Signed first printing of the Western by the gay rights icon, written as a companion to the film treatment for what would become the acclaimed movie starring John Wayne.
Fine in near-fine jacket.
"The intimations of adolescent homosexuality are distracting. Either they should be more clearly spelled out or considerable toned down. And frankly I urge the latter." – Bob Silverstein, editor at Bantam Books, letter to Jennings
Jennings was one of the founders of the Mattachine Society, one of the earliest gay rights organizations in the United States; after his arrest for allegedly soliciting a police officer in 1952, Jennings's decision to pursue a highly publicized trial (rather than a quiet plea deal) brought a wider awareness of the Gay Rights Movement: "the Mattachine members took elaborate precautions to keep their identities secret. Thus it was Mr. Jennings whose courage made him a permanent icon – and the infant movement's first hero" (Clendinen). Jennings continued to be an active participant in the Gay Rights Movement, especially as a writer. Even after selling a film treatment of the COWBOYS, Jennings ran into obstacles finding a publisher because of the book's homoerotic content. After working on multiple drafts with Bantam, the publisher still rejected the book: Jennings ended up placing it with the smaller publisher Stein and Day.
Read more: Clendinen, "William Dale Jennings, 82, Writer and Gay Rights Pioneer," obituary in the New York Times, 22 May 2000; Bullough, Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context, 91.
New York: Stein and Day, (1971). 8.25'' x 5.5''. Original quarter red cloth, blind-stamped orange paper boards, gilt-lettered spine. In original unclipped ($5.95) photographic dust jacket designed by Bertie Hoover with photo by Bob Willoughby. , 242 pages. Signed by Dale in blue ink on half title. Faint edgewear to spine extremities.
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