Cruising: An Intimate History of a Radical Pastime

Unnamed Pr. Jun. 2019. 200p. illus. bibliog. ISBN 9781944700829. pap. $21.99. SOC SCI
In his first work of nonfiction, novelist Espinoza (The Five Acts of Diego Leon; Still Water Saints) integrates his own history into a survey of the various ways that gay men have found one another through informal means. This activity is colloquially known as “cruising” in our time, but it has a long history, which Espinoza demonstrates in his retelling of how ancient Greek and Romans connected with each other, and how Molly houses became meeting places for men in 18th- and 19th-century England. In a provocative section, Espinoza describes the various guides that existed in the mid-20th century and after that provided gay men with data on where to find assignations. He brings the story forward to today in his analysis of apps such as Grindr, without neglecting the dangers that cruising presents. What makes this book so appealing is the way Espinoza combines his own experiences of cruising from adolescence to the present, and as a Chicano, with a cogent analysis of the role of cruising; an antihegemonic activity against a patriarchal system—and he writes beautifully.
VERDICT Recommended for LGBT and contemporary culture collections.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Community matters. Stay up to date on breaking news, trends, reviews, and more.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month

Like this premium article? Subscribe to LJ and get all of our premium content at your fingertips for 12 months.