Badpuppy Gay Today

Monday, 23 June, 1997

STONEWALL

By Martin Duberman

Book Review by Jack Nichols


 

STONEWALL by Martin Duberman, hardback edition: New York: Dutton, 1993, 330 pp. $23. Paperback edition, 1994: Plume, 330 pp. $12.95. Both Dutton and Plume editions have been published by The Penguin Group, Penguin Books, USA.

Reading Martin Duberman's 1993 book, STONEWALL, (now in paperback and sold by Duberman to filmmakers, a sale he says he later regretted) brings to mind a peculiar party I attended at the Waldorf. It was hosted by an acquaintance on behalf of his roommate who, unfortunately for the guests, was unable to attend. The substitute host knew hardly any of the guests and had little in common with them. He called them by wrong names, mistook them for other people, ignored several principals, and ended by insulting the sensibilities of the whole group. While they sipped cocktails, this pretender-to-hospitality lit a joint and giggled. Then, tiring of "hosting" he invited me to share a taxi with him, leaving the guests to fend for themselves. A rude host? You decide.

Two years after the Stonewall uprising historian Duberman tells us in his autobiography CURES that he'd disdainfully characterized the second Stonewall pride parade in his diary as " cripples on yet another march to a faith healing shrine." With such an admission I submit that Duberman is not the man to host the legendary history of Stonewall. The bad news about STONEWALL (the book) is that its full of errors. The good news is that the section on the riots (which should have been a pamphlet) presents events with dramatic flair, even if the myths remain mixed.

Duberman's credentials as an historian are impressive and he says in his Preface that historians must not "slight" historical research or compromise "historical accuracy." He brags he's "faithful to known historical fact." He assures us he's "searched diligently in unknown or unused primary source materials." The six characters he introduces to the reader are, he thinks, "lively representation." But he points out that his telling of their stories doesn't indicate his book suffers from "slovenly scholarship." His many footnotes give their tales the clear stamp of authoritativeness.

Ordinary people are life's heroes and heroines, no doubt, and it would have comforted me had Duberman practiced this doctrine he preaches. But instead of seeing gay pioneers as multi-dimensional, and scorning rumors and vicious gossip, he belittles many with stupid fictions.

His six interviewees - whom he calls "The Cast" were (arguably with two exceptions) peripheral players in the years before Stonewall. He enlisted these chosen six in his historical project while controlling them with what he calls his "authorial responsibility to interpret evidence." This means he has the last say over what they say. Calling them "The Cast" is in keeping with his other profession, that of playwright.

He believes these six lived "absorbing odysseys" that he unravels with "riveting narrative skill." I found the males mostly unrepresentative, making reader identification with them difficult. They are (1) a celibate, (2) a book store owner, (3) a Fidel Castro fan, and (4) a drag hooker. In their various ways they're all , like Duberman, prudish.

The celibate, Foster, has had his celibacy interrupted only once. He was an archivist, a collector whose huge penthouse on Gold Street was overstuffed for years with Movement memorabilia. Duberman may have chosen him to gain access to his amazing archival collection. The bookstore owner, Craig, had--in Duberman's words, "a straight laced proper side" with an "antipathy to pornography." When movie star Farley Granger patted his butt in a bar and commented on its contours, this cast member flew into a rage and threw a glass of wine at Farley (p.86). The Castro fan, Jim, is self described as "a fabulous cock teaser" while "too arrogant and haughty when rejecting a proposition --'How dare you!' written all over his face." He was also, in Duberman's words "priggish." Fouratt's nervousness about GayToday's reproductions of chapters from legendary activist Kay Tobin (Lahusen's) history book, The Gay Crusaders, (written, unlike Duberman's revisionist work during the Stonewall era and conflicting with Duberman's accounts) was reflected in his June 11 e-mail to GayToday's editor, stating "Kay decided not to tell the truth in her polemic book." In the same missive Fouratt also attacked the personal character of GAA's Mr. Zap, Marty Robinson, now deceased.

