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Contributors to this collection, edited by Claire Potter and Renee Romano, consider the wide range of challenges the practice of contemporary history poses. These essays address sources like television and video games, the ethics of writing about living subjects, questions of privacy and copyright law, and the possibilities that new technologies offer for writing history. Doing Recent History offers guidance and insight to any researcher considering tackling the not-so-distant past. Buy the Book
- Academic Cog
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Claire Potter's is the first book to look at the structural, legal, and cultural aspects of J. Edgar Hoover's war on crime in the 1930s, a New Deal campaign which forged new links between citizenship, federal policing, and the ideal of centralized government.
War on Crime reminds us of how and why our worship of violent celebrity hero G-men and gangsters came about and how we now are reaping the results.Buy the Book
Category Archives: gay marriage
June 27, 2013, 11:37 am
In the hours after yesterday’s rulings in Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry, social media may have racked up some of their biggest numbers ever. Every post I put up on Facebook received ten likes or comments every three minute or so, as did the pages of several of my friends.
One prominent theme was how GLBT folk should interpret these rulings, and how they should be understood in light of the week’s earlier decisions in relation to affirmative action (Fisher v. Texas) and the Voting Rights Act (Shelby County v. Holder.) Both of these decisions exemplify the retraction of civil rights accomplishments that targeted women, the poor and people of color. Indeed, many postings by progressive queers and straights expressed disappointment that in the…
June 26, 2013, 12:44 pm
As Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority in today’s historic decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, “DOMA seeks to injure the very class New York seeks to protect. By doing so it violates basic due process and equal protection principles applicable to the Federal Government.” (p. 20)
Yep. What he said: seeks to injure. That is exactly what those people who wrote, promoted, and signed, DOMA sought to do, for their own political gain. Back in 1996, the House Judiciary Committee explicitly stated that the Defense of Marriage Act was intended to “reflect and honor a collective moral judgment and to express moral disapproval of homosexuality.”
The “plain English” version of United States v. Windsor from Amy Howe is over at SCOTUS Blog:
The federal Defense of Marriage Act defines “marriage,” for purposes of over a thousand federal laws and programs, …
March 31, 2013, 2:19 pm
Remember the scene from My Fair Lady in which Liza Doolittle’s no-good, anti-marriage, alcoholic father (who, in the first act, has tried to sell his daughter to Professor ‘Enry ‘Iggins) effects a vast change in his circumstance by getting a wealthy widow to put a ring on it?
Poor and working class people had few options in Victorian London, and marrying into the middle classes was one of them. Both marriage models are represented in My Fair Lady: Liza marries for love, while her father marries for money. Inviting his drinking pals to “feather and tar me” on the eve of his nuptials, Alfred Doolittle inveighs against the marital state, kisses his many girlfriends goodbye, and orders his friends to “get me to the church on time”:
If I am dancing, roll up the floor,
October 20, 2012, 9:42 am
Ballot initiatives determining the future of marriage equality loom in Maine, Maryland, and Washington, while Minnesotans will vote on banning gay marriage in their state. In these difficult times, Madwoman with a Laptop (formerly known as The Typist at Roxie’s World) has posted yet another eloquent essay on the topic: “The Unbearable Weirdness of Being Voted On.”
Literate folk will be reminded of a famous essay that begins with this passage:
Between me and the other world there is ever an unasked question: unasked by some through feelings of delicacy; by others through the difficulty of rightly framing it. All, nevertheless, flutter round it. They approach me in a half-hesitant sort of way, eye me curiously or compassionately, and then, instead of saying directly, How does it feel…
May 31, 2012, 10:20 pm
As longtime readers of the Radical know, gay marriage has never been our top political priority. Nor do we have fantasies about getting gay married. Although we are all for civil rights wherever we find them, we are more focused on policy objectives like health care, quality education for all, and full employment. However, I don’t sniff at the way structural discrimination has been partially lifted for my people under the Obama administration. For example, we are now no longer drummed out of the military through McCarthyite investigative tactics. In addition, Barack’s “evolution” on gay marriage — obscuring (or retracting) the support he voiced for it back in the 1990s, temporizing about it as a presidential candidate and as…
February 24, 2011, 1:15 pm
|“Oh my G-d, he’s marrying another man!”|
Now that Rahm Emanuel has gone off to work his magic on Chicago, it seems that everyone in the Obama White House has gone a little light in the loafers, as my Dad used to say. Clinton-era palliatives to the right wing that beat back the gays, while Republicans reorganized to elect a president who would send our money and our jobs abroad, are dropping like flies. First the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell received a timetable for withdrawal, and yesterday Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice will not defend the Defense of Marriage Act because it is unconstitutional.
In both cases, the Obama administration is holding out an olive branch to liberals who have been in an impatient “show me” mood. But looked at another way, one of the things we know about conservatives is that they are increasingly less persuaded, as a…
January 24, 2011, 10:48 am
Remember in my last post when I said it doesn’t always get better? A little bird down the street at Yale –erp, I mean, Oligarch University twigged me last week to a payroll error, because of which 61 employees will see a paycheck reduction of 33% or more for January and the subsequent two months. Right before winter break, LGBT employees who had taken advantage of Connecticut’s new freedom to gay marry received a letter telling them of a payroll error: the university had ceased withholding taxes on the benefits received for domestic partners who had become spouses under state law — but not federal law. The upshot, for those of you who suffer temporary black out when taxes are mentioned, gay married people get to pay two years of taxes in one.
|Homos are just more patriotic, that’s all. Photo Credit.|
In many ways, this falls under the category of discriminatory behavior that allows…
November 29, 2010, 7:48 pm
|Ssssh! Don’t let John Boehner know!|
That’s Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, queer history fans. And Mitch McConnell didn’t really come out, but doesn’t the action figure at right look a lot like Mitch McConnell in a dress? And wouldn’t it be cool if he did come out, and then helped to get rid of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?
OK, dream on. And when I dream, I dream of archives. In case you don’t know why the GLAD archive is important, read on from this press release received on the Radical desk top today:
GLAD is the New England litigation organization whose precedent-setting legal victories include bringing marriage equality to Massachusetts in 2004 and Connecticut in 2008.
Covering all the major social changes and legal developments in contemporary LGBT history – from the HIV epidemic to marriage equality, from transgender rights to the “gayby boom,” GLAD’s records include…
November 20, 2010, 3:49 pm
|Stigma or Pride? Shall the Congress or the Courts Decide?|
Despite the fact that I would include myself in the category of people who are utterly unmoved by the romance of gay marriage (except when I am softened by pictures of people who are moved by it), I occasionally feel pissed off about structural discrimination that awards bonuses to people who can and do marry.
Today I opened a letter from TIAA-CREF that contains an “update” to my “original contract…which states that same-sex marriages aren’t recognized under current federal tax law” because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Passed in 1996, DOMA defines marriage as a legal contract that can only be entered into by one man and one woman, and was declared unconstitutional by a federal district court last July. It was signed into law by William Jefferson Clinton, for which (along with welfare reform and NAFTA) he will roast in…
July 22, 2010, 4:04 pm