Publication date: May 25, 2010
Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter, is about a series of riots broke out at the Stonewall Inn in response to a raid by the New York Police Vice Squad Public Morals Division from June 28 to July 3, 1969. The Stonewall Riots is an event grown in mythology as the oral history of the event has traveled generations. Carter’s account is painstakingly researched with first-hand accounts. What is revealed is a deeply complex story steeped in the underworld and the use of gay culture as a money-making endeavor via blackmail. Staff at the Stonewall were usually informed of raids in advance but the police presence on June 28, 1969, came as a surprise. Carter sets the Stonewall in its time in terms of gay culture and society’s attitude toward homosexuality and also chronicles a brief history of gay activism.
Inherent in the history of the riots at the Stonewall Inn is a really interesting and complex intersection with the underworld. Were their valid tips that incited the raid or did it come as the local police not feeling they were getting their cut of what they were due? Whatever the case, the police certainly got more than they bargained for at the Stonewall Inn in those early morning hours. Carter’s account is a history of the event and reads as such. There are no unnecessary dramatizations. The sourced information and interviews stand on their own as a poignant testament to a people who were done with being stepped on at a whim and were ready to stand and be who they are.
At a weighty 349 pages, Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution is an investment, and it’s an important read for anyone interested in the Human Rights Movement. The riots are chronicled by Carter hour by hour. Carter celebrates the drag queens and homeless teens who were ready to be treated with basic humanity. Anyone thinking that homosexuality is a choice needs to read this book. Why would anyone have chosen such a tough existence? Everyone wants to be happy and aren’t happy people best for this world? Love is love.
Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution is a flawless researched, cleanly written and very important history of the beginning of the gay revolution. The author spent 10 years collecting information and writing the book and it shows. Every morsel of information is necessary and the writing style is engaging and left this reader in tears more than once. Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution isn’t a 2-dimensional experience, it in engrossing and important for everyone, LGBT, straight and anywhere in between.
Pick up Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution up for Human Rights Day and get an important window into the history of a people and the beginning of the Gay Revolution.
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