Outlaw Marriages

Outlaw Marriages

The Hidden Histories of Fifteen Extraordinary Same-sex Couples

Book - 2012
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For more than a century before gay marriage became a hot-button political issue, same-sex unions flourished in America. Pairs of men and pairs of women joined together in committed unions, standing by each other "for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health" for periods of thirty or forty--sometimes as many as fifty --years. In short, they loved and supported each other every bit as much as any husband and wife.

In Outlaw Marriages , cultural historian Rodger Streitmatter reveals how some of these unions didn't merely improve the quality of life for the two people involved but also enriched the American culture.

Among the high-profile couples whose lives and loves are illuminated in the following pages are Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams and Mary Rozet Smith, literary icon Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, author James Baldwin and Lucien Happersberger, and artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.
Publisher: Boston : Beacon Press, [2012]
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9780807003343
Characteristics: xi, 212 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Jun 29, 2017

In 'Outlaw Marriages' author Rodger Streitmatter chronicles the hidden relationships, both tender and turbulent, of fifteen same-sex couples in recent history. What I appreciated most about this book was the sheer amount of information that was new to me; I'd had no idea about the backgrounds of many of these fascinating women and men. Many a time I interrupted my reading in the middle of a chapter, inspired to find out more (e.g., listen to Fanfare for the Common Man, search for images of Johns' flag paintings, find Baldwin's books at the library). On the other hand, I also found the writing somewhat irritating. The chapters were laid out rather unimaginatively -- formulaic and dry. The author also came across as self-congratulatory at having coined the term "outlaw marriage," forcing it into the text at every conceivable opportunity.

Mar 17, 2016

Let's just keep these "extraordinary same sex couples" hidden forever please.

Jane60201 Apr 05, 2013

I was curious about this book from the title. Having grown up in the 50's, I knew little about gay relationships. I have to agree with Thorinbear. It is not a book I would enthusiastically recommend.

Dec 06, 2012

Does nothing more then rehash tired sterotypes as gays being nothing more then artsy/lit types and lesibians as social crusaders for women only. There is no real other ancedoatal evidence that these men/women lives were better off in these relationships. The evidence seems to indicate otherwise. The writing is deeply biased.

LaughingOne Dec 06, 2012

Loved reading about these "outlaws"! Some were a surprise to me but others I already knew were queer. How they lived and managed their lives, and how open or not they were about their relationships was fascinating to read about. Many thanks to Roger Streitmatter for putting this book, these stories, together for us.

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