Another "Cast" member, the drag hooker, Sylvia, who while debatably sexual, often colluded with a straight hooker (p. 71) and robbed his johns, gunning one down and not waiting to see how badly he was wounded. Later "she" was apprehended and dressed as a "clean-cut model teenage boy" beat the rap in court.

Duberman excuses the bookstore owner's wine-throwing fit by calling him "proto-feminist," and comparing Farley Granger's pat with the way straight men paw women. Duberman never wonders why this ugly tantrum couldn't have been, instead, a reprimand. This is because he is too much concerned with being politically correct. His two choices for women in his "Cast" are both politically correct, one a Jewish lesbian, the other an African-American. He's unclear, however, as to whether or not there were actually lesbians at the Stonewall Inn. Neither of the two women were present. Even so, a good number of lesbians took activist cues following the riot.

The inclusion of a drag queen is both politically correct and relevant. Drag queens did take part in the uprising. The brash Sylvia, one-time heroin addict, mugger, and gun-toting loudmouth, hardly inspires, however. Her sidekick, the late Marsha P. Johnson, would have proved a superior cast member. She was also present at Stonewall and was known throughout Manhattan as gentle, honorable, and giving. "Marsha was a saint," says her one-time roommate, Randy Wicker. Sylvia, as Duberman explains, was not. In fact a homemade video in my possession shows Sylvia, many years later, telling how she compromised GAA zaps with illegal drug behaviors in the bathroom of a primary zap site. Filmmaker Arthur Dong, whose Duberman-tainted history of the period--A Question of Equality-- showcased Sylvia and Jim Fouratt, shows Sylvia making disparaging remarks about GAA, an organization that kindly tolerated her eccentricities.

All this is hardly surprising when we see how Duberman, with the zest of Kitty Kelly, turns a decade he knew only in hindsight into reactionary Sixties literature, painting in lackluster colors the "seediness" unwittingly seen in a review by author Stuart Timmons. Duberman's grundgy fables are pushed to the limit as he envisions the most ridiculous design for his belabored and error-prone saga. "The time overdue," he writes, "for grounding Stonewall in empirical reality." Empirical reality? Jesus, that's a tall order.

While I am willing to give some future historian a fighting chance, Walt Whitman quipped "the historian, if not a liar himself, is largely at the mercy of liars." My own reaction to Duberman's effort is closer to Tallullah Bankhead when she said, "There's less here than meets the eye."

While its easier to "interview" six people on tapes than to compile a real history, the pre-Stonewall history of the Sixties should not have been confused so by Duberman who seems unaware of his cast's poor memories or their non-involvement in those times. His approach fails. He has not checked their "facts" with other living principals. Some principals he has totally ignored. I suspect he ignored Paul Goodman, the Father Figure of the New Left, who was openly gay, because Goodman once blew smoke in Duberman's face (see CURES) during a TV broadcast. Why he ignored the wonderful Dr. George Weinberg, author of Society and the Healthy Homosexual, and coiner of the word "homophobia," I can't guess.

I knew four of Duberman's cast, two of them rather well. Foster Gunnison, the celibate-archivist, carried a long-time crush on my comrade Lige Clarke and was often a guest in our home. He was a courtly, shy, gentlemanly aristocrat, well-versed in philosophy, well-meaning in intent. Being from an earlier time, he was disturbed by the rush of late Sixties winds, but his good nature, Lige knew, deserved a place at our table. Lige called him "dear Foster" and like us he was something of a plodder, going dutifully from one Movement meeting to the next. Overworked myself, I suggested in February, 1966 that he take over Florida's Mattachine vice-presidency from me while I retained my V. P. post in Washington, D. C. Foster thereafter enjoyed immediate Movement status.

Before his untimely death, I telephoned this long-ago comrade-in-arms to discuss Duberman. We'd last spoken in 1986, eleven years after Lige's murder.

"Duberman, of course, is furious about the blotched photographs," he told me. Foster was referring to the fact that STONEWALL's first print run had suffered bleachouts in the photography section. I replied that the photos were doubly in error. There was the strange omission of my name where I'm carrying the first sign in the May 29, 1965 White House demonstration, a picket wrongly dated in the hardback edition May 21st. Directly behind me is Dr. Franklin Kameny, properly identified. This error was later corrected in the paperback.

