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Sons of Harvard: Gay men from the class of 1967

Marotta, Toby

Editore: Morrow, 1982
ISBN 10: 0688010202 / ISBN 13: 9780688010201
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Titolo: Sons of Harvard: Gay men from the class of ...

Casa editrice: Morrow

Data di pubblicazione: 1982

Legatura: Hardcover

Condizione libro: New


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Dall'autore: "Sons of Harvard: Gay Men from the Class of 1967." William Morrow, 1982.  This book personifies and illustrates the "counter-cultural" and predominantly "leftist" wave of social and political change that was produced largely by college-aged men and women of my Sixties generation who had opted to embrace self-styled-and-declared gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender lifestyles after the Stonewall Riots of June, 1969.  Its text splices my first-person accounts of what I did in order to meet and interview these GLBT ground-breakers with excerpts from the taped and transcribed interviews I obtained from the dozen or so Harvard College classmates who had agreed to let me tape-record them describing what they had found it to be like to begin self-identifying and living as a "liberated" gay or bisexual man.  To locate and recruit helpful interviewees I sent a request for willing informants to as many of the 1200 members of my college class listed as being alive by Harvard University's sizable and efficient alumni office. The fact that my resulting interviews took place just before the arrival of the deathly new epidemic of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS, said to be spread via "unprotected" sexual promiscuity and hypodermic needle use for substance abuse, endowed my resulting narrative with an unusual degree of public-health utility and sub-cultural poignancy. Would the liberated lifestyles and communities we envisioned to survive?
How had I gotten to this point?    Back in 1965, Rusty was a hot-shot young professor of geology and the senior tutor of Lowell House at Harvard and I was an ambitious undergraduate wrestling with my homosexuality. Not until a few years later, when I was graduate student in Government and Education at the University and he was the precociously tenured professor of geology who had become first director of Harvard's new Science Center, did we become lovers who envisioned a long-term life together.  In order to make this leap together we had moved from Cambridge to avant-garde Berkeley, California.   Back when I was completing my graduate work in Cambridge I had persuaded Professor Nathan Glazer, whose views and books about American ethnic minorities had helped inspire me to view and to treat the flowering post-Stonewall GLBT community as comparable, to supervise the thesis I needed to write in order to fulfill the requirements for a Harvard Ph.D. in Government and Education.  Because I had completed my required course work in Cambridge, I was free to move to Berkeley, California, and write my thesis in absentia.    To support myself financially I sought and got work as an ethnographer of AIDS-afflicted inner city populations working on projects funded by various National Institutes of Health and conducted in San Francisco.  Initially my job was to live with, converse with, study, and understand why sexually active men in big American cities were getting and spreading HIV infections and AIDS. En route I had managed to move from my job as a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-funded field ethnographer in the Tenderloin, Polk Gulch, and finally Castro areas of San Francisco to an affiliate of one of the first San Francisco-based consulting groups funded by the federal government to develop and field-test educational outreach programs designed to stop the spread of HIV infections and AIDS. In the San Francisco Bay Area I found myself in a good position to help the bold and proud GLBT community that was coalescing locally and in other big cities throughout the country and the world.  And I decided that one good way to do so -- a way to personify the themes of my book about the post-Stonewall efforts that launched worldwide efforts to produce GLBT liberation -- would be to produce a book of profiles that shared the personalities, lives, subcultures, and communities I had also come to associate with the dozen or so of my Harvard College classmates who agreed that it would be helpful and enlightening to to be interviewed for a book that would educate others about the liberated gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender lifestyles and communities that were now being embraced and publicized by so-called American Baby Boomers. Amen.

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