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Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History


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Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon are lecturers in history at the University of Sydney.


Aldrich and Wotherspoon (history, Univ. of Sydney) are brave editors, as a "who's who" for gay studies might be seen as concretizing in an area in which the constructionist/essentialist debate is still a minefield. Nevertheless, they provide an articulate rationale for this book in their introduction. In addition to justifying the "who's who" approach in general at a time when social history moves the focus to "unknown" people, they seek to include anyone of significance in the history of sexual minorities without any limits based on what the subjects did in bed. Well over 100 contributors have written the 500 entries, which range from Sappho to Andr? Gide; most entries are accompanied by a bibliography. This is a scholarly alternative to more celebratory or localized works such as Paul Elliott Russell's The Gay 100 (Citadel, 1996). Along with the companion volume, Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History, also edited by Aldrich and Wotherspoon, it belongs in every library concerned with world history. David Azzolina, Univ. of Pennsylvania Libs., Philadelphia Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

'A good job of an impossible task, looking beyond the borders of North America, Australia and northern Europe to include people who have made important contributions from outside the gay and lesbian mainstream.' - Diva

'As entertaining as it is informative sets a standard in gay dictionaries and encyclopedias that others should note and follow. Highly recommended.' - Gay Times

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