"I'll tell Duberman about that," promised Foster. "Are there other errors?"

"Well, yes," I said, "but I'll point them out, you don't bother."

 

Foster was quick to say he hadn't seen, before printing , the final version. He assumed Duberman and his editor had "hunkered down re-writing the book" which he could swear, was considerably larger in the manuscript he'd last seen. Duberman assured him it only looked smaller in print, but Foster remembered something that had been left out. When he saw Duberman's statement about his "authorial responsibility to interpret the evidence" bypassing last checks with his cast, Foster stated, "Then I knew something was up!"

Another picture of me in Duberman's book does identify me. I'm wearing the same suit and tie in both photos.Why did he leave my name off (in hardback) the demonstration photo, especially since I'm first in line? A mystery to be solved, momentarily.

In my identified photo, the man standing to my right (Beardemphl, President of SIR, the West Coast's largest gay organization) is misidentified in the hardback edition as the guy on the other side of me, third from left. Living pioneers could have corrected this mix-up, but Duberman didn't ask. He did attempt corrections in the paperback, following my initial criticisms.

Six photos in STONEWALL first appeared in GAY, the newspaper I edited with Lige Clarke. They are, according to GAY's then photographer, incorrectly credited (now) to UPI, though the photographer's agent, Bettman, is correctly identified. But there's only one passing mention of GAY in Duberman's book. Why? It was the East Coast's newspaper of record (1969-73). Another mystery, to be solved momentarily.

The other cast member I knew was Craig Rodwell. We weren't close, but we saw each other often and are linked in The Gay Crusaders, another history book (See GayToday's Archives excerpts from this book under June 1997 People features). I note that Duberman seems to have a fierce need to establish Craig's credentials as "truthful." (1)"Craig had deeply internalized the Christian Science notion that 'truth is power and that truth is the greatest good.'(p.8); (2) "the episode confirmed Craig's belief--which was to be central in his life--that 'telling the truth' was in the end always the best policy." (p.8); (3) "having been trained to tell the truth" (p.47); (4) "Craig resolutely refused to embellish the truth" (p. 48); (5) "someone who always tried to tell the truth" (p. 165). In spite of this buildup, Duberman seems not to have noticed that he allows Craig to lie to his own mother (p.47) about a man he'd seen.

Duberman's allowance of such contradictions is no surprise. They reflect a revisionist historian's hurried New York schedule, too laden with deadlines and book contracts, too short on careful scholarship.

As for Craig, he was always polite to me, if not engaging. I'd be loathe to brand him a liar, but his poor memory has served Duberman's "history" poorly. I worry not at all about Craig's honesty. I do worry about Duberman's.

We find (p. 81) "Craig and several others decided to organize" a gay picket at a draft board. The date given (p.100) was, in the hardback edition, in error. It was not 1962, but September 19, 1964. After my original critique this date was omitted in the paperback. The picket was co-sponsored by Randy Wicker and Jeff Poland, not Craig. Duberman's list of participants mistakenly includes Peter Ogren, Randy's lover. Randy insists Peter Ogren wasn't present.

Craig--the truth teller--calls Harvey Milk "the love of his life" though (p.86-87) Harvey is described as recoiling from him after Craig gives him gonorrhea. Craig credits himself, however, with inspiring Harvey Milk to gay activism (p. 164-65). Possibly. But didn't Craig truthfully cheat on Harvey? What happened to Craig's "honesty is the best policy" theory? Harvey didn't know about those other men until after he started stinging, right? Could this be another lie, Craig? And can't Mr. Duberman see a lie when he writes one? His case is more serious than I'd thought.

