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Beyond Shame
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Foreword by Michael Bronski

A bold, unapologetic celebration of gay male sexual culture in the 1970s

The radical sexuality of gay American men in the 1970s is often seen as a shameful period of excess that led to the AIDS crisis. Beyond Shame claims that when the gay community divorced itself from this allegedly tainted legacy, the tragic result was an intergenerational disconnect because the original participants were unable to pass on a sense of pride and identity to younger generations. Indeed, one reason for the current rise in HIV, Moore argues, is precisely due to this destructive occurrence, which increased the willingness of younger gay men to engage in unsafe sex.

Lifting the "veil of AIDS, " Moore recasts the gay male sexual culture of the 1970s as both groundbreaking and creative—provocatively comparing extreme sex to art. He presents a powerful yet nuanced snapshot of a maligned, forgotten era. Moore rescues gay America's past, present, and future from a disturbing spiral of destruction and AIDS-related shame, illustrating why it's critical for the gay community to reclaim the decade.

As founding director of the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS, Patrick Moore pioneered the concept of preserving artworks as historical artifacts of the AIDS crisis. He has worked extensively in gay/lesbian civil rights and AIDS activism and is the author of two novels, This Every Night and Iowa. Moore lives in Los Angeles.

"As a detailed examination of the ways in which rage gives depth to art, Moore's book has no peer in recentmemory."
—Publishers Weekly

"Moore's point of departure is as refreshing as it is daring . . . calling gay men to return to the sexual vanguard."
—Out

"Essential reading for anyone seeking an imaginative interpretation of recent gay history."
—Library Journal

"A provocative, wistful book . . . Moore's yearning is touching and his politics refreshingly incautious—a romantic affection for the entirely unromantic." —The Advocate
Product Details

About the Author

Patrick Moore has worked extensively on gay issues as both an activist and a writer. The author of two novels, This Every Night and Iowa, he was the founding director of the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS in New York City. Moore currently lives in Los Angeles, California, and is developing projects for film and television. From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews

While there are plenty of books critiquing gay culture from within, few are creative and most are quite repetitive. For instance, Bruce Bower and Andrew Sullivan are prominent members of what might be called "gays are just like everybody else" school of thought. In contrast, others like Michael Warner and Michael Bronski explore new territory, asking larger questions about gay culture and its contested role in the contemporary world. These insightful authors are now joined by Moore, a novelist and founding director of the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS. In contrast to conservative critics from within and without the gay community, Moore sees no reason to apologize for the freewheeling sexuality of the 1970s. Instead, he looks to it as a way to reverse the clich?d interpretation of AIDS and radical sexuality as being inseparable. Most important, he stresses the need for young gay men not to link the two. Moore looks at the aesthetic aspects of the gay culture of the time and how it created art and built community through sexuality. Lucid descriptions of New York's gay enclaves, wisely called "walking tours," and ACT-UP's meetings convey concretely what it was like to be there. This is essential reading for anyone seeking an imaginative interpretation of recent gay history.-David Azzolina, Univ. of Pennsylvania Libs., Philadelphia Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

A talented novelist who for many years was director of the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS, Moore (This Every Night) offers a provocative defense of gay male sex culture in the 1970s as well as a jeremiad on the AIDS holocaust of the 1980s. The most exciting writing here details New York's provisional "theaters of pleasure" (sex clubs like The Mineshaft, dance clubs such as The Saint) with novelistic atmosphere and a canny ear for interview and synthesis, while Moore's portraits of artists lost to AIDS are also first-rate. Writers Cookie Mueller and Assotto Saint emerge as more interesting than their work, while the late David Wojnarowicz's memoir in particular is vaunted. Art world hackles will rise at Moore's unsympathetic account of gallerist Andrea Rosen's administration of the Felix Gonzalez-Torres estate, as Moore raises the specter of dealers and collectors profiting from the work of the dead and "de-gaying" it in the process. He also recreates the heady, vivid ACT UP era of street activism, recalling how the pink-and-black "Silence = Death" poster ignited the conscience of a generation. Some of Moore's arguments feel more like assertions, in particular his statement that the wild sex pioneered by gay men during the '70s was itself a form of art, although his argument is partly salvaged by a deft reading of Fred Halsted's threatening, aimless porn, and by his witty follow-up that, during the '80s East Village art boom, "art became sex." As a detailed examination of the ways in which rage gives depth to art, Moore's book has no peer in recent memory. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"Moore offers a provocative defense of gay male sex culture in the 1970s as well as a jeremiad on the AIDS holocaust of the 1980s . . . As a detailed examination of the ways in which rage gives depth to art, Moore's book has no peer in recent memory." -Publishers Weekly "Patrick Moore's point of departure is as refreshing as it is daring . . . [This] slim polemic retains its unorthodox urgency, calling gay men to return to the sexual vanguard." -Kai Wright, -Out "Essential reading for anyone seeking an imaginative interpretation of recent gay history." -Library Journal "A provocative, wistful book . . . Moore's yearning is touching and his politics refreshingly incautious-a romantic affection for the entirely unromantic." -Austin Bunn, The Advocate "This quietly personal book reclaims the past for young gay men and makes it useable." -Edmund White, author of A Boy's Own Story Moore offers a provocative defense of gay male sex culture in the 1970s as well as a jeremiad on the AIDS holocaust of the 1980s . . . As a detailed examination of the ways in which rage gives depth to art, Moore's book has no peer in recent memory.-Publishers Weekly "Patrick Moore's point of departure is as refreshing as it is daring . . . [This] slim polemic retains its unorthodox urgency, calling gay men to return to the sexual vanguard."--Kai Wright, -Out "Essential reading for anyone seeking an imaginative interpretation of recent gay history."-Library Journal "A provocative, wistful book . . . Moore's yearning is touching and his politics refreshingly incautious-a romantic affection for the entirely unromantic." --Austin Bunn, The Advocate "This quietly personal book reclaims the past for young gay men and makes it useable."--Edmund White, author of A Boy's Own Story

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