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Political Advocacy and Its Interested Citizens: Neoliberalism, Postpluralism, and LGBT Organizations, Matthew Dean Hindman

Reviewed by Jacob R. Longaker

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The 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges to legalize same-sex marriage marked what many view as a swift, and rather abrupt, turning point in the struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights. However, as Matthew Dean Hindman shows in Political Advocacy and Its Interested Citizens, the guarantee of civil rights for gays and lesbians did not happen overnight; rather, it entailed the careful cultivation of a new ideal type of interested citizen by gay and lesbian interest groups and prominent advocates. This process, Hindman argues, has been tempered by the forces of neoliberalism, leading to gay and lesbian interest groups calling forth interested citizens who adhere to narrowly defined and circumscribed conceptions of identity, participation, and conduct.

Hindman offers a new interpretation of a familiar story of the rise of LGBT organizations in the United States through the lens of neoliberalism. Rigorous archival research charts painstaking efforts on behalf of prominent gay and lesbian leadership to shape the identity, participation, and conduct of a relatively newly politicized group. These concepts are explored throughout case study chapters on the homophile movement, gay liberation, the advocacy explosion in the Beltway, and HIV/AIDS direct action.

This novel approach, consiste

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