In his see-saw overviews of Sixties gay activism errors in emphasis are numerous. He is too often contemptuous of the East Coast's gay Movements , leaning, as in the case of the question of religious gay activism , toward the West Coast's model, ignoring East Coast accomplishments. He errs also in silly little ways. East Coasters (p. 98) didn't challenge the dominant psychiatric view by positing homosexuality as inborn. Read your D'Emillio, Mr. Duberman. In Sexual Politics/ Sexual Communities (p.164) he'll tell you what East Coasters said about the dominant psychiatric view. Was, as Duberman allows, The Homosexual in America, a book in which to find out about Mattachine? (p.101). Not in the first six printings of that book, no. Did Foster Gunnison meet me, Kameny, and Inman at ECHO? No, we all met at the first national conference in Kansas City. Did Craig write "The Wicker Basket," a column of political tidbits? Duberman should have caught this error in the hardback edition because he includes Randy Wicker's name in the same paragraph (p.106). But the historian with empirical reality at his command confuses Craig Rodwell with Randy Wicker crediting Craig with writing The Wicker Basket. Was he napping? Again, following my critique of the hardback, Duberman made this correction in paperback.

Craig details an affair with Dick Leitsch, later Mattachine's longtime director. Duberman, as we shall see, has it in for Leitsch. Why? Another mystery to be solved momentarily. Craig's soapish recollections has Leitsch his sex partner, but not his lover (since they went together less than a year) and gleefully describes Leitsch (in words more worthy of True Confessions than history) initiating a silly lover's spat. Leitsch told me he didn't care to dignify Duberman's reportage by descending to a Mia Farrow/Woody Allen scene. But why didn't Duberman call Leitsch and ask him about the spat? Why take his ex-lover's side? And why does Duberman say he's not surprised (p.108) the affair didn't last a year? Isn't that a judgment? Is Duberman's empirical objectivity at work in this instance?

On page 111 in the hardback edition Craig claims to have met in 1964 with Washingtonians and others to plan Pentagon, Civil Service Commission, State Department, and White House pickets. Both he and Duberman had their dates wrong again! Contrary to their report there were no such discussions until 1965. Duberman also removed "1964" after my critique.

At this point let me say that I much prefer Gore Vidal's historical novels to Duberman's pretense to empirical realism. Vidal, at least, pretends no such thing, knowing , wisely, that history is in the eye of the beholder and that it is better to entertain and instruct with it than to claim empirical infallibility.

Further, all humanity must be on guard against the savants as Bakunin calls them--the learned professionals whose academic credentials gives them too often authority over truth, or truth as laymen get to see it. This academic class overtakes the function of the priesthood where priests are no more providing (they like to think) our only conduits to Reality. But "better an absence of light," says Bakunin, "than a false and feeble light, kindled only to mislead those who follow it."

Duberman says that before the Washington pickets (Kameny) had to do "legwork in getting permits, and that the American flags (p.111) by law had to be carried at all demonstrations." Error! Error! D. C . laws required no permits, no flags. No flags were carried. Period. Craig protests (p.111) Dr. Kameny's focus on federal employment and Duberman helps brand Kameny with an insufficiently explained 1956 arrest charge for "lewd and indecent acts." Why? Because Duberman is out to trample Dr. Kameny too, as is clear in the second volume of Duberman's self-serving memoirs, Midlife Queer. He unfairly critiques Kameny for Washington's dress regulations on the picket lines, failing to note, as an historian should, that it was another time frame, that suits and ties added dignity to those few of us who demonstrated. I myself have always hated business attire, but I knew then and know now they were shrewd strategy. Duberman proceeds to drub Kameny with overkill on this question. In the late Sixties, I changed my mind about dress codes, but I fully appreciate they were needed early on.

The White House demonstration is given an incorrect date. An easy check might have revealed to Duberman I organized the first picket at the White House and the final White House picket took place not in April, as Duberman said in hardback, but on October 23, 1965. The first picket took place April 17, 1965. Another error followed in the hardback when Duberman said over seventy marchers took place in the final protest. I disabused him of this notion too and in his paperback edition he corrected it, since there were only forty-five (15 women, 30 men.) "The most wonderful day of Craig's life" --including enjoying coffee with me and Kameny afterwards was, therefore, remembered incorrectly and Duberman made no effort to refresh that memory. Was this distinguished "historian" giving us history or hearsay?

