Duberman, Martin 1930- (Martin Bauml Duberman)
Duberman, Martin 1930- (Martin Bauml Duberman)
Home—New York, NY. Office—History Dept., Lehman College, 202 C Carman Hall, Bedford Park Blvd. W, Bronx, NY 10468-1589.
Historian, educator, and writer. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, tutor, 1955-57; Yale University, New Haven, CT, instructor, 1957-61, assistant professor, 1961-62; Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, Bicentennial Preceptor, 1962-65, McCosh faculty fellow, 1963-64, associate professor, beginning 1965, became professor of history; Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York, Bronx, distinguished professor of history, beginning 1971, and founder of Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies. Member of board of directors of Lambda Foundation, National Gay Task Force, Lion Theater Group, and Glines Theater; Actors' Studio, member. Historical advisor, Utopian Communities in America film project, Sesame Street television series on late nineteenth-century New York, and Labor History Series for the National Endowment for the Humanities. Organizer of Redress Conference on Amnesty, 1975. Also member of Queer Economic Justice, 2002-05.
Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association, Gay Academic Union, New Dramatists, Southern Historical Association.
Morse fellow, Yale University, 1961-62; American Council of Learned Societies grant, 1963; Bancroft Prize, Columbia University, 1963, for Charles Francis Adams, 1807-1886; Vernon Rice Drama Desk Award, 1963-64, for In White America; National Book Award nomination, 1966, for James Russell Lowell; Rockefeller Foundation, grant, 1967-68, fellowship, 1976; National Academy of Arts and Letters Award for contributions to literature, 1971; American Academy Award, 1971; Manhattan Borough Presidents' gold medal, 1988; George Freedley Prize, 1990; Myer Award, 1990; Lambda Book Award, 1990; Pioneer Award for lifetime achievement, Lambda Literary Foundation, 2007.
Charles Francis Adams, 1807-1886, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1961.
(Editor and contributor) The Antislavery Vanguard: New Essays on the Abolitionists, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1965.
James Russell Lowell, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1966.
About Time: Exploring the Gay Past, Sea Horse Press (New York, NY), 1968, revised edition, Dutton (New York, NY), 1992.
The Uncompleted Past: Collected Essays, 1961-1969, Random House (New York, NY), 1969, reprinted, Garland Pub. (New York, NY), 1984.
Black Mountain: An Exploration in Community, Dutton (New York, NY), 1972, reprinted, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1993.
Black Power and American Radical Tradition (sound recording), W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1974.
(Coauthor) Sociology: Focus on Society, Scott, Foresman (Glenview, IL), 1979.
Paul Robeson, Knopf (New York, NY), 1989.
(Editor, with Martha Vicinus and George Chauncey, Jr.) Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past, New American Library (New York, NY), 1989.
Cures: A Gay Man's Odyssey, Dutton (New York, NY), 1991.
Stonewall, Dutton (New York, NY), 1993.
(General Editor) Randall Kena, James Baldwin, Chelsea House (New York, NY), 1994.
(General Editor) Ellen Herman, Psychiatry, Psychology, and Homosexuality, Chelsea House Publishers (New York, NY), 1995.
(General Editor) Ray Mungo, Liberace, Chelsea House (New York, NY), 1995.
(General editor) Perry Deane Young, Lesbians and Gays and Sports, Chelsea House Publishers (New York, NY), 1995.
(General editor) Jeff Nunokawa, Oscar Wilde, Chelsea House Publishers (New York, NY), 1995.
Midlife Queer: Autobiography of a Decade, 1971-1981, Scribner (New York, NY), 1996.
(Editor, with Ruthann Robson) Gay Men, Lesbians, and the Law, Chelsea House Publishers (New York, NY), 1997.
(Editor) Queer Representations: Reading Lives, Reading Cultures; A Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies Book, New York University Press (New York, NY), 1997.
(Editor) A Queer World: The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader (two volumes), New York University Press (New York, NY), 1997.
(Editor) Beyond Gay or Straight: Understanding Sexual Orientation by Jan Clausen, Chelsea House Publishers (New York, NY), 1997.
