Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death

Lillian Faderman

Yale University Press, 2018

Agent: Sandra Dijkstra

A lively and engaging biography of the first openly gay man elected to public office in the United States, a man fiercely committed to protecting all minorities

Harvey Milk—charismatic, eloquent, and a smart-aleck—was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 but had served for less than one year when he was shot by a homophobic fellow Supervisor. Milk’s assassination made him the most famous gay man in modern history, and countless tributes including a posthumous Medal of Freedom honor his legacy. This compelling biography explores the complexities of Harvey Milk’s life, from his Jewish childhood on Long Island to his final years as a progressive politician committed to social justice.
As a Jew and a homosexual, Milk felt himself to be doubly an outsider. He was an energetic champion not just of gay people but also of racial minorities, workers, women, the disabled, and senior citizens. His politics were influenced by his Jewish cultural identity and the ideals of Jewish liberalism as much as by his gay identity.