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TINDERBOX

$26.95

TINDERBOX
THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE UP STAIRS LOUNGE FIRE AND THE RISE OF GAY LIBERATION

Hardcover
June 2018
ISBN 978-1-63149-164-1
6.5 × 9.6 in / 384 pages
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

An essential work of American civil rights history, Tinderbox mesmerizingly reconstructs the 1973 fire that devastated New Orleans’ subterranean gay community.

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.


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A unique museum gift shop located in the French Quarter that offers reproduction maps and prints, jewelry and gifts by local artists and our own publications as well as many other titles related to the culture and history of New Orleans and Louisiana. Many of the items in this shop can only be found at The Historic New Orleans Collection. This gift shop features reproduction items from our collections that are educational and exclusive.