, private philanthropies, and the State Department--influenced American politics, especially on issues such as gay and lesbian rights, reproductive health, racial justice, and health care policy, even in the face of the expansion of the New Right. Infectious Ideas places recent social, cultural, and political events in a new light, making an important contribution to our understanding of the United States at the end of the twentieth century.
Connexions investigates the ways in which race and sex intersect, overlap, and inform each other in United States history. An expert team of editors curates thought-provoking articles that explore how to view the American past through the lens of race and sexuality studies. Chapters range from the prerevolutionary era to today to grapple with an array of captivating issues: how descriptions of bodies shaped colonial Americans' understandings of race and sex; same-sex sexual desire and violence within slavery; whiteness in gay and lesbian history; college women's agitation against heterosexual norms in the 1940s and 1950s; the ways society used sexualized bodies to sculpt ideas of race and racial beauty; how Mexican silent film icon Ramon Navarro masked his homosexuality with his racial identity; and sexual representation in mid-twentieth-century black print pop culture. The result is both an enlightening foray into ignored areas and an elucidation of new perspectives that challenge us to reevaluate what we "know" of our own history. Contributors: Sharon Block, Susan K. Cahn, Stephanie M. H. Camp, J. B. Carter, Ernesto Chávez, Brian Connolly, Jim Downs, Marisa J. Fuentes, Leisa D. Meyer, Wanda S. Pillow, Marc Stein, and Deborah Gray White.