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On Sale Date: May 31, 2022
ISBN 9781627792325, 1627792325
Hardcover with dust jacket | 816 pages
 

 

Washington, D.C., has always been a city of secrets. Few have been more dramatic than the ones revealed in James Kirchick’s Secret City.

 

For decades, the specter of homosexuality haunted Washington. The mere suggestion that a person might be gay destroyed reputations, ended careers, and ruined lives. At the height of the Cold War, fear of homosexuality became intertwined with the growing threat of international communism, leading to a purge of gay men and lesbians from the federal government. In the fevered atmosphere of political Washington, the secret “too loathsome to mention” paradoxically held enormous, terrifying power.

Utilizing thousands of pages of declassified documents, interviews with over one hundred people, and material unearthed from presidential libraries and archives around the country, Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington, from FDR through Clinton is a chronicle of American politics like no other. Beginning with the tragic story of Sumner Welles, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s brilliant diplomatic advisor and the man at the center of “the greatest national scandal since the existence of the United States,” award-winning journalist and author James Kirchick illuminates how the idea of homosexuality shaped each successive presidential administration, impacting everything from the creation of America’s earliest civilian intelligence agency to the rise and fall of McCarthyism, the struggle for African American civil rights, and the conservative movement.

Celebrating the men and women who courageously decided that the source of their private shame could instead be galvanized for public pride, Kirchick offers a reinterpretation of American history told from the perspective of the citizens who lived in its shadows.

Sweeping in scope and intimate in detail, Secret City will forever transform our understanding of American history.

Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington by James Kirchick

SKU: 9781627792325
$38.00Price
Out of Stock
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