Jeffrey Escoffier has been writing about gay and lesbian life since the 1970s. He was a founding member of the hugely influential journal The Gay Alternative as well as the executive editor and publisher of OUT/LOOK, the quarterly that redefined gay and lesbian publishing in the late 1980s. Through it all, he has been in the vanguard of shaping, planing, and enlivening gay politics. In American Homo, Escoffier has collected almost 20 years' worth of essays that display not only his growth as a thinker, but provide a map to the past and future of gay theory.
Escoffier's interests mirror the enormous changes that have occurred in gay life over the past two decades. In his early chapters, he traces the rise of the gay movement and the increasing importance of visible sexuality in gay people's lives, moving from there to the importance of how identity manifests itself in community and politics. He discusses the tensions that exist between a professionalized homosexual politic (particularly in the academy) and the more independent, community-based models of grass-roots groups such as ACT UP and Queer Nation. Escoffier is able to communicate complicated ideas in plain language, and his vision and common sense are enlightening. American Homo is the perfect culmination to an already distinguished career. --Michael Bronski [via]