The Seduction of Youth: Print Culture and Homosexual Rights in the Weimar Republic
Published: April 2020© 2020
280 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 14 b&w illustrations
Ebook - ePub
A simple man from the provinces, Friedrich Radszuweit merged popular culture, consumerism, and politics as the leader of the League for Human Rights, Germany’s first mass homosexual organization. The Seduction of Youth is the first study to focus on the League and its leader, using his position at the centre of the Weimar-era gay rights movement to tease out the diverging political strategies and contradictory tactics that distinguished the movement.
By examining news articles and opinion pieces, as well as literary texts and photographs in the League’s numerous pulp magazines for homosexuals, Javier Samper Vendrell reconstructs forgotten aspects of the history of same-sex desire and subjectivity. While recognizing the possibilities of liberal rights for sexual freedom during the Weimar Republic, the League’s "respectability politics" failed in part because Radszuweit’s own publications contributed to the idea that homosexual men were considered a threat to youth, doing little to change the views of the many people who believed in homosexual seduction – a homophobic trope that endured well into the twentieth century.
1. Theories of Adolescent Sexuality and Homosexual Seduction
2. The League for Human Rights, Print Culture, and Homosexual Rights
3. The Allure of Youth in the League for Human Rights’ Publications
4. The 1926 Trash and Smut Law, Youth Protection, and Homosexual Publications
5. The Pitfalls of Boy Love
6. Male Prostitution, Age of Consent, and the Decriminalization of Homosexuality
Conclusion: The Seduction of Youth, Respectability, and the End of Weimar’s Homosexual Rights Movement
"Not only has Samper Vendrell written a book that is potentially generative of new histories of this moment, but his dexterity in handling the difficult themes of youth, consent, and abuse in the context of homosexual emancipation will also undoubtably serve as a model for future studies."Christopher Ewing, Virginia Commonwealth University, H-German
"In this concise and conceptually elegant study, Javier Samper Vendrell examines the ideas, business enterprises, advocacy, and organizing work of Friedrich Radszuweit, a leading figure in the Weimar homosexual rights movement."Edward Dickinson, University of California, Davis, H-Soz-Kult
“This book deserves a wide readership, for beyond its methodological lessons for historians it offers astute insight into the fragile advantages and serious limitations of a politicking grounded in superficial visibility and respectability and that continues to dominate mainstream queer organizations amidst a reactionary storm rumbling across North America.” Journal of History
“The book represents a valuable addition to recent studies of the politics of respectability in the first homosexual emancipation movement.” Andrea Rottmann, Freie Universität Berlin, Journal of the History of Sexuality
"Discussing the role that anxiety played in the topic of youth and homosexuality in the 1920s and 1930s, The Seduction of Youth tackles this subject as well as several other underappreciated issues that were used in an effort to mobilize cultural and government action against the homosexual movement." Clayton Whisnant, Department of History, Wofford College
"Javier Samper Vendrell has combed through many rare and not easily accessible journals from the 1920s, contributing to the book's extensive and insightful research on homosexuality and the League for Human Rights." Geoffrey J Giles, Department of History, University of Florida
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