"Gay Power," a historical book by David Eisenbach, does what it says it will do. Starting with the Stonewall Riots in 1969, it covers the gay rights revolution -- its victories, its losses, what sparked new energies and what sent us back to our closets, until 1980. Going into close details, it covers the beginning of an era. To most of us on this site, it is what led up to the world we know. In the 300-and-some pages of this volume, just about everything is covered.
Still, it left something to be desired. As a nonfiction reader, I've seen textbooky books before, and this is one of them. It left me wondering about the people behind the decade explored. I saw the what, the when, but there was very little 'who.' I wanted to feel what it was like. It's my history. Who wants to be detached from their past?
The view of "Gay Power" also seemed narrow... halfway through I started to wonder, did they have transsexuals in the '70s? While lesbians were mentioned (though not as much as they could've been), I missed the transsexuals altogether. Before the reader is the face of the beginning of a still-moving revolution... but where is the body, where are the complexities?
At first, reading this book, I was excited. The pure facts drew me in. But eventually they dragged on. Still, as I pushed through, I didn't feel that it was a completely wasted experience. I learned what was going on... I learned the history. But it was like learning from a textbook.
David Eisenbach's "Gay Power" is at its best extremely informative... and at its worst, it is dry, long, and flat. Everyone should learn their history, but it's safe to say that there are more satisfying ways of doing it.