Craig, claiming he came up with the idea for Annual Reminders at Independence Hall, believed Dr. Kameny "seemed a little annoyed that someone else had seized the initiative." (p.113). Really? I'd known Kameny for five years (at that point) and, on many occasions when I seized initiatives, I can't recall anything but his supportiveness.

I won't go further into cast member Sylvia Rivera's antics. Think well of her if you can. Suffice it to say about Jim Fouratt, that he was not a favorite among effective activists. Jim squawked in dismay as the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) a single-issue (gay rights) group quickly supplanted his beloved Gay Liberation Front (GLF), a loose organization concerned with a multitude of social wrongs. The GAA, which Duberman shows us through Sylvia's and Jim's eyes, is thus downplayed in spite of its many spectacular, colorful accomplishments. While the anarchist in me appreciated GLF on many counts, there is no denying that GAA appealed to the idealism of the gay masses and successfully attracted thousands of youths to its meeting place, leaving Jim Fouratt and the GLF in the dust.

Nevertheless, Duberman focuses on organizations (GLF and NACHO) that, ultimately, died quick deaths. The cover photo on his book, Peter Hujar's GLF poster, shows only fifteen GLF-ers willing to be photographed after Jim Fouratt's telephone chain calls to recruit GLF-ers flopped. Duberman blames their reluctance to appear on the terror surrounding gays coming out in 1970. More likely, I'd say, GLF's strategies failed, something neither Fouratt nor Duberman want to admit. If the photos that originally came from GAY newspaper had not appeared in the book, GAA's presence in Duberman's prose would seem negligible in spite of the fact that GAA was not at all negligible as the inheritor of the newly charged gay activism that came on Stonewall's heels. We learn that Jim, no longer a star in Manhattan, hurried across the country to form GLF's elsewhere only to be arrested on charges of drug possession in Texas, charges he denies. In his e-mail to Badpuppy's GayToday, however, Fouratt disingeniously disparages GAA's Marty Robinson for having taken drugs. Please, Jim, who didn't in the late 60's?

Author Stuart Timmons questions Duberman's focus on Jim. Time and again Duberman refers to him as a beautiful blond. Readers can decide this for themselves by looking at him on the far right side of the book's front cover. He is wearing checkered pants and shades, his arm aloft. Jim was one of Abbie Hoffman's sidekicks, though the media-chasing Yippie disliked "fags" and said so on TV. Hoffman was not above panhandling gay men, however, and borrowed an American flag shirt to wear on TV from Randy Wicker. Wicker eschewed giving him spare change, however, and scolded Hoffman as bourgeois for owning a color TV, something few possessed in those days.

The book's unkindest cuts of all are reserved for Dick Leitsch who found Jim Fouratt to be vicious and impolite. Duberman stoops to an equally vicious level by smearing Leitsch's good name as a thief. (p. 161.)

 

Randolfe Wicker, who was a reporter for both The Advocate and GAY sees this smear as "the lowest form of gutter sniping." Wicker points out that Leitsch worked himself to the bone in Mattachine's offices, often using his own money to do organizational errands. Duberman puts him in collusion with Julian Hodges using a $5,000 gift to Mattachine for their own expenses, including a Fire Island house rental. Duberman fails to explain how, after Hodges was forced to resign, "Leitsch was given a second chance." Next he accuses Leitsch of diverting Mattachine funds to a secret bank account in Albany, maliciously fanning speculation by saying "rumors of impropriety were again circulating." In truth, it is Duberman who is the rumormonger.

Hodges, Leitsch explained to me, had used his own credit card to rent Mattachine's suite for the 1965 ECHO Conference. Then, out of a $2,000 (not $5,000) donation, he paid back (to his credit card company) the money he'd spent for ECHO. He was not "discovered" as Duberman puts it, and, in fact, Hodges explained what he'd done to Mattachine's Board before anyone knew. Still, in a politically charged atmosphere, Hodges did resign. I asked Leitsch about the Albany account and he said there never was such an account. "I did send money to Syracuse, however, to help start a Mattachine Society there."

Duberman never explains , after these supposed revelations, how Leitsch managed to stay at Mattachine's helm long after.

