Coming Out Under Fire

  • by Allan Berube
  • Narrated by Victor Bevine
  • 12 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

During World War II, as the United States called on its citizens to serve in unprecedented numbers, the presence of gay Americans in the armed forces increasingly conflicted with the expanding anti-homosexual policies and procedures of the military. In Coming Out Under Fire, Allan Berube examines in depth and detail these social and political confrontations - not as a story of how the military victimized homosexuals, but as a story of how a dynamic power relationship developed between gay citizens and their government, transforming them both.
Drawing on GIs' wartime letters, extensive interviews with gay veterans, and declassified military documents, Berube thoughtfully constructs a startling history of the two wars gay military men and women fought - one for America and another as homosexuals within the military.
Berube's book, the inspiration for the 1995 Peabody Award-winning documentary film of the same name, has become a classic since it was published in 1990, just three years prior to the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy. With a new foreword by historians John D'Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman, this book remains a valuable contribution to the history of World War II, as well as to the ongoing debate regarding the role of gays in the U.S. military.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Bringing the Armed Services Out of the Closet

Berube's classic gay history expose is the book that took the Gay/Military debate out of the twilight zone and right into the White House and Pentagon.

His interviews with gay and lesbian vets of WWII will have you crying, laughing, and screaming at their audacity in the face of brutal discrimination.

I'm so pleased that this is now on Audible!
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- Susie

A primer for understanding our current military

This book chronicles the issues that inductees who happened to be homosexual faced when entering our military to serve our country as the United States entered the Second World War. The complete misunderstanding of the homosexual as a pervert as opposed to a minority class of people by the military is well documented here. And just as it did with Black Americans, Homosexual Americans were used when needed, then persecuted and disposed of when they were no longer needed. The results were the same: a call for militant action on the parts of both minorities to claim what was rightfully theirs and to be treated with the dignity that is expected for any American. It is still not completely there for both minorities.

Mr Bevine is an adequate narrator although he had a tendency to break his phrases poorly, which I think should have been edited and redone.

I think the book is a bit too long and Mr Berube could have said what he wanted to say in far less words and sentences.
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- Stewart Gooderman

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-24-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios