Men Without Maps by John Ibson
Men Without Maps - Some Gay Males of the Generation Before Stonewall.
In Men without Maps, John Ibson uncovers the experiences of men after World War II who had same-sex desires but few affirmative models of how to build identities and relationships. Though heterosexual men had plenty of cultural maps—provided by nearly every engine of social and popular culture—gay men mostly lacked such guides in the years before parades, organizations, and publications for queer people.
Surveying the years from shortly before the war up to the gay rights movement of the late 1960s and early ’70s, Ibson considers male couples, who balanced domestic contentment with exterior repression, as well as single men, whose solitary lives illuminate unexplored aspects of the queer experience. Men without Maps shows how, in spite of the obstacles they faced, midcentury gay men found ways to assemble their lives and senses of self at a time of limited acceptance.
"Men without Maps is a lovely book. Like Ibson's earlier work, it is both scholarly and accessible. He convincingly argues that gay men from World War II up to Stonewall had no maps for manhood, in contrast with the ubiquitous maps that served as 'basic training' for heterosexual manhood. The book's clear, deeply moving, and well-drawn prose will interest scholars of LGBTQ studies, masculinities, and sex and gender history."- Michael Messner, University of Southern California
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: 22 October 2019