Now, it seems, an explanation as to why Duberman would attempt such a smear is in order.

Over twenty years ago, Leitsch made the same correct "mistake" that I did: questioning Duberman's abilities as an historian in an article Leitsch wrote for GAY. Duberman is not quick to forget, as I shall demonstrate by commenting on his treatment of me in his book. I was very much present during the Stonewall era, a time that Duberman missed because he was holed up in the offices of psychiatrists trying to purge himself of his homosexuality, a fact which accounts for the title of his autobiography, CURES.

The mystery of why Duberman left off my name under the White House picket photo is solved when it is clear that it would conflict with his footnote (p.287) about me, trying to eliminate me from Stonewall era history altogether.

Duberman's unworthy grudge against me began in December, 1972, when, hardly out of his shrink's offices, he collaborated with The New York Times by reviewing fifteen gay books in one fell swoop, getting them under the fence before the year's end. I was, at the time, angrier with the Times than with Duberman, who was an unknown to me. I wrote an article in GAY and in SCREW dumping on the Times and, in passing, called Duberman "slipshod," a word he didn't take lightly. Dick Leitsch, responding to my editorial request, had done essentially the same thing. I based my criticism on three errors in Duberman's Times review. He got my co-author's name misspelled, the title of our book wrong, and he called our friend Dr. Weinberg a psychiatrist when, in fact, he was a clinical psychologist. I'm satisfied that "slipshod" was on target.

Twenty years later in his autobiography CURES, Duberman recalled the spanking I'd given him, but repeated both his errors in spelling and title and added a new one, deliberately marginalizing GAY, a national newspaper with bi-coastal offices, as a New York "local" on par with a pornographic paper, GAY POWER. I swung back again in SCREW accurately calling him "a mental snail, groveling, hoodwinked, and easily duped" as well as a "nit-picking, guilty, self-flagellating , fork-tongued dimwit." SCREW's style allowed such bombastic niceties.

In his attempt in STONEWALL to skewer me Duberman has stooped to new lows. He quotes an April Fools Day letter I wrote in 1965. At first I couldn't recall the letter. The Curator of Manuscripts at the New York Public Library (he tells in his book its housed there) couldn't find it. She wrote: "I searched what I thought were the logical places ...but without success." Her search lasted two hours. She suggested I call Duberman and ask to see the letter. I did. Our conversation was cordial and he agreed to read this review and make his own commentary about it. But he told me he feared that the letter was irretrievably lost. "It was with a photo I can't find now," he said. What does the "quoted" letter say? It says that I repudiate everything I've stood for in my life, especially as it affects my Movement work. By association it skewers Kameny and another brave pioneer, Richard Inman. Inman, in Miami, was the South's first militant gay activist.

"Nichols and Inman, like Kameny, were, in the context of the homophile movement militants, " writes Duberman, "in the context of our own day, that militancy seems circumscribed." (Kameny laughed when he read this, saying he wondered what Duberman would say if he knew that he (Kameny) had been arrested twice of late, once at the Supreme Court demonstration, and again , with Queer Nation, at the Washington City Council. I told Kameny of my recent work as a board member of my local ACLU.) But Duberman writes: "As late as 1965, for example, Jack Nichols was writing against (emphasis his) those who were demanding civil liberties for homosexuals 'and who are unbalanced enough to have demonstrations before the question of sickness has been laid to rest....(The) experts can tell us whether or not we're sick. Let them decide.' Warren Adkins (Jack Nichols} to Dick Leitsch April 1, 1965. IGIC Papers, NYPL.)."

My letter is dated during the month I organized the first gay march on Washington (April, 1965). The date on my letter? That's right, Dubie, old boy, check it out. APRIL FOOLS DAY! Some people wouldn't know a joke if they sat on it. I actually wrote this "lost" letter because the NYPL officials finally discovered it and I am pleased to say that it is a very funny April Fools Day read. And not only that, but the words "April Fools Day" appear clearly, directly under the letter's April 1, 1965 date.

