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The Resource Tinderbox : the untold story of the Up Stairs Lounge fire and the rise of gay liberation, Robert W. Fieseler

Tinderbox : the untold story of the Up Stairs Lounge fire and the rise of gay liberation, Robert W. Fieseler

Label
Tinderbox : the untold story of the Up Stairs Lounge fire and the rise of gay liberation
Title
Tinderbox
Title remainder
the untold story of the Up Stairs Lounge fire and the rise of gay liberation
Statement of responsibility
Robert W. Fieseler
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"Fieseler chronicles the ... event that claimed the lives of thirty-one men and one woman on June 24, 1973, at a New Orleans bar, the largest mass murder of gays until 2016. Relying on ... access to survivors and archives, Fieseler creates [a] ... portrait of a closeted, blue-collar gay world that flourished before an arsonist ignited an inferno that destroyed an entire community"--Amazon.com
Tone
Writing style
Award
  • Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Fact Crime, 2019.
  • Library Journal Best Books, 2018.
Review
  • Journalist Fieseler’s eye-opening first book examines the 1973 arson attack on the Up Stairs Lounge in New Orleans, which killed 32 people and which was, until the Pulse nightclub shooting of 2016, the worst attack on a gay club in American history. The book begins with a scene from the morning of the fire in which bartender Buddy Rasmussen and his lover, Adam Fonte, drive to the bar. The chapter on the fire itself is a haunting recreation of what it was like for those trapped inside, including Fonte, who died, and Rasmussen, who made it out and led a group to safety. Fieseler then focuses on the public’s largely ambivalent response to the attack, which received little media attention and a less-than-thorough police investigation that failed to identify the culprit. He describes how the gay liberation movement virtually shut down in New Orleans in the fire’s aftermath and adds that “the Up Stairs Lounge... exposed a majority of citizens as at best apathetic towards homosexuals while also revealing that civil rights movements of the era were tone-deaf.” Though Fieseler’s prose leans toward overreach—“Humidity, so thick with vapor that breathing air could feel like crying tears, would almost routinely reach 100 percent”—his attention to detail and intricate exploration of the material is spot-on. Fieseler shines a bright light on a dark and largely forgotten moment in the history of the gay rights movement. (June) --Staff (Reviewed 04/16/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 16, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Until the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orland, FL, the fire at the Up Stairs Lounge in New Orleans in 1973 was the largest mass murder of gays in America. Here, journalist Fieseler investigates this tragedy, which tore apart a local gay community. He opens with poignant details of the lives of many of the fire's 32 victims, most of whom were leading double lives as they were not publicly out to their family and friends. On a hot summer evening, after a weekly "beer bust" event, an arsonist set fire to the steps leading up to the bar. Fiesler describes the blaze and chaos in the bar in excruciating and terrifying detail; many survivors and bystanders were traumatized by watching victims burn alive through the lounge windows. A gay prostitute named Roger Nunez, who was previously kicked out the bar for fighting was the most likely suspect, although he was never convicted. While the national gay community supported the victims of the fire, most New Orleanians either made cruel jokes about it (the largest in the city's history) or ignored it entirely. VERDICT A vivid, fast-paced, and essential LGBTQ and social history. --Kate Stewart (Reviewed 05/01/2018) (Library Journal, vol 143, issue 8, p78)
  • /* Starred Review */ A history of the 1973 events that set a club in New Orleans—and the gay community—on fire. Gay liberation movements are often associated with the Stonewall riots or ACT UP's transgressive and vital actions during the AIDS crisis. It's not often that the Up Stairs Lounge, a gay bar in New Orleans, is placed within the narrative of gay uprisings and the reinforcement of community values. In this significant debut, journalist Fieseler has effectively made himself the authority on the subject. On June 24th, 1973, as men and women of all ages enjoyed a coveted evening in the safest place they knew, a gay man, angry after getting in a fight with patrons, poured lighter fluid on the steps leading to the Up Stairs Lounge. The events that ensued were horrific: "Lambent flames reached the back corner of the bar area, and the street lit up with the sound of seventeen people shrieking. Seeing faces burn in the windows, [a patron] yelled for them to jump. Fire ate them up." That night, 32 people lost their lives, but their deaths set fire to a different kind of flame. Fieseler discusses in great detail the conditions in which gay men were forced to live: in hiding, constantly afraid of discovery, putting a straight mask on in public. At the time, homosexuality was still illegal. More shocking, however, is what the author's rigorous research shows about how authorities, the media, and legislators mishandled the fire and aftermath. Through a series of systemic dismissals, linguistic omissions, and general complacency, the event has been largely erased from American history. Fieseler's work is an essential piece of historical restitution that takes us from 1973 to 2003, when homosexuality was finally decriminalized in Louisiana. Powerfully written and consistently engaging, the book will hopefully shed more light on the gay community's incredible and tragic journey to equality. A momentous work of sociological and civil rights history. (Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2018)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10663576
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Fieseler, Robert W
Dewey number
364.152/340976335
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • maps
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Gays
  • Mass murder
  • Gay bars
  • Arson
  • Homophobia
  • Gay liberation movement
  • Arson
  • Gay bars
  • Gay liberation movement
  • Gays
  • Homophobia
  • Mass murder
  • Louisiana
  • SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
the untold story of the Up Stairs Lounge fire and the rise of gay liberation
Label
Tinderbox : the untold story of the Up Stairs Lounge fire and the rise of gay liberation, Robert W. Fieseler
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Introduction: History reclaimed -- Act I: Fire -- Brotherhood of men -- Sunday service -- Gay liberation -- United we stand -- Act II: Fallout -- Mayhem -- Call for aid -- Liberation descends -- Visions -- Fun house -- Firetraps -- In memoriam -- Act III: Legacy -- Deliverance -- Downfall -- Rally forth -- Last resort -- Coda: Second line
Control code
on1005117932
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
xxxviii, 343 pages
Isbn
9781631491641
Lccn
2018004765
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, maps
System control number
(OCoLC)1005117932
Label
Tinderbox : the untold story of the Up Stairs Lounge fire and the rise of gay liberation, Robert W. Fieseler
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Introduction: History reclaimed -- Act I: Fire -- Brotherhood of men -- Sunday service -- Gay liberation -- United we stand -- Act II: Fallout -- Mayhem -- Call for aid -- Liberation descends -- Visions -- Fun house -- Firetraps -- In memoriam -- Act III: Legacy -- Deliverance -- Downfall -- Rally forth -- Last resort -- Coda: Second line
Control code
on1005117932
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
xxxviii, 343 pages
Isbn
9781631491641
Lccn
2018004765
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, maps
System control number
(OCoLC)1005117932

Library Locations

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      30.362144 -97.7305032
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    • Yarborough BranchBorrow it
      2200 Hancock Dr., Austin, TX, 78756, US
      30.3234684 -97.74072129999999
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