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The Deviant’s War

The Homosexual vs. the United States of America

From a young Harvard and Cambridge-trained historian, the secret history of the fight for gay rights that began a generation before Stonewall.

In 1957, at the height of the Space Race, a government astronomer named Frank Kameny received a summons to report immediately to Washington, D.C. The Pentagon had reason to believe he was a homosexual. And for the first time, a homosexual fought back.

Based on firsthand accounts, recently declassified FBI records, and forty thousand personal documents, The Deviant’s War unfolds over the course of the 1960s, as Kameny built a movement against the government’s gay purges. It traces the forgotten ties that bound gay rights to the Black Freedom Movement, the New Left, lesbian activism, and trans resistance. Above all, it is a story of America (and Washington) at a cultural and sexual crossroads; of shocking, byzantine public battles with Congress; of FBI informants; murder; betrayal; sex; love; and ultimately victory.

“Required reading for queer people and straight allies”
-Garrard Conley, author of Boy Erased

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The Deviant’s War is a compelling work that should be on the reading list for everyone who cares about the quest for full civil rights for all Americans.

- US Senator Tammy Baldwin