That he dared to use this April 1st letter shows Duberman obviously hadn't read gay historians like John D'Emillio or the detailed on-the-spot Stonewall-era historian Donn Teal (whom he slights with extremely minor mention.-- See Reviews--The Gay Militants in GayToday's archives). Duberman often trades jacket quotes with D'Emillio and credits D'Emillio with checking his errors. But D'Emillio missed this page 287 note because he himself quoted me in his book Sexual Politics/ Sexual Communities (University of Chicago Press): "It took persistence on the part of the militants to persuade the majority in their organizations to reject the medical establishment's authority. Jack Nichols first broached the subject in October, 1963." What follows in D'Emillio's history is my letter challenging then gay Movement apathy reflected in the then assimilationist activists' acceptance of medical "expertise."

In his paperback edition, after my initial report, Duberman made a slight change, but too slight for my taste. He wrote (p. 287): "Nichols insists, however, that this letter was meant as "a joke"--as evinced by its April 1st date. In support of that contention, see D'Emilio, Sexual Politics, p. 163 for a 1963 statement by Nichols in which he clearly rejects the medical model."

Its impossible to accept this footnote as a correction. I've contemplated running the entire April 1, 1965 letter so readers can decide for themselves if Duberman has been fair. Perhaps I will run it. I note that Duberman has disparaged-- in his footnote-- someone else he didn't know but that I did: Richard Inman. But in just a few months--in October--another groundbreaking history book will be published by Westview, Harper Collins, a well-researched gay and lesbian history of the South by Dr. James Sears of the University of South Carolina. When this happens it will be possible to judge whether or not Duberman has been fair to Richard Inman's memory. I say he hasn't.

Duberman's slipshod scholarship finds him misreading others too, in ways that are equally malicious. He allows suspicion in a footnote (p. 309) that Lars Larson may have been a government plant at the GAA Firehouse. Lars Larson went on the first CBS documentary with me (full-face) as a gay man in March, 1967, two years before Stonewall. Again, why didn't Duberman double-check with living pioneers?

As for Duberman's campaign to marginalize GAY newspaper, he has also given scant notice to historian Donn Teal's The Gay Militants ( hardback: Stein and Day, 1971, and in paperback: St. Martin's Press, 1995) and to Kay Tobin's The Gay Crusaders (Paperback Library, 1972 and hardback: Arno Press, 1975) because both these early histories are chock full of mentions of GAY. As the East Coast's newspaper of record (Journalism historian, Dr. Rodger Streitmatter, in his history of the rise of the gay and lesbian press, UNSPEAKABLE, calls GAY "America's gay newspaper of record) there's no way around it except to make it --as Duberman does -- a non-paper and to make me (like in the old Soviet system) a non-person.

Duberman does quote three paragraphs (p. 215-16) from a column Lige Clarke and I wrote about Stonewall. He hasn't indexed that quote by my name, however, although he does index other footnotes next to my name. The unindexed footnote appears on page 303, showing either deliberate removal of it from the index or a poorly cross-referenced computer. Clarke and I wrote the first commercial gay journalists' account of Stonewall, a fact he nowhere mentions.

Another person Duberman mistreats in his history is the now-deceased Stephen Donaldson, who, before his death was working as editor-in-chief of the Concise Encyclopedia Of Homosexuality (which was to be published by MacMillan) but once the founder of the very first campus gay group, The Student Homophile League (Columbia University.) "I hope that a reputable historian gets to talk with many of the pioneers before we're all dead," said Donaldson, discussing Duberman's mistakes with me. That historian, John Loughery, art critic for The Hudson Review, has since talked to Donaldson and his painstaking research will be published next year by Henry Holt.

There are other historians in the wings. One, David K. Johnson, is presently completing his Ph.D. at Northwestern University. Another is Charles Kaiser, whose book The Gay Metropolis, will be out in October too! What Duberman has done with gay history is a travesty. Did you hear me Dubie? A naughty no no. Bad boy. Spank spank. Now you've read this review. Let's hear your side. Am I wrong? Were you really dealing in empirical reality? Maybe Dr. Weinberg can help you. You need to grasp an important fact: if your premises are wrong, your conclusions may turn out to be wrong too.

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