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Tinderbox on Tour: Robert Fieseler in conversation with Amos Lassen
About the book:
Buried for decades, the Up Stairs Lounge tragedy has only recently emerged as a catalyzing event of the gay liberation movement. In revelatory detail, Robert W. Fieseler chronicles the tragic 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 unprecedented access to survivors and archives, Fieseler creates an indelible portrait of a closeted, blue- collar gay world that flourished before an arsonist ignited an inferno that destroyed an entire community. The aftermath was no less traumatic―families ashamed to claim loved ones, the Catholic Church refusing proper burial rights, the city impervious to the survivors’ needs―revealing a world of toxic prejudice that thrived well past Stonewall. Yet the impassioned activism that followed proved essential to the emergence of a fledgling gay movement. Tinderbox restores honor to a forgotten generation of civil-rights martyrs.
About the author: Robert W. Fieseler is a recipient of the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship and the Lynton Fellowship in Book Writing. A writer for The Big Roundtable, Narratively, and elsewhere, he lives in Boston.
Robert will be in converstation with Amos Lassen. Amos was born, raised and educated in New Orleans, LA, but after getting his MA in 1967, he moved to Israel to be part of building a new nation. By profession he is an academic having taught for 53 years on both the high school level and at colleges and universities. His degrees are in history, philosophy and Biblical Hebrew and he sees himself a disciple of Hannah Arendt. Amos is one of the founders of the gay liberation movement in Israel. He returned to the States in 2005 to take a visiting professorship for two years but all that changed when Katrina hit New Orleans. Amos reviews LGBT and Jewish literature and film at reviewsbyamoslassen.com, where there are some 15000 reviews.