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The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America (Politics and Society in Modern America) Paperback – July 25, 2011

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Imported from USA

Review
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"The Straight State makes three outstanding contributions: it delineates the state as a whole fresh
category in the formation of gay identities; elite reform becomes more important than bottom up revolution; while she
moves gay history, convincingly, right into the mainstream of historical inquiry. Canaday has, therefore, produced an
extremely important book."---Kevin White, Journal of Social History

"[This] book contributes to an ongoing body of lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender theoretical, historical, and social
research in fascinating new ways, revealing the extent to which normative critiques continue to inform queer theory and
structure queer lives."---Jaime Cantrell, Feminist Formations

"Winner of the 2010 Cromwell Book Prize, American Society for Legal History"

"In this brilliant retelling of the making of American citizenship, Margot Canaday links changing understandings of
national identity to changing understandings of sexuality. Her indefatigable research and wise analysis demonstrate that
political judgments about immigration, military service, and welfare have been soaked with judgments about what counts
as normal―or 'degenerate'―sex. The history of federal bureaucracy is suddenly a page-turner."―Linda K. Kerber, author of
No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship

"Canaday contends that the emergence of state bureaucracy in the 20th-century US may be tracked through its developing
definition and regulation of homosexuality. . . . While some scholars may debate the author's particular inferences from
her evidence, this volume opens new ground in gender research." (Choice)

"[Canaday] succeeds in . . . contributing brilliantly both to understandings of the relationship between state practices
and the construction of identity and to the story of the rise of the modern bureaucratic state as a sexual state. . . .
[This] book . . . presents a fascinating reframing of a familiar story and opens substantial new space for related
research."---Julie Novkov, Perspectives on Politics

"This is a terrific, complex, highly original, revelatory book. Canaday very effectively argues that the powers of the
federal state and the definition of 'a homosexual' as a person grew up in dynamic relation to one another in the first
half of the twentieth century. Every chapter contains fascinating new material, superbly shaped to advance her
narrative. I am sure this will be an influential book."―Nancy F. Cott, author of Public Vows: A History of Marriage and
the Nation

"It is not really news that inhabitants of the United States are governed by what historian Margot Canaday calls, in the
title of her excellent book, a 'straight state.' For some time now, scholars of sexuality (following in the footsteps of
those who have studied and challenged the race and gender hierarchies embedded in state policies and actions) have
professed the analytical goal of what historian Lisa Duggan, writing in 1994, called 'queering the state.' These
scholars have argued that the supposed naturalness of the heterosexual couple, and the unnaturalness of alternatives, is
presumed and reinforced in the ordinary workings of government. Canaday's substantial contribution is to trace, in
gripping and at times horrifying detail, exactly how the United States came to operate in this fashion over the course
of much of the twentieth century. The Straight State provides a compelling history of the designation of 'the homosexual
as the anticitizen.' . . . The Straight State is a captivating, engagingly written work of social, political, legal and
sexual history, and the fruit of an extraordinary attention to archival documents."---Steven Epstein, Nation

"Winner of the 2012 Biennial Book Award, Order of the Coif"

"Princeton Professor Margot Canaday has presented us with a superb and groundbreaking analysis of the role of federal
institutions in shaping the LGBT identity over the course of the 20th Century. . . . Professor Canaday's work satisfies
in a way all too rarely encountered in contemporary historical writing. The Straight State opens our eyes to the role of
evolving federal policies in immigration, welfare, and the military in defining homosexuality and the gay persona. . . .
The Straight State is indispensable to the student of modern queer history."---Toby Grace, Out in Jersey

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From the Back Cover
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"A groundbreaking study that wholly revises our understanding of sexuality, citizenship, and the state. Canaday asks how
and why the emerging federal bureaucracy came to define, regulate, and exclude gay men and lesbians, and her answers
take us into the inner workings of the state's policing machinery. This is an important book."--Joanne Meyerowitz,
author of How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States

"In this brilliant retelling of the making of American citizenship, Margot Canaday links changing understandings of
national identity to changing understandings of sexuality. Her indefatigable research and wise analysis demonstrate that
political judgments about immigration, military service, and welfare have been soaked with judgments about what counts
as normal--or 'degenerate'--sex. The history of federal bureaucracy is suddenly a page-turner."--Linda K. Kerber, author
of No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship

"This is a terrific, complex, highly original, revelatory book. Canaday very effectively argues that the powers of the
federal state and the definition of 'a homosexual' as a person grew up in dynamic relation to one another in the first
half of the twentieth century. Every chapter contains fascinating new material, superbly shaped to advance her
narrative. I am sure this will be an influential book."--Nancy F. Cott, author of Public Vows: A History of Marriage and
the Nation

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