A rich and revelatory biography of one of the crucial cultural figures of the twentieth century.
Lincoln Kirstein's contributions to the nation's life, as both an intellectual force and advocate of the arts, were unparalleled. While still an undergraduate, he started the innovative literary journal Hound and Horn, as well as the modernist Harvard Society for Contemporary Art--forerunner of the Museum of Modern Art. He brought George Balanchine to the United States, and in service to the great choreographer's talent, persisted, against heavy odds, in creating both the New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet. Among much else, Kirstein helped create Lincoln Center in New York, and the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut; established the pathbreaking Dance Index and the country's first dance archives; and in some fifteen books proved himself a brilliant critic of art, photography, film, and dance.
But behind this remarkably accomplished and renowned public face lay a complex, contradictory, often tortured human being. Kirstein suffered for decades from bipolar disorder, which frequently strained his relationships with his family and friends, a circle that included many notables, from W. H. Auden to Nelson Rockefeller. And despite being married for more than fifty years to a woman whom he deeply loved, Kirstein had a wide range of homosexual relationships throughout the course of his life.
This stunning bioraphy, filled with fascinating perceptions and incidents, is a major act of historical reclamation. Utilizing an enormous amount of previously unavailable primary sources, including Kirstein's untapped diaries, Martin Duberman has rendered accessible for the first time a towering figure of immense complexity and achievement.
From the Hardcover edition.
On the night of May 4, 1886, during a peaceful demonstration of labor activists in Haymarket Square in Chicago, a dynamite bomb was thrown into the ranks of police -trying to disperse the crowd. The officers immediately opened fire, killing a number of protestors and wounding some two hundred others.
Albert Parsons was the best-known of those hanged; Haymarket is his story. Parsons, humanist and autodidact, was an ex-Confederate soldier who grew up in Texas in the 1870s, and fell in love with Lucy Gonzalez, a vibrant, outspoken black woman who preferred to describe herself as of Spanish and Creole descent. The novel tells the story of their lives together, of their growing political involvement, of the formation of a colorful circle of "co-conspirators"-immigrants, radical intellectuals, journalists, advocates of the working class-and of the events culminating in bloodshed. More than just a moving story of love and human struggle, more than a faithful account of a watershed event in United States history, Haymarket presents a layered and dynamic revelation of late nineteenth-century Chicago, and of the lives of a handful of remarkable individuals who were willing to risk their lives for the promise of social change.
A breathtaking historical novel that recreates the intimate milieu around Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm from 1907 through the 1930s, a period of great human suffering and destruction and also of enormous freedom and creativity, a time when the remnants and artifices of the old word still mattered, and yet when art and the social sciences were pirouetting with successive revolutions in thought and style. Set in a time when many men in the upper classes in Europe were gay, but could not be so publicly, Jews Queers Germans revolves around three men: Prince Philipp von Eulenburg, Kaiser Wilhelm II's closest friend, who becomes the subject of a notorious 1907 trial for homosexuality; Magnus Hirschfeld, a famed, Jewish sexologist who gives testimony at the trial; and Count Harry Kessler, a leading proponent of modernism, and the keeper of a famous set of diaries which lay out in intimate detail the major social, artistic and political events of the day and allude as well to his own homosexuality. The central theme here is the gay life of a very upper crust intellectual milieu that had a real impact on the major political upheavals that would shape the modern world forever after. From the Trade Paperback edition.