The Mayor of Castro Street

The Mayor of Castro Street

The Life & Times of Harvey Milk

Book - 2008
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A biography of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay city official in the nation, recounts his public and personal life, and examines the emergence of the San Francisco gay community as a social and political force.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Griffin, 2008
Edition: 1st St. Martin's Griffin ed
ISBN: 9780312560850
Branch Call Number: BIOGRAPHY 979.46105 MILK 2008
Characteristics: xvii, 388 pages, [8] pages of plates : illustrations ; 22 cm


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After you watch The Times of Harvey Milk, read this complete biography.

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BostonPL_JordanD Jul 28, 2015

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BostonPL_JordanD Jul 28, 2015

Title/Author: The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk by Randy Shilts

Read by: Anna, Teen Central Librarian

Summary: In 1977, Harvey Milk was the first openly gay elected official in the United States. This book chronicles his short life, telling in detail how an outsider won over a city and changed lives for the better, all before he was assassinated eleven months after his election.

Series/Standalone: Standalone

Genre/sub-genre: LGBTQ Non-Fiction

Diversity: LGBTQ and minorities from a variety of other countries.

Relatable characters: Yes.

Would I recommend this to others?: YES. If you’re at all interested in LGBTQ history, or outsiders who defy the odds, you’ll enjoy this book.

Personal thoughts: What I liked best about Harvey Milk was that he was an average, everyday person who decided he could make the world a better place by running for city supervisor, an elected political position, in San Francisco. He put in hours of hard work to meet the people, going out to bus stops and cafes every day, bars at night, wherever he could meet people and find out what they wanted fixed in their city. He had a great sense of humor, and loved telling jokes wherever he was. This book helps to show his personality, the hardships he went through to get where he was at the end of his life, as well as the gay political climate of the era around the country, which wasn’t very good at the time. I found the writing style to be easy to read, though sometimes it was hard to remember who a specific person was because multiple people had the same, or similar, names. (But that’s real life for you, right?) I almost cried at the end, knowing what a great guy he was and knowing he wasn’t going to survive. That did make it a hard read. I’m still amazed that the birthday party held in his honor just a few months after his death brought 20,000 people to his neighborhood to celebrate his life! If a guy can do that, he must have been great.


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