Duberman, Martin (Bauml) 1930-
DUBERMAN, Martin (Bauml) 1930-
PERSONAL: Born August 6, 1930, in New York, NY; son of Joseph M. (a dress manufacturer) and Josephine (Bauml) Duberman. Education: Yale University, B.A., 1952; Harvard University, M.A., 1953, Ph.D., 1957.
CAREER: 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.
MEMBER: Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association, Gay Academic Union, New Dramatists, Southern Historical Association.
AWARDS, HONORS: 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; Lambda Book Award, 1990; Myer Award, 1990.
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.
Black Mountain: An Exploration in Community, Dutton (New York, NY), 1972.
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.
Midlife Queer: Autobiography of a Decade, 1971-1981, Scribner (New York, NY), 1996.
(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 andGay Studies Reader, New York University Press (New York, NY), 1997.
(Editor) Beyond Gay or Straight: UnderstandingSexual 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.
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'sLife, 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
ADAPTATIONS: In White America was filmed for television in 1970.
SIDELIGHTS: 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.
"There are times," Duberman has stated, "when I have trouble deciding which I am, historian or playwright." An example of Duberman's merging of interests 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. Thomas B. Markus in Contemporary Dramatists believed 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 published Stonewall, a groundbreaking work exploring 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. But 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 reviewer 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 critic 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 reviewer also noted that this "relentless self-scrutiny reflects a continual search for ways to link the personal with the political."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Dramatists, 5th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1993.
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 8, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1978.
Duberman, Martin, Cures: A Gay Man's Odyssey, Dutton (New York, NY), 1991.
Duberman, Martin, Midlife Queer: Autobiography of aDecade, 1971-1981, Scribner (New York, NY), 1996.
Simon, John, Uneasy Stages: A Chronicle of the NewYork Theater, 1963-1973, Random House (New York, NY), 1975.
Advocate, July 2, 1991, p. 76; May 4, 1993, p. 73; May 14, 1996, p. 70.
America, December 18, 1971.
American Historical Review, January, 1966; April, 1975.
Antioch Review, winter, 1970.
Booklist, May 1, 1993, p. 1552.
Books and Bookmen, June, 1974.
Book Week, August 22, 1965.
Christian Century, April 28, 1965.
Christian Science Monitor, February 2, 1967.
Commentary, May, 1989, p. 70.
Economist, March 11, 1989, p. 92.
Journal of American History, December, 1965; December, 1993, p. 1158.
Lambda Book Report, May, 1993, p. 16; July, 1994, p. 41.
Library Journal, February 15, 1991, p. 202; December, 1986, p. 126; February 15, 1991, p. 202; June 15, 1991, p. 76; March 15, 1993, p. 78; March 15, 1996, review of Midlife Queer, p. 76.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, January 27, 1991, p. 10; April 28, 1991, p. 6; June 27, 1993, pp. 2, 8.
Multicultural Review, April, 1992, p. 83; September, 1993, p. 50.
Nation, April 3, 1967; December 11, 1972; March 20, 1989, p. 383; June 10, 1991, p. 775; July 15, 1991, p. 85; August 23, 1993, Alice Echolls, review of Stonewall, p. 22; July 15, 1996, p. 33.
National Review, May 19, 1989, p. 55.
New England Quarterly, June, 1967.
New Leader, February 12, 1970; February 20, 1989, p. 17.
New Republic, November 4, 1972; December 20, 1993, pp. 17-35.
New Statesman, April 26, 1974.
Newsweek, January 2, 1967; November 27, 1972.
New York, February 2, 1970.
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, November 16, 1972; April 27, 1989, p. 3.
New York Times, June 1, 1969; October 28, 1969; December 15, 1969; November 7, 1972.
New York Times Book Review, December 25, 1966; April 21, 1991, p. 9; June 27, 1993, p. 15; May 19, 1996, p. 15.
Observer, March 3, 1991, p. 58.
Partisan Review, summer, 1967.
Progressive, May, 1970.
Publishers Weekly, October 31, 1986, p. 53; February 15, 1991, p. 79; March 15, 1993, p. 78; February 19, 1996, review of Midlife Queer, p. 193.
Quill & Quire, April, 1989, p. 23.
Saturday Review, May 22, 1965; January 3, 1970.
Science and Society, fall, 1965.
Show Business, January 17, 1970.
Smith, October, 1989, p. 221.
South Atlantic Quarterly, autumn, 1966.
Spectator, April 22, 1989, p. 30.
Time, March 13, 1989, p. 79.
Times Literary Supplement, November 25, 1965; May 12, 1989, p. 507.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), February 12, 1989, p. 1.
USA Today, February 17, 1989, p. D7; March 14, 1989, p. D6.
Variety, January 21, 1970; September 13, 1989, p. 95.
Village Voice, December 14, 1972; December 20, 1976; January 25, 1994, p. 81.
Wall Street Journal, April 6, 1989, p. A16.
Washington Post Book World, November 19, 1972; December 10, 1989, p. 5; June 5, 1994, p. 16.
World and I, July, 1989, p. 409.
World Journal Tribune, December 5, 1966.*