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During the 1994 Stonewall 25 celebrations--commemorating the riots that began the gay liberation movement--the New York Public Library sponsored a hugely popular exhibit of gay and lesbian history entitled "Becoming Visible." Exhibit curators Fred Wasserman and Molly McGarry have created an impressive book based on that collection, not only a major contribution to gay and cultural studies, but vital reading for anyone interested in American history. Rather then present a strictly historical narrative, Becoming Visible arranges its material in loose categories--Stonewall, Social Worlds, Organizing--that provide a frame yet allow for graceful, informative, and resonant overlapping. The book is centered on post-Stonewall gay and lesbian life, but Wasserman and McGarry supply readers with a wide range of illustrative archival material--from advertisements for 1920s drag balls to the covers of 1950s lesbian pulp novels, from photos of turn-of-the-century all-women social clubs to 1940s gay male "physique" magazines. And while Becoming Visible is filled with hundreds of photos, prints, posters, and flyers--many printed for the first time--its extensive text is well researched, highly informative, and beautifully written. --Michael Bronski [via]