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A cultural history of the customs, fashions, and figures of gay life in the twentieth and the early twenty-first centuries-and how they have changed us for the better.

How the Homosexuals Saved Civilization presents a broad yet incisive look at how an unusual "immigrant" group, homosexual men, has influenced mainstream American society and has, in many ways, become mainstream itself. From the way camp, irony, and the gay aesthetic have become part of our national sensibility to the undeniable effect the gay cognoscenti have had on media and the arts, Cathy Crimmins examines how gay men have changed the concepts of community, family, sex, and fashion.


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    At first I was rather apprehensive about this book, and started out being very critical about it. In some ways I still am, as I still refute the assertions about a homosexual lifestyle. However, I did realise that the book is really more about things that are "gay" and "queer", in a way that is different from biological homosexuality, although often associated with biologically homosexual people. It's a book that makes you think about the profound influence that *some* (emphasis is mine) gay men have had on American - and through that on Western culture, ultimately. But the book is way too generalising sometimes and makes it seem as if *all* biologically homosexual men have such influence upon culture, and no biologically straight people. I was doubting between giving this book a 3 or 4-star rating, but decided to give it the benefit of the doubt.


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