I came across this book while doing research for a paper I was writing about the gay rights movement in Cincinnati. One of the chapters, entitled "Brushfires: Antigay outbreaks in Cincinnati, Georgia, and Texas," was particularly helpful. I hung onto the book, planning on reading the rest of it, lost it, and began accruing late fees from the UC library. Sweet. I found the book last night and figured I might as well finish it before returning it.
Written by two newspaper journalist, Perfect Enemies details the political battle over gay rights in the 1990s. While it is clear that the authors know more about those advocating for gay rights than they do about their conservative Christian opponents, both sides are presented and treated rather even-handedly.
The book is comprised of eight chapters, each of which started out as a newspaper article. Each chapter highlights a specific battle over gay rights: Colorado's Amendment 2, gays in the military, the 1992 presidential campaign, Cincinnati's anti-discrimination ordinance, etc. I found the book incredibly interesting.
What's that you say? This book's not pretentious enough for you? Well did I mention that the main character's name is Self, that it is really just one long poem, or that it was translated from the original Mandarin Chinese by a blind monk?