The Stonewall Riots: A Documentary History

New York Univ. May 2019. 352p. illus. maps. notes. index. ISBN 9781479816859. pap. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781479895717. SOC SCI
Stein (Jamie and Phyllis Pasker Professor of History, San Francisco State Univ.; Rethinking the Gay and Lesbian Movement) isn't interested in interpreting what happened in 1969. Rather, the author presents primary documents from that time. In his brief introduction, Stein acknowledges that we can never re-create or revisit the past, but we can analyze it through a panoramic collection of narratives and perspectives. The rest of the book is broken into three sections of primary documents: before Stonewall, Stonewall, and after Stonewall. These materials are key to this documentary history, as Stein pulls from numerous sources reflecting the time; specifically, from sources that aren't mainstream but almost entirely LGBT publications, including newsletters and pamphlets. These articles and writings provide an essential window into the culture, society, politics, and mind-sets of the era and during the riots. With the climate toward LGBT issues radically different 50 years later, it is important to understand these events in the context of their time.
VERDICT Highly recommended, especially for school and academic libraries.

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