To Believe in Women: What Lesbians Have Done For America - A History

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A unique and “often quite moving” look at gay women’s role in US history (The Washington Post).

In this “essential and impassioned addition to American history,” the three-time Lambda Literary Award winner and author of Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers focuses on a select group of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century lesbians who were in the forefront of the battle to procure the rights and privileges that large numbers of Americans enjoy today (Kirkus Reviews).
 
Hoping to “set the record straight (or, in this case, unstraight)” for all Americans and provide a “usable past” for lesbians in particular, Lillian Faderman persuasively argues that the sexual orientation of her subjects may in fact have facilitated their accomplishments. With impeccably drawn portraits of such seminal figures as Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Eleanor Roosevelt, To Believe in Women “will raise eyebrows and consciousness” (Dianne Wood Middlebrook). As Faderman writes in her introduction, “This is a book about how millions of American women became what they are now: full citizens, educated, and capable of earning a decent living for themselves.”
 
A landmark work of impeccable research and compelling readability, To Believe in Women is an enlightening and surprising read.
 
“For those who need a dose of pride and a slice of history, Faderman’s portraits should strike a popular note. ‘To Believe in Women’ is a decent starting point for learning about these pioneers and their contributions to American life.” —The New York Times
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About the author

Lillian Faderman is the author of such acclaimed works as To Believe in Women, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, and Surpassing the Love of Men. Among the many honors her work has received are Yale University’s James Brudner Award for exemplary scholarship in lesbian and gay studies, three Lambda Literary Awards, and the Paul Monette Award. She teaches literature and creative writing at California State University at Fresno.
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Additional Information

Publisher
HMH
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Published on
Jun 8, 2000
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Pages
448
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ISBN
9780547348407
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Women
Social Science / LGBT Studies / Gay Studies
Social Science / LGBT Studies / Lesbian Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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The sweeping story of the struggle for gay and lesbian rights—based on amazing interviews with politicians, military figures, and members of the entire LGBT community who face these challenges every day: “This is the history of the gay and lesbian movement that we’ve been waiting for” (The Washington Post).

The fight for gay and lesbian civil rights—the years of outrageous injustice, the early battles, the heart-breaking defeats, and the victories beyond the dreams of the gay rights pioneers—is the most important civil rights issue of the present day. In “the most comprehensive history to date of America’s gay-rights movement” (The Economist), Lillian Faderman tells this unfinished story through the dramatic accounts of passionate struggles with sweep, depth, and feeling.

The Gay Revolution begins in the 1950s, when gays and lesbians were criminals, psychiatrists saw them as mentally ill, churches saw them as sinners, and society victimized them with hatred. Against this dark backdrop, a few brave people began to fight back, paving the way for the revolutionary changes of the 1960s and beyond. Faderman discusses the protests in the 1960s; the counter reaction of the 1970s and early eighties; the decimated but united community during the AIDS epidemic; and the current hurdles for the right to marriage equality.

“A compelling read of a little-known part of our nation’s history, and of individuals whose stories range from heart-wrenching to inspiring to enraging to motivational” (Chicago Tribune), The Gay Revolution paints a nuanced portrait of the LGBT civil rights movement. A defining account, this is the most complete and authoritative book of its kind.
A New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller!
Emma Watson's Our Shared Shelf Bookclub Selection - May/June 2018

"the glowing ghosts of the radium girls haunt us still."—NPR Books

The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark danger

The Curies' newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women's cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America's early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives...

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