Saturday, June 13, 2015

PRIDE Month Review & Giveaway: The Right Side of History: 100 Years of LGBTQI Activism by Adrian Brooks!

Title: The Right Side of History: 100 Years of LGBTQI Activism

Author: Adrian Brooks

Format: $19.95, Trade Paper, 408 Pages, 6” x 9”

Pub. Date: June 9th 2015

Source: Cleis Press

Book Description:

Harvey Milk delivering a version of his impassioned Hope Speech. Bayard Rustin advising Martin Luther King Jr. Long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad finishing her incredible swim from Cuba to Florida. The AIDS quilt. Edie Windsor's victory, which overturned the Defense of Marriage Act. In this book, The Right Side of History: 100 Years of LGBTQI Activism, author Adrian Brooks tells the history of the nation’s clash over civil rights with amazing stories about some of the most recognizable gay rights heroes and heroines.

Available to readers in time for the events and celebrations that mark LGBT Pride Month in June, Brooks’ book is truly one of a kind. Filled with first-person interviews, The Right Side of History offers intimate and unique glimpses into the lives of some previously anonymous figures as well as legendary names from gay and civil rights movements across the nation.

Offering something for everyone—from academic scholars to students of life—The Right Side of History is an accessible history that explores activism from the Edwardian period into the 21st century. Simultaneously raucous and tender, Brooks’ work provides a diverse, inclusive, and in-depth look at the long-fought battle over gay rights in America.



Honestly, I wasn't really sure how I was going to read this book. I am a huge fan of Cleis Press's books, both fiction and nonfiction alike. However, I knew that this book was going to be one that I'd want to read slowly, in order to absorb each and every word.

It should be no secret to most of my regular readers by now that I am on the LGBTQI spectrum. That being said, I have a horrible concept of history when it comes to LGBT rights. I am very fortunate to be living in a society at a young age where people are so largely accepting of who I am. I know that that has definitely not always been the case. However, everything I know about LGBT history is self-taught, or was vaguely mentioned in a GSA lecture. That's sad considering I will have a minor in Sexuality Studies this spring. It's not something that I find to be talked about enough. Before reading this book I knew highlight words like "Stonewall" and "Shepard"- things I know about, but not in a bigger context.

Well I know now. Brooks does a great job of covering a large span of history in a smart way. It's full of information and points of view, but it's done in such a way that you want to read more. It's not like reading an information dump or a text book. I think it covers a lot of ground, but everything that is brought up is covered further, not just brought up for the sake of mentioning it. It's a really relatable, accessible dose of history.

I think this is a book that everyone would benefit from reading, be you straight or otherwise. It's a fight for rights that needs a more accessible, respectful discussion if you ask me, and is definitely a history that needs to be more widely taught. I can't recommend this book enough.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Get it Here:

Amazon | BN

About the Author:

Adrian Brooks- a regular contributor to Lambda Literary- is a writer, performer, and Quaker activist, who has been engaged in progressive political, spiritual, and social movements for fifty years. While attending the Friends World Institute in the 1960s, Brooks was an anti-war activist and a volunteer for Dr. Martin Luther King. Later, he attended Woodstock, participated in New York’s fledgling SOHO movement, and, after moving West in 1972, he became a radical gay liberation poet and performer/scriptwriter with the San Francisco “Angels of Light” free theater until 1980. A world citizen who has lived on five continents, Brooks continues a diverse legacy of good works by supporting HIV+ orphans in rural India. Currently, he lives in San Francisco.


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  1. Thank you very much for your kind review of my book. One of my intentions in doing it was to reach people just like you, who might not be aware of LGBTQI history and the wonderful souls who have gone before. It's really lovely for me to read what you have to say. Please find me on Facebook and become my friend? I'm pretty bad at technology. Again, thank you. With all best wishes, Adrian

  2. I've read a ton from Cleis Press, especially the m/m and Alison Tyler anthologies! As a big m/m buff, I sometimes feel like I need more grounding in the historical aspects, so that's why I'm curious about this book!

    Trix, vitajex(at)Aol(Dot)com