Issues Archives: Backlash!

July-August 2014

Uganda in the Hands of an Angry God

  ON DECEMBER 20, 2013, the Ugandan Parliament passed the long-debated Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Although it originally proposed the death penalty for a variety of homosexual acts, including the dissemination of pro-gay propaganda, international attention and the threat of sanctions from Western countries convinced Uganda’s parliament and President Yoweri Museveni to replace the death penalty with […]

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Wrestling with Greco-Roman Mores

NOW in his eighties, Charles Rowan Beye holds the title Distinguished Professor of Classics Emeritus at Lehman College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Beye is better known to the world as a translator of the ancient Greek classics and as a scholar whose books include Odysseus: A Life (2005) […]

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Cuba: How Real Is the Thaw?

THERE WERE three of them. The one on the left was a macho boy, all muscles and cool hair. On the right, linking arms with him, was a petite, girly boy, camping it up and twirling a parasol. Trailing slightly behind them came a third, gender neutral. They were Cuba’s new gay liberation vanguard. I’d […]

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We Interrupt This Family Drama…

Love is Strange, starring John Lithow and George Molina, showed most recently at the Provincetown International Film Festival in June.

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Faces of South Africa in the Berkshires

  Zanele Muholi Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Mass. February 1 to April 27, 2014.   “I  WANT to be counted in South African history. I have to write that part of history,” observes Zanele Muholi, a 42-year-old photographer who lives and works in Johannesburg. And so, she explains, “I embarked on a journey […]

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Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian Avenger

Stop the Violence!

  Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian Avenger by Kelly Cogswell University of Minnesota Press. 256 pages, $54.   THIS ROLLICKING STORY of the Lesbian Avengers, a “direct action group” that was founded by six organizers in New York in the early 1990s, shows why historical accounts are best told by eyewitnesses. Kelly Cogswell […]

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Lost and Found in Johannesburg

The Roots of Another

GROWING UP in South Africa, journalist Mark Gevisser (b. 1964) was obsessed with maps: in particular, an archaic book of streets and neighborhoods that helped him play a pretend game with himself. It was only many years later that Gevisser realized that segments of his home town of Johannesburg—specifically the neighborhoods in which the city’s poverty-stricken black population lived—were missing from the book.

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Lasting City by James McCourt

Hiroshima Imprints

  Lasting City: The Anatomy of Nostalgia by James McCourt Liveright / W. W. Norton.  321 pages, $26.95   Lasting City takes its impetus from one of the author’s strongest early childhood memories: the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima. Playing in the sand on a beach where he’s making a “sand castle” of […]

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How to Succeed in Business without Really Crying

A Life in the Laugh Track

  How to Succeed in Business without Really Crying: Lessons from a Life in Comedy by Carol Leifer Quirk Books.  224 pages, $19.95   EVEN IF her name doesn’t ring a bell, you are familiar with Carol Leifer’s work. She’s a stand-up comedy crony of Paul Reiser and Jerry Seinfeld, wrote for Seinfeld, SNL, and […]

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Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s

When the Musical Stopped

  Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s by Matthew Kennedy Oxford University Press.  307 pages, $35   “ROADSHOW” was a film industry term for a big-budget movie featuring overtures, intermissions, and colorful souvenir programs. These reserved-seating-only first runs were swanky affairs in opulent theaters, occasions for families to dress up. Only after […]

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