Martin Duberman



Martin Bauml Duberman (born August 6, 1930) is an award-winning American historian, playwright, and gay-rights activist. He is Professor of History Emeritus at the Graduate School of the City University of New York and Lehman College and was the founder and first director of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the CUNY Graduate School. He has authored over twenty books including James Russell Lowell (a National Book Award finalist), Charles Frances Adams (Bancroft Prize winner), Paul Robeson, Stonewall, and the memoir Cures: A Gay Man's Odyssey. His play In White America won the Vernon Rice/Drama Desk Award for Best Off-Broadway Production in 1963. He also won two Lambda awards for Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past, an anthology he co-edited; and a special award from the National Academy of Arts and Letters for his "contributions to literature." In 1968, he signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War. Around the same time, he wrote an article in the Partisan Review "criticiz[ing] SNCC and CORE for being 'anarchists,' for rejecting the authority of the state, for insisting that community be voluntary, and for stressing, along with SDS, participatory instead of representative democracy." He wrote that:

SNCC and CORE, like the Anarchists, talk increasingly of the supreme importance of the individual. They do so, paradoxically, in a rhetoric that is strongly reminiscent of that long associated with the right. It could be Herbert Hoover . . . but it is in fact Rap Brown who now reiterates the Negro's need to stand on his own two feet, to make his own decisions, to develop self-reliance and a sense of self-worth. SNCC may be scornful of present-day liberals and 'statism,' but it seems hardly to realize that the laissez-faire rhetoric it prefers derives almost verbatim from the classic liberalism of John Stuart Mill.

In October, 2012, The New Press will publish Duberman's newest book, Howard Zinn: A Life on the Left. His other works include Male Armor, Selected Plays, 1968-1974; About Time, Exploring the Gay Past; Gay presses of New York; Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past;  Midlife Queen: Autobiography of a Decade, Left Out: The Politics of Exclusion; Stonewall; and Cures, A Gay Man’s Odyssey.