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Queers in History [Paperback]

Stern , McKellen
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 15.99
Price: 12.76 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

8 Nov 2009
The first comprehensive biographical compendium of important historical and contemporary figures who were or are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. The hundreds of people whose stories appear in this book are some of the most intriguing personalities of their times: actors, writers, musicians, businessmen, politicians, scientists and soldiers. Intended for gay and heterosexuals alike, this encyclopedia reveals a fascinating picture of queer society and culture throughout recorded history. This is history at its finest: surprising, absorbing and ultimately empowering.

Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Ben Bella (8 Nov 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933771879
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933771878
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 15 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Keith Stern has produced some of the most popular biographical Web sites on the Internet. Since 1997 he has been collaborating with Sir Ian McKellen on the actor's autobiographical website. He has also produced official websites for Lynn Redgrave, Sean Astin, Andy Serkis, Spinal Tap, the film Gods and Monsters, and others for movie stars and movies. Stern started in the music business as a musician followed by several years with Warner Bros. Records in field promotion, public relations, A&R, and IT. In 1979 in Charlotte, N.C., he transformed the Milestone into a showcase punk rock/new wave music venue, and in 1981 with Ben Clark, he opened a larger venue, Viceroy Park. As an independent promoter, he produced many early concerts for punk/new wave acts including R.E.M., The Ramones, The Go-Go's, Iggy Pop, Bow Wow Wow, and Joan Jett. His screenplay "Freezing Time" will be filmed in 2009, starring Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, King Kong). Keith currently lives in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a gay teenager and wanted to find out more about people both past and present who are also part of the LGBT community. This book is really comprehensive and has loads of LGBT people from all walks of life within its pages. I throughly enjoyed reading it and would urge any one else LGBT or straight to do the same its a really interesting read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Book 11 Nov 2012
By Booboo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Brilliant and so imformative. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this fascinating book and reccomend to others who have an interest in gay people of the past.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a great read 29 Dec 2010
this is a fun book,that gives an a to z of all the famous gays and lesbians throughout history. only a snippet on each,enough to keep you interested.one for the coffee table for sure.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was very dull, with not much information on the entries. Do not waste your money. More information available on the internet, and free.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who? What? WOW! 16 Oct 2009
By Ophelia Chong - Published on Amazon.com
I could not put this book down, it's like a bag of potato chips; once you start, you can't stop. The importance of this book is in the title "Queers in History", what made them famous, infamous, was not just their sexuality but their sense of purpose. But did their sexuality play an important part in it? Most likely because what drives gay, straight, bi people are their goals in life, and their decisions in life are made emotionally, what they feel, what they need, what fuels their passions.

Keith Stern's book is not just a historical look at homosexuality but it brings to the forefront what is the common denominator of us all, the search for our own "place in the world". I highly recommend this book as a gift to all your straight, gay, bi, transexual friends and as a book to place on the coffee table to start lively conversations at any social gathering.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Questionable Credibility 14 Jun 2010
By M. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Queers in History is best described as the hybrid of an encyclopedia and a gossip column. It's certainly entertaining in places, but I'm not convinced that all of the claims are credible. I wish there were more discussion of the sources that led to the author's conclusions. Also, the book contains many individuals who had just a single homosexual experience; I don't know if that necessarily qualifies them as queer.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Queers in History 5 Nov 2012
By Mary K. Green - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was a disappointment to me because I expected to read of fully developed characters but found instead little more information than an obituary might contain. BUT my biggest disappointment is that the book includes people who were attracted to children, clearly more pedophile than homosexual, and that does not belong in a book about Queers any more than a book about heterosexuals should include people who are attracted to children. I do not recommend this book as "the comprehensive encyclopedia of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals."
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fairly comprehensive and informative 23 Dec 2011
By Adam L - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is rather effective in that one can either peruse a few entries during lunch break, or read through the night. At times I couldn't put it down. The format is basically several hundred cases of successful, famous, or notorious gay individuals whereby anywhere from a few paragraphs to a few pages are devoted to summarizing their lives and the evidence that they were in fact gay. It spans from the earliest recorded gay couple in ancient Egypt, up to the present day. You can find any number of variety, from royalty and popes, to scientists, authors, and of course the movie business. There were nonetheless some concerns I had that made me wary of buying.

As with anything on this subject, I was concerned that the evidence towards their sexualities, particularly from medieval times up thru the homo hunting in the 50s, would be flimsy at best. Not only was sexuality a taboo subject and hidden at all costs in many cases, but the passing of time can make it difficult to assess just about anything. Nonetheless, there was a compelling amount of proof most of the time, and the author even conceded in the preface that there were "bound to be some" errors. This is unavoidable, at least absent a diary confession or something. I think the opportunity to become well known was also limited before video and such. Consequently, a sizeable number in this book are still living and hollywood comes across as the gayest place ever. Where i think improvement could have been made was there were times I really wanted to learn more, yet only a couple paragraphs were devoted to some instrumental figure like Alexander. It could have done without some cases altogether; I don't care that someone in a boy band is gay, seeing as their only contribution to society is to make teenage girls scream. I'd rather have read about some everyday foreman or police chief or whatever that had overcome prejudice (not to mention didn't wait until their career was over to come out).

Another difficulty that complicates the matter is the widely different cultures that these people lived in. For example, Lincoln is often assumed to have been gay because he wrote what appears to be passionate love letters to his roommate and lifelong friend. They also shared a bed, but it was quite common to do so in those days, when beds were prohibitively expensive and men who moved out west were separated from their families. So their correspondence reads like they can't stand to be apart, when it may simply be a matter of loneliness. In some parts of the world nowadays it's even common for hetero male friends to hold hands. So was Lincoln gay? He's in this book, but we'll probably never know. What is shocking to me was the number who frankly admitted to their sexuality when it was social suicide, or even death, to do so. In these instances, which is most of the entries, there is no room for doubt.

So in conclusion this collection isn't perfect, but it is a genuine effort and an entertaining reference. It's encouraging to see what an impact gays and lesbians have made across time and place.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstandingly Good Resource & a FUN Read 26 Jan 2011
By Teddy Witherington - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Rarely do I encounter a book that not only provides a wealth of high quality reference material, but does so in such an entertaining and engaging way. Stern writes with such inviting fluidity that once I picked up this book, I simply had to read it cover to cover. I learned, I laughed, I gasped and I turned each page with eager enthusiasm. For those active or interested in queer issues this is an essential addition to your library. I howled with laughter when I read about Marilyn Monroe's confession to her therapist, felt waves of compassion for those who had and still have to hide their beautiful souls from a hostile world and immense gratitude for those who courageously stood up, stand up and show the way. Queer or not, if you have an interest in understanding your own heart, this is recommended reading.
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