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The American Civil Liberties Union has stood at the center of sexual revolutions that have transformed our culture, using the Constitution to create an expansive body of sexual rights that helped lay the old order to rest. How Sex Became a Civil Liberty is the first book to show how ACLU leaders and attorneys forged legal principles that advanced the sexual revolution.
“Meticulously researched and rewarding to read...Thomas is a gifted storyteller.” —The New York Times Book Review Best known as a monumental achievement of the civil rights movement, the 1964 Civil Rights Act also revolutionized the lives of America’s working women. Title VII of the law made it illegal to discriminate “because of sex.” But that simple phrase didn’t mean much until ordinary women began using the law to get justice on the job—and some took their fights all the way to the Supreme Court. Among them were Ida Phillips, denied an assembly line job because she had a preschool-age child; Kim Rawlinson, who fought to become a prison guard—a “man’s job”; Mechelle Vinson, who brought a lawsuit for sexual abuse before “sexual harassment” even had a name; Ann Hopkins, denied partnership at a Big Eight accounting firm because the men in charge thought she needed "a course at charm school”; and most recently, Peggy Young, UPS truck driver, forced to take an unpaid leave while pregnant because she asked for a temporary reprieve from heavy lifting. These unsung heroines’ victories, and those of the other women profiled in Gillian Thomas' Because of Sex, dismantled a “Mad Men” world where women could only hope to play supporting roles; where sexual harassment was “just the way things are”; and where pregnancy meant getting a pink slip. Through first-person accounts and vivid narrative, Because of Sex tells the story of how one law, our highest court, and a few tenacious women changed the American workplace forever.
The term "culture wars" refers to the political and sociological polarisation that has characterised American society the past several decades. This new edition provides an enlightening and comprehensive A-to-Z ready reference, now with supporting primary documents, on major topics of contemporary importance for students, teachers, and the general reader. It aims to promote understanding and clarification on pertinent topics that too often are not adequately explained or discussed in a balanced context. With approximately 640 entries plus more than 120 primary documents supporting both sides of key issues, this is a unique and defining work, indispensable to informed discussions of the most timely and critical issues facing America today.
Contrary to popular notions, today’s LGBT movement did not begin with the Stonewall riots in 1969. Long before Stonewall, there was Franklin Kameny (1925–2011), one of the most significant figures in the gay rights movement. Beginning in 1958, he encouraged gay people to embrace homosexuality as moral and healthy, publicly denounced the federal government for excluding homosexuals from federal employment, openly fought the military’s ban against gay men and women, debated psychiatrists who depicted homosexuality as a mental disorder, identified test cases to advance civil liberties through the federal courts, acted as counsel to countless homosexuals suffering state-sanctioned discrimination, and organized marches for gay rights at the White House and other public institutions. In Gay Is Good, Long collects Kameny’s historically rich letters, revealing some of the early stirrings of today’s politically powerful LGBT movement. These letters are lively and colorful because they are in Kameny’s inimitable voice—a voice that was consistently loud, echoing through such places as the Oval Office, the Pentagon, and the British Parliament, and often shrill, piercing to the federal agency heads, military generals, and media personalities who received his countless letters. This volume collects approximately 150 letters from 1958 to 1975, a critical period in Kameny’s life during which he evolved from a victim of the law to a vocal opponent of the law, to the voice of the law itself. Long situates these letters in context, giving historical and biographical data about the subjects and events involved. Gay Is Good pays tribute to an advocate whose tireless efforts created a massive shift in social attitudes and practices, leading the way toward equality for the LGBT community.
Examining three interconnected case studies, Tamar Carroll powerfully demonstrates the ability of grassroots community activism to bridge racial and cultural differences and effect social change. Drawing on a rich array of oral histories, archival records, newspapers, films, and photographs from post–World War II New York City, Carroll shows how poor people transformed the antipoverty organization Mobilization for Youth and shaped the subsequent War on Poverty. Highlighting the little-known National Congress of Neighborhood Women, she reveals the significant participation of working-class white ethnic women and women of color in New York City's feminist activism. Finally, Carroll traces the partnership between the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) and Women's Health Action Mobilization (WHAM!), showing how gay men and feminists collaborated to create a supportive community for those affected by the AIDS epidemic, to improve health care, and to oppose homophobia and misogyny during the culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s. Carroll contends that social policies that encourage the political mobilization of marginalized groups and foster coalitions across identity differences are the most effective means of solving social problems and realizing democracy.
This is a critical analysis of the history of the American Civil Liberties Union and represents the first published account of the ACLU's record. Other works on the organization either dealt only with specific issues or have been simply journalistic accounts. Donohue provides the first systematic analysis by a social scientist. It is unquestionably the most serious work now available and is likely to remain the touchstone for any such work for many years to come.

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