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City Hall as a hole card. In other cities, such as Boise a year before the Miami purges \(see The Boys Of Boise by John were followed, as one local political faction hoped to smear another. But in its general outlines, Miami’s story could be told of many cities at various times; in some cities it was a story that was repeated whenever a close election might be swayed by the appearance of decisive police action against the perceived homosexual threat. The familiar aspects of Sears’ Purge story provide firm anchors for readers, before the shocks and improba ble twists of the later chapters. The shocks are not long in coming. In Chapter Two, we meet the Johns committee. The Johns committee was officially the Florida Legislative Investigating Committee, founded in 1956 to look into organizations that might foment racial violence. At first it provided as much of an appearance of fairness as any such thing in a Southern state might, e.g., looking into the White Citizens’ Council as well as into the NAACP. But in 1957, the committee’s chairmanship was assumed by Charley Johns, an ex-acting governor and failed gubernatorial candidate who consciously modeled himself on U.S. Senator Joe McCarthy \(to the point of sometimes wearing attempted to use the committee to red-bait several civil rights organizations but, ention from Florida’s NAACP, he turned the committee to queer-baiting. This was not the path of least resistance, but the path of no resistance at all as Johns had reason to know from his experience as acting governor during the Miami Purge. Hardly anything could illustrate the nexus of redbaiting, anti-Semitism, racism, and homophobia so well as the ease with which Southern politicians adapted the tactics of one to serve the political needs of the other. Coinciding with the climax of the Army-McCarthy hearings, Florida Attorney General George Brautigam led a red-baiting witch-hunt, calling 135 Jews out of 138 total witnesses, and jailing those who pled the First Amendment. But he just as easily had lent his support to the Miami purges, pledging, “We are going to use every constitutional means at our disposal to rid the city of these people.” Johns refocused his committee from redbaiting to queerbaiting with little trouble, just as in more recent times, Senator Jesse Helms, never a friend of human rights, discovered the menace of a “gay agenda” at about the same time that the collapse of the Soviet Union began to make red-baiting impossible. While many gay communities experienced something like the Purge, few outside Florida ever experienced anything like the Johns committee witchhunt. Ordinary police investigations have to return, sooner or later, to the simple limit of whether a crime has been committed. As being homosexual is not itself a crime, gathering intelligence about people’s sexuality and making actual criminal cases are different things. Florida police found it easier to bust college students for loitering at reputed gay beaches, certain that the charges would not be contested and fines would be paid quietly. But a legislative committee is not so constrained. While it can’t arrest anyone, its natural tools innuendo, implication, and imputation can do more harm than any number of misdemeanor convictions. The tactics of the Johns committee were cribbed almost directly from Joe McCarthy, and they worked appallingly well, because while some people would stand against redbaiting, almost no one was willing to stand against queerbaiting. Perhaps the most bizarre part of the Johns committee’s story is how it was dispatched eventuown excesses and partly due to the lobbying efforts of the mysterious Richard Inman, the head and only active member of a phantom gay rights organization. lthough Lonely Hunter is billed as an oral history, relatively little of the material is directly transcribed from the author’s interviews. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. The personal stories of many of the narrators are difficult to follow, because of many auctorial intru sions for context. On the other hand, the context the author supplies is very rich. For example, the redbaiting of Harry Hay out of the homophile organization he founded explained than in Hay’s own memoir \(RadMoreover, most accounts of this period of gay history are told either from the perspective of the East Coast \(i.e., i.e., Los Ancorollary that the other perspectives either didn’t exist or merit at most a footnote. The unexpected result is that this book about Southern gay history gives the best available account of the development of the gay movement as whole. The same may well be said for Sears’ description of several of the African-American civil rights actions: there can hardly be found in one place a better account and analysis of the struggle to desegregate Chapel Hill. This is, after all, a Southern history as much as a gay one, and the main Southern issue in the 1948-1968 period was race both for gay people on the correct side of the issue \(many of whom were in the leadthose on the wrong side, such as Armistead Maupin. Maupin’s Tales of the City novels, set in San Francisco, were nearly required gay reading in the ’70s, but his “View from the Hill,” in The Daily Tar Heel of the early ’60s, argued, among other things, that civil rights demonstrators were undignified, that care need be taken to respect the right of shop owners to refuse service, and that protesting Aunt Jemima images did an injustice to “the Negro mammy.” Maupin asked whether the NAACP objected to the mammy-based values of “generosity, loyalty, self-pride and industry.” View from the hill, indeed. The interrelationship of racism and homophobia is brought home in the curious story of Gordon Langley Hall \(Chapter Hall’s gender had been misidentified as male at birth, but she was not a transsexual as the term would be understood today. A native of Sussex, England, she was raised as male, moved to New York as a young man with a promising literary career, and there acquired a wealthy female patron whose health required a move to Charleston. Hall was received as a young man in Charleston, and as her patron soon died, leaving him/her the grand house they shared, she found a good place in society 56 Society Street, to be exact. Somehow it did not faze the Charleston 26 THE TEXAS OBSERVER JANUARY 16, 1998