OVERRIDE

Homophobia

A History

Byrne Fone

Metropolitan Books

The first comprehensive history of homophobia-from ancient Athens to the halls of Congress-this bold, original work is certain to become a classic.

It is the last acceptable prejudice. In an age when racial and ethnic name-calling are viewed with distaste, and physical epithets are frowned upon, hatred of homosexuals remains rife. Now, in a tour de force of historical and literary research, Byrne Fone chronicles the evolution of homophobia through the centuries. Delving into literary sources as diverse as Greek philosophy, the Bible, Elizabethan poetry, and the Victorian novel, as well as historical texts and propaganda from the French Revolution to the Moral Majority, Fone finds that same-sex desire has always been the object of legal, social, and religious persecution. Fone shows how the biblical story of Sodom became the primary source for later prohibitions against homosexuality. He charts the subtle shifts in public attitudes and law, from Anglo-Saxon edicts that imposed death by burning upon "confess'd sodomytes," to Victorian decrees that punished sodomy with "forfeiture of all rights, including procreation" (i.e., castration). Sifting the evidence of our own times, including Reader's Digest articles and TV talk-show transcripts, Fone demonstrates that homophobia remains one of the central tenets of law, science, faith, and literature, and defines the very essence of what it means to be male or female. Written by an acclaimed expert in gay and lesbian history, Homophobia is the best sort of history: lively, accessible, and enlightening.

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HOMOPHOBIA
PART ONEBefore Homophobia?"Homosexuality" and "Homophobia" in AntiquityChapter OneInventing ErosNearly every age reinvents Greece in its own image. Rome appropriated Grecian glory to ornament Roman grandeur. The rediscovery of Greek literature and art gave the Renaissance a new aesthetic and propelled Europe from the medieval into the modern age. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Greece was the ideal upon which many modern nations modeled their systems of education, ethics, and government, and even their architecture. Now, at the turn of the century, ancient Greece is still
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Byrne Fone

  • Byrne Fone, a pioneer in the teaching of gay and lesbian studies, is the author of three previous books, including A Road to Stonewall and editor of The Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature, which won a Lambda Award. Professor emeritus at the City University of New York, he lives in Hudson, New York.
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Homophobia

A History

Byrne Fone

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Metropolitan Books

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