Synopses & Reviews
no subject has divided contemporary America more bitterly than homosexuality. Addressing the full range of the debate in this pathbreaking book, Andrew Sullivan, the former editor of The New Republic
, restores both reason and humanity to the discussion over how a predominantly heterosexual society should deal with its homosexual citizens.
Sympathetically yet relentlessly, Sullivan assesses the prevailing public positions on homosexuality--from prohibitionist to liberationist and from conservative to liberal. In their place, he calls for a politics of homosexuality that would guarantee the rights of gays and lesbians without imposing tolerance. At once deeply personal and impeccably reasoned, written with elegance and wit, Virtually Normal will challenge readers of every persuasion; no book is more likely to transform out sexual politics in the coming decades.
"Sullivan, the thirty-something editor of The New Republic, has written a lucid, engaging, and—at times—impassioned account of the political vicissitudes of homosexuality in Britain and the US. Iterating the debate in four distinct voices—those of the Prohibitionist, the Liberationist, the Conservative, and the Liberal—he carefully weighs the merits of each before revealing their inadequacies in effecting a gay-tolerant society. For Sullivan, a public that truly accepts homosexuals is not one devoted to any specific ideology, but one that 'reconciles the best of the arguments of liberals and conservatives.' Such a society would place a high premium on personal liberty, while recognizing at the same time that private lives are shaped in part by public mores. Sullivan's work is an important contribution to political and gay studies for its logic, its insight—and most of all—for its conciliatory tone." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
This incisively reasoned book by the editor of The New Republic addresses the full range of viewpoints on the issue. Sulllivan draws from both his personal experience and on rigorous argument to explore how a predominantly heterosexual society should treat those citizens who love members of their own sex. Auhor tour.
About the Author
Andrew Sullivan was editor of The New Republic from 1991 to 1996. He holds a B. A. in modern history and modern languages from Oxford University and a Ph. D. in political science from Harvard University. He lives in Washington, D. C.