Thirty-two years before Simone de Beauvoir's classic The Second Sex, popular French novelist Willy published The Third Sex, a vivid description of the world of European homosexuals in France, Italy, and Germany during the late 1920s. Stepping directly into the heart of gay men's culture, Willy follows homosexual nightlife into music halls, nightclubs, casinos, bars, and saunas. While he finds drug and alcohol use, he also discovers homosexual publishers, scientific societies, group rivalries, and opinions--both medical and political--about the nature of homosexuality. _x000B__x000B_This first-ever English edition of The Third Sex provides a goldmine of information about a hidden gay culture and an unrivaled personal record of European mores between the world wars. In describing some of the most conspicuous homosexual personalities of the era, including the champion for tolerance Dr. Magnus Hirschfield and the transvestite American trapeze artist Barbette, Willy is notoriously free from prudery. An introduction and copious notes by translator Lawrence R. Schehr supply important background information on these colorful personalities and point out vital references throughout the text. In guiding readers through Willy's breezy and witty narrative, Schehr unpacks the fascinating allusions and delightful puns buried in this first-hand account of gay men's culture. _x000B__x000B_
Subjects: History, Sociology
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