Reviews

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 7-10-This eminently readable work highlights the history of gays and lesbians in the U.S. Beginning with the Victorian period and following with five more chapters covering the 20th and 21st centuries through 2006, Alsenas prefaces each historically accurate section with a true story told from a personalized (or fictionalized) point of view, such as the notorious 1892 Memphis murder of Freda Ward by her lover, Alice Mitchell. This technique, combined with abundant archival photos and the author's accessible writing style, makes the pages fly by almost as if reading a long, compelling story. Of course, this book only touches on salient points of LGBT history, but for young teens who are interested in learning about queer scholarship, it is an excellent place to begin. A good index, excellent notes, and a selected bibliography of resources, into which the author encourages readers to "dig deeper," only increase the usefulness of Gay America.-Betty S. Evans, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Recommended for Star* Alsenas' landmark history of American gay life focuses largely on public attitudes toward homosexuality and the seemingly endless struggle for gay rights that resulted. After a brief survey of pre-twentieth century America, Alsenas narrows his focus to offer closer examination of unfolding events. Thus, chapter two deals with the period 1910-1939; chapter three, with 1940-1959, and so on until the final chapter brings the reader to the present . . .and beyond. In an effort to humanize his material, the author begins each chapter with an individual story told from a personalized (i.e., lightly fictionalized) point of view. While this succeeds in dramatizing factual material, the effort may be unnecessary, since the epic story the author has to tell of the gradual emergence of gays and lesbians from the shadows is itself a compellingly human story. Alsenas' often sprightly, always engaging style makes his history even more reader-friendly, as do the many archival photographs that enliven each page. This first-ever book for young adults to cover this material is essential reading for all young people - gay, lesbian and straight.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2008 Booklist


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* Alsenas' landmark history of American gay life focuses largely on public attitudes toward homosexuality and the seemingly endless struggle for gay rights. After a brief survey covering pre-twentieth-century America, Alsenas narrows his focus to offer a closer examination of more recent events. Thus, Chapter Two deals with the period 1910-39; Chapter Three, with 1940-59; and so on until the final chapter brings the reader to the present and beyond. In an effort to humanize his material, the author begins each chapter with an individual story told from a personalized (i.e., lightly fictionalized) point of view. While this succeeds in dramatizing factual material, the effort may be unnecessary, since the epic story the author tells of the gradual emergence of gays and lesbians from the shadows is itself a compellingly human drama. Alsenas' often sprightly, always engaging style makes his history even more reader-friendly, as do the many archival photographs that enliven each page. This first-ever book to cover this material for young adults is essential reading for all young people gay, lesbian, and straight.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2009 Booklist