Sunday, May 11, 2008

Washburn reviews Eskridge, Dishonorable Passions: Sodomy Laws in America, 1861-2003

Dishonorable Passions: Sodomy Laws in America, 1861-2003 by William N. Eskridge Jr. (Viking) is reviewed in the San Francisco Chronicle by Michael Washburn, Center for the Humanities, City University of New York. According to Washburn, "As Eskridge details in this exhaustive - sometimes exhausting - volume, when regulating homosexual desire, our courts have often endorsed the most anxious logic of American society's moral panic." The book is "best in its discussion of post-Stonewall litigation, especially the 17 years between Bowers vs. Hardwick and Lawrence vs. Texas, when the gay community experienced its own truncated journey from Dred Scott to the 14th Amendment." While the reviewer sometimes finds the book heavy reading, "the chapters on these cases are riveting."

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