Indecent Advances: A Hidden History of True Crime and Prejudice Before Stonewall by James Polchin
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Overview: A skillful hybrid of true crime and social history that examines the relationship between the media and popular culture in the portrayal of crimes against gay men in the decades before Stonewall.
Stories of murder have never been just about killers and victims. Instead, crime stories take the shape of their times and reflect cultural notions and prejudices. In Indecent Advances, James Polchin recovers and recounts queer stories from the crime pages-often lurid and euphemistic-that reveal the hidden history of violence against gay men.
What was left unsaid in the crime pages provides insight into the figure of the queer man as both criminal and victim, offering readers tales of vice and violence that aligned gender and sexual deviance with tragic, gruesome endings. Victims were often reported as having made "indecent advances," forcing the accused’s hands in self-defense and reducing murder charges to manslaughter.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Biographies & Memoirs
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