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The Shock of the New

 

hominternHomintern: How Gay Culture
Liberated the Modern World

by Gregory Woods
Yale Univ. Press. 421 pages, $35.

 

GREGORY WOODS, Britain’s first chair in Gay and Lesbian Studies at Nottingham Trent University in 1998, has given us a densely researched account of queer cosmopolitan culture over roughly the last century plus. He uses as his book’s main title the word “Homintern”—a play on words derived from “Comintern,” the Communist International, founded by Lenin in 1919. “Homintern” was coined with camp irony in the 1930s to describe “the sprawling, informal network of friendships that Cold War conspiracy theorists would later come to think of as ‘the international homosexual conspiracy.’”

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