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Edgar Award finalist, Best Fact Crime American Masters (PBS), “1 of 5 Essential Culture Reads” One of CrimeReads’ “Best True Crime Books of the Year” “A fast–paced, meticulously researched, thoroughly engaging (and often infuriating) look–see into the systematic criminalization of gay men and widespread condemnation of homosexuality post–World War I.” —Alexis Burling, San Francisco Chronicle Stories of murder have never been just about killers and victims. Instead, crime stories take the shape of their times and reflect cultural notions and prejudices. In this Edgar Award–finalist for Best Fact Crime, James Polchin recovers and recounts queer stories from the crime pages―often lurid and euphemistic―that reveal the hidden history of violence against gay men. But what was left unsaid in these crime pages provides insight into the figure of the queer man as both criminal and victim, offering readers tales of vice and violence that aligned gender and sexual deviance with tragic, gruesome endings. Victims were often reported as having made “indecent advances,” forcing the accused's hands in self–defense and reducing murder charges to manslaughter. As noted by Caleb Cain in The New Yorker review of Indecent Advances, “it’s impossible to understand gay life in twentieth–century America without reckoning with the dark stories. Gay men were unable to shake free of them until they figured out how to tell the stories themselves, in a new way.” Indecent Advances is the first book to fully investigate these stories of how queer men navigated a society that criminalized them and displayed little compassion for the violence they endured. Polchin shows, with masterful insight, how this discrimination was ultimately transformed by activists to help shape the burgeoning gay rights movement in the years leading up to Stonewall.
While Detroit has been a major focus in urban history, little has been written on censorship in the very city that—due to shifting legalities, the urban crisis, and racial tensions—profoundly shaped media suppression in the United States. By examining censorship in film and literature, Indecent Detroit recounts the evolution of media control from the end of WWII through the 1970s, when the US saw a major change in the legal mechanisms used to censor media due to court rulings that curtailed censorship laws. Ben Strassfeld reveals how Detroit altered its censorial tactics and rhetoric from an obscenity-based system of censorship centered in the Detroit Police Department to a regulatory model based in zoning law that was then expanded nationwide. This shift was connected to broader social and political trends, including the sexual revolution, that led the public to increasingly turn against censorship. A must-read for film and media scholars, Indecent Detroit highlights how one Midwest city's ordinance was imitated across the country after it was upheld by the US Supreme Court, making this more than a local curiosity but also an influential model for the cultural, political, and moral control of urban space through media regulation.
Outstanding Academic Title 2005 - Choice Magazine The period between the two world wars was crucial in the history of homosexuality in Europe. It was then that homosexuality first came out into the light of day. Just crawling out from under the Victorian blanket, Europe was devastated by a gruesome war that consumed the flower of its youth. Tamagne examines the currents of nostalgia and yearning, euphoria, rebellion, and exploration in the postwar era, and the bonds forged at school and on the battlefront, in a scholarly treatise charting the early days of the homosexual and lesbian scene. Berlin became the capital of the new culture, and the center of a political movement seeking rights and protections for what we now call gays and lesbians. In England, the struggle was brisk to undermine the structures and strictures of Victorianism; whereas in France (which was more tolerant, over all), homosexuality remained more subtle and nonmilitant. However, the social and political backlash soon became apparent, first of all in Germany. More conservative attitudes arrested the evolution of the new mores, and it was not until the 1960s that the new wave of the sexual revolution once again swept the continent. Tamagne's work outlines the long and arduous journey from the shadows toward acceptability as the homosexual and lesbian community sets out to find a new legitimacy at various levels of society. She weaves together cultural references from literature, songs and theater, news stories and private correspondence, police reports and government documents to give a rounded picture of the evolving scene. * "The first volume argues that homosexuality, a 'high culture' sort, enjoyed a golden ageconsequent upon the Great War's liberalization of morals. In volume 2, reaction and repression march through the 1930s. [...] A lively read. Highly recommended." - CHOICE Magazine * Florence Tamagne holds a PhD from the prestigious Institute of Political Studies in Paris, France. This is her second book tracing the evolution of homosexuality in Europe.
This work is now well established as the leading text on tort law in the region, and this third edition incorporates the most recent developments in law and legal thinking.
This book provides a detailed examination of judicial decision-making in Japanese cases involving sexual violence. It describes the culture of 'eroticised violence' in Japan, which sees the feminine body as culpable and the legal system which encourages homogeneity and conformity in decision-making and shows how the legal constraints confronting women claiming sexual assaults are enormous. It includes analysis of specific case studies and a discussion of recent moves to address the problem.