Left Out: The Politics of Exclusion; Essays, 1964-1999, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1999, expanded edition published as Left Out: The Politics of Exclusion; Essays, 1964-2002, South End Press (Boston, MA), 2002.
The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein, Alfred A. Knopf (New York, NY), 2007.
Author of introduction to The Civil Rights Reader, edited by Leon Friedman, Walker (New York, NY), 1967. General editor of "Issues in Lesbian and Gay Life" and "Lives of Notable Gay Men and Lesbians" series for Chelsea House Publishers (New York, NY). Also author of television scripts The Deed, 1969; Mother Earth: The Life of Emma Goldman, 1971; and (with Ossie Davis) Twelve Angry Men. Contributor to books, including Democracy and the Student Left, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1968; A Radical Reader, Harper (New York, NY), 1970; and Readings in Human Sexuality, Harper (New York, NY), 1976. Drama critic, Show and Partisan Review. Contributor of articles and essays to Win, New York Times, Village Voice, New Republic, Harper's, and other publications. Member of editorial board, Signs.
In White America (first produced off-Broadway, 1963), Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1964.
Metaphors, first produced off-Broadway, at Cafe Au Go Go, 1968.
Groups, first produced in New York, NY, 1968.
The Colonial Dudes, first produced in New York, NY, at Actors Studio, 1969.
The Memory Bank (contains one-act plays The Recorder and The Electric Map; first produced in New York, NY, at Gate Theater, 1970), Dial (New York, NY), 1970.
Payments, first produced in New York, NY, 1971.
(Adaptor) Joseph Martinez Kookoolis and Scott Fagan, Soon, first produced in New York, NY, at Ritz Hotel, 1971.
Dudes, first produced in New York, NY, 1972.
Inner Limits, first produced in New York, NY, at Manhattan Theater Club, 1972.
Elagabalus, first produced in New York, NY, 1973.
Male Armor: Selected Plays, 1968-1974 (contains Metaphors, The Colonial Dudes, The Recorder, The Guttman Ordinary Scale, Payments, The Electric Map, and Elagabalus), Dutton (New York, NY), 1975.
Visions of Kerouac (first produced in New York, NY, at New Dramatists Theater, 1976), Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1977.
Mother Earth: An Epic Drama of Emma Goldman's Life, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1991.
Work appears in anthologies, including The Best Short Plays of 1970, Chilton Book Co. (Radnor, PA), 1970; and The Best Short Plays of 1972, Chilton Book Co. (Radnor, PA), 1972.
Haymarket: A Novel, Seven Stories Press (New York, NY), 2003.
Haymarket has been published in several languages.
In White America was filmed for television in 1970.
In a career spanning more than thirty years, Martin Duberman has produced influential, thought-provoking plays, essays, biographies, memoirs, and works of social history. In the 1970s, Duberman concentrated his writing talents primarily on plays, but over the next two decades he turned his attention to matters of concern to the gay community and became an eminent chronicler of the gay experience and movement in America.
An example of Duberman's merging of interests as an historian and a playwright is found in his play In White America, which depicts historical events in dramatic form. It is based upon letters, diaries, court records, and other historical documents dealing with black slavery in America. A Contemporary Dramatists contributor wrote that In White America "will prove more significant as an event of cultural history than as either an innovation in theatrical form or the first work in the career of a significant playwright." In White America was a success with contemporary audiences, enjoying a long run off-Broadway.
In his play The Recorder, Duberman again merges his two interests, exploring the relationship between history and the historian. The play concerns a young historian interviewing an old man for a book he is writing. During the course of the interview, the historian's own ideas and opinions, as well as those of the man he interviews, distort historical truth until the line between history and fiction becomes blurred and the writing of history seems a kind of literature.
This idea is again explored by Duberman in his book Black Mountain, a history of the experimental Black Mountain College. Duberman wrote the book in a subjective manner, allowing his own emotions and opinions to be expressed.
