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Oppression and Liberation


The groundbreaking modern classic that forged a new language of homosexual politics.


When Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation was first published in 1971, Martin Duberman, writing in the The New York Review of Books, hailed it as 'the only work that bears comparison, in terms of sustained analysis and theoretical complexity, with the best to appear from Women’s Liberation.' Time magazine commented, 'Among the whole tumble of homosexuals who have "come out of the closet", perhaps best amoung these accounts is this book by Dennis Altman.'

Long out of print, Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation stands as an early work in the gay liberation movement that recognised the divisions within that movement as a form of healthy diversity. Altman draws on stories from the emergent movement and on the writings of James Baldwin, Allen Ginsberg, Christopher Isherwood, Herbert Marcuse, and Kate Millett. His objective is to propose ways we can create a common community out of our shared sexuality and experience of a heterosexist society – a concern still central today.

In this anniversary edition Altman reconsiders Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation in light of the current gay rights debate, as he continues to challenge conventional notions of sex and gender.

Dennis Altman

Dennis Altman

Dennis Altman is Professor of Politics and Director of the Institute for Human Security at La Trobe University, Melbourne, and was Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard. He has written eleven books exploring sexuality and politics, and their inter-relationship in Australia, the United States, and now globally. These include The Homosexualization of America, AIDS and the New Puritanism, Rehearsals for Change, The Comfort of Men, and his memoir Defying Gravity. His book Global Sex (Chicago University Press) has been translated into five languages. Most recently he published Gore Vidal’s America and Fifty First State?. In 2008, Altman was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia.