GENEVA, N.Y.-For the past eight years Craig A. Rimmerman, professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and a noted expert in gay rights, has been researching lesbian and gay movements in the United States. While Rimmerman studied, colleagues and others interested in the field have inquired on his progress and called upon him for information. The wait is over. Rimmerman's critique of past, present, and future movements has been compiled into a 264-page book titled From Identity to Politics: The Lesbian and Gay Movements in the United States that was just released by Temple University Press.
The book explores the movements as events that have prompted social change. Rimmerman explains the United States' liberal democracy has provided a certain degree of lesbian and gay rights. But those rights, as we now know, are not unlimited, and they continue to be the focus of efforts by lesbian and gay movements in the United States to promote social change. In this compelling critique, Rimmerman looks at the movements to analyze whether it is possible for them to link identity concerns with a progressive coalition for political, social, and gender change, one that takes into account race, class, and gender inequalities.
Here's what the reviewers have said.
· “Rimmerman points a wide angle lens in the direction of the gay and lesbian movement, allowing him to capture the full breadth of its organizations and their varied strategies. He brings tough-minded analysis to his topic, and is willing to challenge strategies for change that he finds bankrupt. The result is a book whose insights can only invigorate gay and lesbian politics in the United States today.” -John D'Emilio, professor of gender and women's studies, University of Illinois at Chicago and author of Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities.
· “Craig Rimmerman has written the best kind of academic book, one that is rich in factual detail yet broad in its perspective. His critique of the current lesbian and gay movements clarifies the limitations that are inherent in a narrow identity politics and makes a strong case for building even broader coalitions and doing more grassroots organizing. Any student of social movements, and especially students of the lesbian and gay movements, will find this book a rewarding read.” -Patricia A. Cain, author of Rainbow Rights: The Role of Lawyers and Courts in the Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights Movement.
· “Craig Rimmerman has written an insightful book that belongs on the bookshelf of not only students of gay and lesbian politics, but of everyone interested in social movements. His thoughtful critique of various strategies that various movement activists have chosen will be enormously helpful to academics and activists alike.” -Clyde Wilcox, Department of Government, Georgetown University.
Rimmerman is also an expert in gay rights and is quoted extensively in the popular as well as the gay press on the issues of gays in the military, civil rights for gays and lesbians, AIDS in public policy, and gays and lesbians and the Christian right. He is the author of several books, including The New Citizenship: Unconventional Politics, Activism, and Service (1998), Gay Rights, Military Wrongs (1995), and the co-editor of Politics of Gay Rights (2000). He focuses on key issues for public policy including gays and lesbians openly serving in the military, anti-discrimination laws, and the ongoing AIDS crisis.
Rimmerman, of Ithaca, N.Y., has been a professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges since 1986. He holds Ph.D. and master's degrees in political science from Ohio State University, and a bachelor's degree in political science and English from Miami University.