In 1993, Duberman's book Stonewall was published. The ground-breaking work explores the rise of the gay rights movement of the late 1960s. Duberman tells of the events preceding and following the night in June of 1969 when patrons at the Stonewall Inn, a drag queen bar in Manhattan, finally rebelled against continual police harassment. The ensuing riots touched off what Duberman calls a "seismic shift" in the consciousness of gays and lesbians. However, Duberman sees the Stonewall riots as the natural culmination of two decades of social change, and he places the chapter containing the Stonewall riot toward the end of the book. Instead, he chooses to tell about the moment in history that he believes to be "the emblematic event in modern gay and lesbian history" through the life histories of six gay men and women whose collective experiences illuminate what it was like to be gay in America. Duberman explains that he chose this narrative strategy to "embrace precisely what most contemporary historians have discarded: the ancient, essential enterprise of telling human stories." Wrote Alice Echolls in the Nation, "This Duberman does masterfully." Only one of the six narrators of Stonewall was present in the bar that evening, but all of them figure in the beginnings of the gay liberation movement. Echolls pointed out that this "powerful and compelling book" has an important function: it is one of the few to demand a place for the lesbian and gay movement in social and political histories of the 1960s.
Duberman's first memoir, Cures: A Gay Man's Odyssey, traces his life from childhood to the early 1970s. He followed up this effort with Midlife Queer: Autobiography of a Decade, 1971-1981, a memoir that chronicles his experiences through the 1970s, including his involvement with gay rights groups and his work as a writer. A Publishers Weekly contributor found Midlife Queer a "searching, refreshingly optimistic memoir," but other reviewers criticized the book for providing endless detail of the New York gay activist scene and for a detached writing style and stance. However, a Library Journal contributor pointed out that "this poignant memoir's lapses into self-indulgence are offset by the author's sincere attempts to understand his place in a pivotal history period of queer history." The Publishers Weekly contributor also noted that this "relentless self-scrutiny reflects a continual search for ways to link the personal with the political."
Duberman achieves such a link with his biography Paul Robeson, who was a noted black college athlete in the early twentieth century, and then carved out an international career as a singer and actor. Also a supporter of communist Russia as a type of ideal state, Robeson found himself hounded by J. Edgar Hoover and his Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). "Robeson, a great singer and a gentle man who could inspire love, has plainly inspired love in his biographer," wrote a contributor to the Economist. "It is all scrupulously documented." Writing in the Nation, Nathan Irvin Huggins commented: "Martin Duberman has done a masterful job in this biography."
Duberman's book Left Out: The Politics of Exclusion; Essays, 1964-1999, was published in 1999 with an expanded edition published in 2002 as Left Out: The Politics of Exclusion; Essays, 1964-2002. The first edition contains three dozen essays that address such issues as racism, homophobia, and the military-industrial complex in America. Commenting on the first edition, Antioch Review contributor John Howard noted: "More than any other intellectual of his or perhaps any generation, Duberman spells out the range of inequalities in American life, draws the connections between them, and courageously maps out viable strategies for change." Also reviewing the first edition, Jeffrey Ingram wrote in the Library Journal that "these essays describe the author's tireless, lifelong commitment to radical political activism." The 2002 expanded edition similarly received high praise from the critics. For example, Fayyaz Vellani, writing in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, commented: "Indeed, one of the things Duberman does best is the linking up of issues—racism, poverty, sexism, homophobia, economic imperialism, etc.—by forging common bonds among them rather than compartmentalizing them into mutually irreconcilable categories, as so often happens and which is disempow- ering and self-defeating to those on the left of the political spectrum."
As editor of the two-volume collection A Queer World: The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, the author presents a series of fifty-two essays and transcripts from five symposia about the history of and issues concerning homosexuality. "Though the prospect of settling down with these prepossessing tomes may daunt you, the two volumes separately or together provide a wealth of provocative and important reading," wrote Jim Van Buskirk in the Lambda Book Report. According to Steven Drukman, writing in the Nation: "The timeliness of Duberman's publication … makes it more than just another academic anthology of half-baked papers." Drukman went on to write in the same review: "A Queer World feels pragmatic, useful, real; the best essays combine theoretical aptitude with real-world application."
