The Stonewall Reader

Penguin. Apr. 2019. 336p. ed. by . bibliog. ISBN 9780143133513. pap. $18. SOC SCI
OrangeReviewStarThe New York Public Library (NYPL), with a foreword by Edmund White (A Boy's Own Story), compiles experiences of LGBTQ Americans. Divided into three sections, this curated collection brings the Stonewall uprising to life. White sets the stage, noting the cultural context for the narratives which follow, while NYPL's Jason Baumann contributes an introduction further explaining historical, geographical, and scholarly context. Beginning with "Before Stonewall," readers are treated to excerpts from movement organizers such as Audre Lorde, Christine Jorgensen, and Ernestine Eckstein. These pieces expand on what life was like for the LGBTQ community prior to the Stonewall rebellion. The collection then moves to "During Stonewall," in which selections describe the event from various perspectives, including that of journalist Dick Leitsch, activist Marsha P. Johnson, and journalist Howard Smith. Finally, "After Stonewall" provides a look at how things changed or did not change post-riots, with words from Rev. Troy D. Perry, author Kiyoshi Kuromiya, and New York's first lady Chirlane McCray.
VERDICT As a whole, this masterful collection is perhaps one of the most exhaustive looks at the events surrounding Stonewall from the LGBTQ perspective and provides a wonderfully diverse cast of voices. Scholars will find plenty of quotable material.

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