from Times Change Press.]
Pioneering Book On Early Gay History Reissued
Rights Movement (1864-1935).
Revised Edition by John
Lauritsen and David Thorstad, ISBN 0-87810-041-5, illustrated, 128 pp,
bibliography & index; $9.95, paperback. Published by
TIMES CHANGE PRESS, Ojai, CA, 1995.
This new edition of a book originally published in 1974 has been
substantially amended and updated, with the addition of an afterword.
It also newly includes the text of a historic 1928 speech by Kurt
Hiller, an outspoken German defender of gay rights, addressed to the
Second International Conference for Sexual Reform, held in Copenhagen.
Early Homosexual Rights Movement (1864-1935) begins
an account of such early German writers as Karl Heinrich Ulrichs,
Karoly Maria Kertbeny (German-Hungarian), and Magnus Hirschfeld, the
Berlin physician who in 1897 co-founded the Scientific Humanitarian
Committee — the first gay liberation organization —
which endured for 36 years, until it was snuffed out by the rise of
Nazism. The book follows the spread of movements for gay rights to
other parts of Europe, England, and the United States. The antigay role
of the Stalinists is described, as well as that of the Nazis. The
stories of Oscar Wilde, Sir Richard Burton, Walt Whitman, and Edward
Carpenter are included.
At the time of its first publication, the book was hailed as
“a landmark in gay awareness because it reveals the presence
of gay pride a century before the current movement began.”
(Sammy Staggs in Library
described it as “highly readable and of interest to both
professionals and nonprofessionals.”
It also won kudos from leading scholars and literary figures:
A very useful beginning in the
job of unearthing information about the “first” gay
rights movement.... A vital
new historical perspective.
— Martin Duberman
Thorstad and Lauritsen ... have
enlighten our darkness.
— Eric Bentley
A book like this is of immense
It is a reminder to other minorities that homosexuals are their
brother-victims of persecution. And, to the vast, unthinking but not
heartless majority of heterosexuals, it is a challenge.
David Thorstad is a former president of New York's Gay Activists
Alliance and is active in other gay organizations; he is a book editor.
John Lauritsen has been active in the gay movement since he joined the
Gay Liberation Front in the summer of 1969; he is a retired survey
TIMES CHANGE PRESS
was an independent publisher of books and posters
pertaining to social and philosophic questions — founded in
New York City in 1970. It is apparently no longer in