Duberman turns to the novel to write about labor history with his book Haymarket: A Novel. The story revolves around the Haymarket Riot in 1886 in Chicago. What began as a peaceful demonstration turned violent when someone threw a bomb at the police, who retaliated by shooting into the crowd. The weeks that followed saw the arrest of numerous trade unionists, including prominent labor leaders. The resulting trials led to several executions. In his novel, Duberman focuses on Albert Parsons, a labor leader, and his wife, Lucy Gonzalez, who was of mixed race. The couple moves to Chicago to escape racism in Texas. Once there, they become labor activists. Writing in Booklist, Jay Freeman noted that the author relates "a generally balanced and deeply moving tale that works as both love story and political statement."
The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein is a biography of one of the leading proponents of the arts in the mid-twentieth century. Founder of the School of American Ballet and the New York City Ballet, Kirstein wrote about the arts and founded the seminal literary magazine Hound and Horn and the Harvard Society for Contemporary Art, which was a precursor to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Kirstein also brought renowned Russian ballet choreographer George Balanchine to the United States. In addition to recounting these aspects of Kirstein's life, the author relates the role Kirstein played in the Arts and Monuments Commission during World War II, which focused on recovering masterpieces that had been stolen and also on acquiring information about pro-Nazis in South America. "Duberman offers a remarkably candid and profoundly insightful portrait," wrote Donnna Seaman in Booklist. John De La Parra noted in the Lambda Book Review: "An author of endless skill, he has once again focused his penetrating light on a subject ripe for discovery—particularly by gay audiences."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Dramatists, 5th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1993.
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 8, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1978.
Duberman, Martin, Cures: A Gay Man's Odyssey, Dutton (New York, NY), 1991.
Duberman, Martin, Midlife Queer: Autobiography of a Decade, 1971-1981, Scribner (New York, NY), 1996.
Duberman, Martin, Stonewall, Dutton (New York, NY), 1993.
Simon, John, Uneasy Stages: A Chronicle of the New York Theater, 1963-1973, Random House (New York, NY), 1975.
Advocate, July 2, 1991, Steven Petrow, "Why Therapy Couldn't Make Martin Duberman Straight: The Author of ‘Cures’ Recounts His Struggle for Self-Acceptance as a Gay Man," p. 76; May 4, 1993, Bob Summer, review of Stonewall, p. 73; May 14, 1996, Tom Stoddard, review of Midlife Queer: Autobiography of a Decade, 1971-1981, p. 70.
Antioch Review, winter, 1970, John Howard, review of Left Out, p. 115.
Archives of Sexual Behavior, April, 2006, Fayyaz Vellani, review of Left Out, p. 235.
Art in America, September, 2007, "What Kirstein Wrought," p. 51.
Biography, summer, 2007, Michael Kimmelman, review of The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein.
Booklist, February 1, 1992, review of Paul Robeson, p. 990; May 1, 1993, Ray Olson, review of Stonewall, p. 1552; November 15, 2003, Jay Freeman, review of Haymarket: A Novel, p. 571; April 15, 2007, Donna Seaman, review of The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein, p. 14.
Books, January 11, 2004, Carl Smith, review of Haymarket, p. 1; April 15, 2007, "A Passionate Patron of American Arts," p. 4.
Book World, April 22, 2007, Michael Dirda, review of The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein, p. 10.
CBA Record, June-July, 2005, Bonnie McGrath, review of Haymarket, p. 71.
Christian Science Monitor, March 31, 1989, Guy Halverson, review of Paul Robeson, p. 13.
Commentary, May, 1989, Harvey Klehr, review of Paul Robeson, p. 70.
Economist, March 11, 1989, review of Paul Robeson, p. 92.
Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide, spring, 2000, "Out on the Left"; July-August, 2007, "The Kirstein Century," p. 13.
GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, March, 2001, Pat Moloney, review of A Queer World: The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, p. 87; March, 2001, Pat Moloney, review of Queer Representations: Reading Lives, Reading Cultures; A Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies Book, p. 87.
Grand Street, summer, 1989, Daniel Wolff, review of Paul Robeson.
