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Towers of Books Come Tumbling Down!

I love all kinds of books! For all my friends, I am known on GR as Alicja. I don't stick with a genre, that's boring. Instead you'll get reviews from the most random assortment of fiction and non-fiction works. It's probably due to my interests being as eclectic as my book tastes.


I'm a girlfriend-loving bisexual, science fiction geek, PC gamer, historical fiction devourer, hiker, atheist, history buff, opera lover, vegetarian, kayaker, metal and hard rock concert goer, science nerd, politics debater, world traveler, M/M romance fan, and I have the ability to transform from an adult-like hard-working professional into a screaming fangirl in five seconds flat.

Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War Two by Allan Bérubé

Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II - Allan Bérubé, Estelle B. Freedman, John D'Emilio

Rating: 5.5/5

Summary: The history of gays and lesbians in the American military during WWII.

Review: This is just a quick and short review for a book that deserves one with an in-depth analysis worthy of the complexities presented within it. I'm working on that but in the meantime, please, let me enjoy gushing a little about how amazing nonfiction read it was.

This nonfiction history work presents a complex analysis of the intersection of homosexuality and society, culture, military rules and regulations, and soldiers (drafted and volunteered alike) during World War II. It doesn't paint gays and lesbians as victims but delves deep into history to find the battles fought outside of the battlefields; battles between culture and military need during wartime, imprisonment and need for practicality, vice squads and soldiers, military hierarchy and psychiatrists, soldiers within their ranks, young men and women and themselves/their identity, sub-culture formation and finding a place within the mainstream culture, freedom to be oneself and service/self-sacrifice, fear and courage, enemies and allies, culture wars, etc.

It is an extraordinary history hidden deep within official documents and personal stories. The author interviewed dozens of soldiers, using their words to describe their experiences. He also searched for letters lost in attics; letters between lovers, friends, comrades. He allowed us to enter this fascinating and previously little known secret world, a mere few years in history that had profound impact on gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender individuals for decades after the war that created ripples which can be still felt today.