Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death

by Lillian Faderman

Book, 2018



Call number



New Haven, CT : Yale University Press, 2018


"Harvey Milk--eloquent, charismatic, and a smart-aleck--was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, but he had not even served a full year in office when he was shot by a homophobic fellow supervisor. Milk's assassination at the age of forty-eight made him the most famous gay man in modern history; twenty years later Time magazine included him on its list of the hundred most influential individuals of the twentieth century. Before finding his calling as a politician, however, Harvey variously tried being a schoolteacher, a securities analyst on Wall Street, a supporter of Barry Goldwater, a Broadway theater assistant, a bead-wearing hippie, the operator of a camera store and organizer of the local business community in San Francisco. He rejected Judaism as a religion, but he was deeply influenced by the cultural values of his Jewish upbringing and his understanding of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. His early influences and his many personal and professional experiences finally came together when he decided to run for elective office as the forceful champion of gays, racial minorities, women, working people, the disabled, and senior citizens. In his last five years, he focused all of his tremendous energy on becoming a successful public figure with a distinct political voice."--Dust jacket.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Karen59
I have read many books about Harvey Milk . Hands down this is my favorite. Lillian Faderman, a brilliant historian who writes about the lives of gays and lesbians, did an excellent job of allowing us to see Harvey Milk as a charismatic, compassionate, skilled politician as well as a flawed human
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being. Although I knew a lot about Harvey's political life and the passion he brought to organizing for change I knew less about who he was as a person and the flaws and struggles he brought to the table. This makes me appreciate him even more since he was able to use all that he had, good and bad, to take risks and help others to take those risks too.
I came out to my parents a few days before Harvey Milk was shot. It was shocking and frightening but as I watched the people of San Francisco mourn and love each other and fight when his murderer was found guilty I knew that I had just witnessed a community take more power and also, do as Harvey Milk did; make change, have fun and come out.

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book and give it an honest review
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