Journal of American History, December, 1993, E. Anthony Rotundo, review of Cures: A Gay Man's Odyssey, p. 1158; June, 2001, John D'Emilio, review of Left Out, p. 309.
Lambda Book Report, January, 1992, review of About Time: Exploring the Gay Past, p. 44; May-June, 1993, Stuart Timmons, review of Stonewall, p. 16; July, 1994, review of Stonewall, p. 41; October, 1997, Jim Van Buskirk, review of A Queer World, p. 12; October, 1997, Jim Van Buskirk, review of Queer Representations, p. 12; summer, 2007, John De La Parra, review of The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein.
Library Journal, December, 1986, Kevin M. Roddy, review of Cures, p. 126; September 1, 1989, James E. Van Buskirk, review of Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past, p. 210; February 15, 1991, James E. Van Buskirk, review of About Time, p. 202; June 15, 1991, Thomas E. Luddy, review of Mother Earth: An Epic Drama of Emma Goldman's Life, p. 76; March 15, 1993, Richard Drezen, review of Stonewall, p. 78; March 15, 1996, review of Midlife Queer, p. 76; November 1, 1999, Jeffery Ingram, review of Left Out: The Politics of Exclusion; Essays, 1964-1999, p. 112.
Los Angeles Daily Journal, December 20, 1989, Carl N. Degler, review of Hidden from History, p. 7.
Nation, March 20, 1989, Nathan Irvin Huggins, review of Paul Robeson, p. 383; June 10, 1991, Andrew Kopkind, review of Cures, p. 775; July 15, 1991, p. 85; August 23, 1993, Alice Echolls, review of Stonewall, p. 22; July 15, 1996, David L. Kirp, review of Midlife Queer, p. 33; November 17, 1997, review of A Queer World, p. 28.
National Review, May 19, 1989, Joseph Sobran, review of Paul Robeson, p. 55; November 17, 1997, Steven Drukman, review of A Queer World, p. 28; July 9, 2007, "Company Man," p. 28.
New Leader, February 20, 1989, Barry Gewen, review of Paul Robeson, p. 17.
New Republic, November 4, 1972; December 20, 1993, Paul Berman, review of Stonewall, p. 17-35; May 7, 2007, "Maker and Shaper," p. 39.
New York Review, March 27, 2003, Andrew Hacker, review of Left Out: The Politics of Exclusion; Essays, 1964-2002, pp. 14-16.
New York Review of Books, April 27, 1989, Murray Kempton, review of Paul Robeson, p. 3; June 14, 2007, "A Hero of Our Time," p. 8.
New York Times, February 8, 1989, Caryn James, review of Paul Robeson, p. 25; May 4, 2007, "A Paragon of the Arts, as Both Man and Titan," p. 32.
New York Times Book Review, February 22, 1987, Albert N. Williams, review of About Time, p. 29; January 28, 1990, George Johnson, review of Paul Robeson, p. 34.
People, April 3, 1989, V.R. Peterson, review of Paul Robeson, p. 32.
Publishers Weekly, October 31, 1986, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of About Time, p. 53; October 6, 1989, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of Hidden from History, p. 88; February 15, 1991, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of Cures, p. 79; February 19, 1996, review of Midlife Queer, p. 193; October 18, 1999, review of Left Out, p. 62.
Quill & Quire, April, 1989, review of Paul Robeson, p. 23.
Reference & Research Book News, February, 2000, review of Left Out, p. 112.
Science & Society, January, 2006, Michael Bennett, review of Left Out, p. 124.
Smithsonian, October, 1989, Dennis Drabelle, review of Paul Robeson, p. 221.
Time, March 13, 1989, Stefan Kanfer, review of Paul Robeson, p. 79.
Times Literary Supplement, May 12, 1989, Eric Bentley, review of Paul Robeson, p. 507.
Variety, September 13, 1989, review of Paul Robeson, p. 95.
Wall Street Journal, April 6, 1989, Eric Breindel, review of Paul Robeson, p. A16.
Random House Web site,http://www.randomhouse.com/ (December 10, 2007), brief profile of author.