Queen and Country - Same-Sex Desire in the British Armed Forces 1939-45 Book

Queen and Country - Same-Sex Desire in the British Armed Forces 1939-45 Book

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Using a rich array of oral histories and previously unseen archival sources, Queen and country provides the first detailed academic study of the complex intersection between same-sex desire and military authority in the British Armed Forces between 1939 and 1945.

It illuminates how men and women lived, loved and survived in an institution which, at least publicly, was unequivocally hostile towards same-sex activity within its ranks. Queen and Country also tells a story of selective remembrance and the politics of memory, exploring specifically why same-sex desire continues to be absent from the historical record of the war. In examining this absence, and the more intimate minutiae of cohesion, homosociability and desire, it pushes far beyond traditional military history in order to cast new light on one of the most widely discussed conflicts of the twentieth century.

It makes a significant and original contribution to debates concerning the British experience of war and introduces new ways of understanding the Second World War. Amongst other issues, the book examines contemporary understandings of homosexuality in relation to the entrance of queer recruits and explores the experiences of those that served.

It also highlights how the military authorities responded to same-sex activity. Queen and Country is aimed at general readers and academic readers alike.

'This empirically rich study adds a new chapter to the history of homosexuality in the context of the Second World War. Fascinating in its detail, Queen and country shows how the very attempt to regulate same-sex intimacies and desires gave rise to new sexual identities and queer communities.'
Laura Doan, author of Disturbing Practices: History, Sexuality, and Women's Experience of Modern War

'Vickers neatly embeds the empirical detail - the bulk of the book under review - within the wider corpus on the subject of gender and history and she is to be commended for an excellent, scholarly study that will surely propel further scholarship'
Matthew Hughes, War in History 21(3), Book Review: Queen and Country: Same-Sex Desire in the British Armed Forces, 1939-1945 by Emma Vickers, 4 June 2014

'Emma Vickers has produced a rich and humane study of World War Two service personnel which significantly expands our understanding of "gay" people and the reaction of "ordinary people" to them before gay lib in the 1970s.'
Brian Dempsey, James Morgan Brown Review

Author Emma Vickers
Format Paperback
Pages 220
ISBN 9781784991180


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