The Closet and the Cul-de-Sac
The right to privacy is a pivotal concept in the culture wars that have galvanized American politics for the past several decades. It has become a rallying point for political issues ranging from abortion to gay liberation to sex education. Yet this notion of privacy originated not only from legal arguments, nor solely from political movements on the left or the right, but instead from ambivalent moderates who valued both personal freedom and the preservation of social norms.
"The Closet and the Cul-de-Sac is a fascinating book that brings together in revelatory ways the political economy of metropolitan development and the history of sexuality, offering new interpretations of postwar political culture. Through a rigorous investigation of housing and neighborhood development, it makes logical what first appears to be a paradox: the triumph of a 'tolerate but not endorse' politics around non-normative sexuality in the second half of the twentieth century. Clayton Howard makes a convincing case for a 'metropolitan' approach to political economy and social life and weighs the implications for sexual politics more thoroughly and creatively than I have seen anywhere else."
—Sarah Igo, author of The Known Citizen: A History of Privacy in Modern America
—Bryant Simon, Temple University