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Men in Eden


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Provides a tantalizing new perspective on the Rocky Mountain fur trade and the role of homosexuality in shaping the American West

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About the Author

William Benemann is the author of A Year of Mud and Gold: San Francisco in Letters and Diaries, 1849-1850, available in a Bison Books edition, and Male-Male Intimacy in Early America: Beyond Romantic Friendships.


"Masterfully interweaving historical facts, literary acumen, and anthropological data, Men in Eden brings to life with tantalizing colors the largely unexplored hidden lives of men living at the fringes of nineteenth century American society. This compelling book is essential reading for anyone interested in social history and biographical literature." - Max Carocci, project curator at the British Museum and author of Warriors of the Plains: The Arts of Plains Indian Warfare "In his highly readable second book, Benemann brings the archival record to visceral life. Through his astute insights into the mindset of the era, Benemann breaths gay life into William Drummond Stewart, a larger-than-life historical figure who led a pre-medicalized, richly Whitmanesque homoerotic life. At a time when gender studies trumps, this is a very welcome and invigorating addition to the field of gay history/sexuality studies." - Les K. Wright, author of The Bear Book and The Bear Book II "Don't let the subtitle scare you off from this engrossing, eminently readable study of one of the most intriguing figures in the history of the Old West... A historian of sexuality whose scholarly bailiwick is the early American republic, Benemann... tells in satisfying detail the stories of Stewart's wanderings, capped by his 1843 last-hurrah expedition with a hefty contingent of his preferred young companions, whose adventures, climaxing in a month-long Renaissance fair in the wilderness, are numerous and exciting enough to pack a western movie with action. An altogether exceptional book." - Ray Olson, Booklist, September 2012

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