Now an associate professor in the history department at the University of South Florida, he teaches courses on the post-1945 U.S. and the history of gender and sexuality. His first book, The Lavender Scare, won The Herbert Hoover Book Award, the Randy Shilts Award, and a Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award. A documentary film based on the book is in production.
His second book, The U.S. Since 1945, is an edited anthology of key speeches, articles, and government documents from modern American politics and culture. His current research, "Buying Gay," explores the history of gay consumer culture before Stonewall and the origins of the gay rights movement.
The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government by David K. Johnson
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (May 15, 2006)
Amazon: The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government
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In Cold War America, Senator Joseph McCarthy enjoyed tremendous support in the fight against what he called atheistic communism. But that support stemmed less from his wild charges about communists than his more substantiated charges that "sex perverts" had infiltrated government agencies. Although now remembered as an attack on suspected disloyalty, McCarthyism introduced "moral values" into the American political arsenal. Warning of a spreading homosexual menace, McCarthy and his Republican allies learned how to win votes.
Winner of three book awards, The Lavender Scare masterfully traces the origins of contemporary sexual politics to Cold War hysteria over national security. Drawing on newly declassified documents and interviews with former government officials, historian David Johnson chronicles how the myth that homosexuals threatened national security determined government policy for decades, ruined thousands of lives, and pushed many to suicide. As Johnson shows, this myth not only outlived McCarthy but, by the 1960s, helped launch a new civil rights struggle.
More Spotlights at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels
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