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Harvey Milk

His Lives and Death

Lillian Faderman



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Yale University
12 November 2019
Series: Jewish Lives
A lively and engaging biography of the first openly gay man elected to public office in the United States, a man fiercely committed to protecting all minorities Harvey Milk-eloquent, charismatic, and a smart-aleck-was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, but he had not even served a full year in office when he was shot by a homophobic fellow supervisor. Milk's assassination at the age of forty-eight made him the most famous gay man in modern history; twenty years later Time magazine included him on its list of the hundred most influential individuals of the twentieth century.

Before finding his calling as a politician, however, Harvey variously tried being a schoolteacher, a securities analyst on Wall Street, a supporter of Barry Goldwater, a Broadway theater assistant, a bead-wearing hippie, the operator of a camera store and organizer of the local business community in San Francisco. He rejected Judaism as a religion, but he was deeply influenced by the cultural values of his Jewish upbringing and his understanding of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. His early influences and his many personal and professional experiences finally came together when he decided to run for elective office as the forceful champion of gays, racial minorities, women, working people, the disabled, and senior citizens. In his last five years, he focused all of his tremendous energy on becoming a successful public figure with a distinct political voice.
By:   Lillian Faderman
Imprint:   Yale University
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 21mm,  Width: 15mm,  Spine: 2mm
Weight:   369g
ISBN:   9780300248555
ISBN 10:   0300248555
Series:   Jewish Lives
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   12 November 2019
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Lillian Faderman is a distinguished scholar of LGBT and ethnic history and literature. She is the author of The Gay Revolution.

Reviews for Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death

Faderman has a gloriously fanatical commitment to illuminating and commemorating her subjects. . . . Any revolutionary would be lucky to stand in a light so steady, so searching, and so sure. -Kenji Yoshino, New York Times Book Review, on The Gay Revolution Faderman's narrative mixes the personal and the political with great skill; subtly displaying how at a fundamental level, fighting for collective political rights is really just a human yearning for personal happiness, which usually has its roots in compassion. -JP O'Malley, Irish Sunday Independent Lillian Faderman has particularly interesting things to say about three themes: Milk's Jewish background, his populist politics, and his death. -Alan David, Jewish Chronicle Thanks to Lillian Faderman we know also know about Harvey the secular Jew, who renounced his faith but remained influenced and inspired by liberal Jewish values. -Peter Tatchell, Spectator Finalist in the 2018 National Jewish Book Award, biography category Selected as one of the Top Ten Titles for the 2018 Over the Rainbow Booklist, sponsored by the GLBT Round Table of the American Library Association Finalist in the 2019 Lammys Awards, Gay Memoir/Biography category Finalist for the 2019 Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction, sponsored by the Publishing Triangle Meticulously researched and beautifully written, Lillian Faderman's Harvey Milk is a revelation. This insightful work provides context to Milk's life as a gay icon and illuminates how his experience was deeply informed by his own Jewish identity. -Cleve Jones, author of When We Rise: My Life in the Movement

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