Independent Publishers Group Logo

Sign up today...
for featured titles, special offers, bestsellers, and more, in your inbox!

Subscribe to receive special offers, monthly books suggestions, seasonal selections, and more!

Reaching Ninety
Reaching Ninety

Reaching Ninety


352 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth, PDF, EPUB

Cloth, $30.00 (US $30.00) (CA $40.00)

Publication Date: March 2023

ISBN 9781641608800

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Mar 2023)


eBook Editions Available

Will it work on my eReader?
Price: $30.00


Martin Duberman, one of the LGBTQ+ community’s maverick thinkers and historians, looks back on ninety years of life, his history in the movement, and what he’s learned.

In the early Sixties, Martin Duberman published a path-breaking article defending the Abolitionists against the then-standard view of them as “misguided fanatics.” In 1964, his documentary play, In White America, which reread the history of racist oppression in this country, toured the country—most notably during Freedom Summer—and became an international hit.

Duberman then took on the profession of history for failing to admit the inherent subjectivity of all re-creations of the past. He radically democratized his own seminars at Princeton, for which he was excoriated by powerful professors in his own department, leading him to renounce his tenured full professorship and to join the faculty of the CUNY Graduate School.

At CUNY, too, he was initially blocked from offering a pioneering set of seminars on the history of gender and sexuality, but after a fifteen-year struggle succeeded in establishing the Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies—which became a beacon for emerging scholars in that new field.

By the early Seventies, Duberman had broadened his struggle against injustice by becoming active in protesting the war in Vietnam and in playing a central role in forming the National Lesbian and Gay Task Force and Queers for Economic Justice.

Down to the present-day, he continues through his writing to champion those working for a more equitable society.


An energetic, fun, and kvetchy take-no-prisoners memoir of the American theater, academic ironies, and gay activist warfare. Duberman is a conflicted and talented man reaching high and low for an elusive resolution to great expectations that his prodigious accomplishments never satisfy. Hustlers, cocaine, Paul Robeson, and finally the embrace of love make this a fascinating and rollicking read.” —Sarah Schulman, author of Let the Record Show

Reaching Ninety is a wonderful account of the life of a public intellectual whose devotion to some of the most important issues of his time has been nothing less than admirable.” —Vivian Gornick, author of Fierce Attachments and Taking a Long Look

“Behold: another amazing book from the remarkable Martin Duberman. Born in 1930, he takes the long view of his tumultuous life, focusing on close friends and wily enemies. Theater, psychotherapy, college classrooms, gay studies, the late 1960s: there is something here for everyone curious about our recent past.” —Robert Hampel, author of Radical Teaching in Turbulent Times

A bold, exemplary life, told with unflinching honesty and psychological insight. Our great champion of broad left coalition, prize-winning historian and playwright Duberman, advances feminism, Black power, class struggle, antiwar activism, queer scholarship, and teaching to bring about a better world.” —John Howard, author of Truths Up His Sleeve and Men Like That

Reaching Ninety, the fifth volume of Martin Duberman’s ongoing series of memoirs that began with Cures: A Gay Man’s Odyssey in 1991, bring us to the present state of US and queer politics. Sometimes funny, often righteously angry, and always deeply contemplative, it is the current capstone—hopefully with more to come—to a full life of intellectual and political engagement. Duberman’s five memoirs brilliantly chart more than seventy years of queer history. Collectively they are an invaluable document, and the wisdom of Reaching Ninety illuminates our world today.” —Michael Bronski, author of A Queer History of the United States

Author Biography

Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus, CUNY, Martin Duberman is the author of some two dozen books, including Stonewall, Cures, Paul Robeson, Haymarket, and Jews Queers Germans. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Bancroft Prize, the Vernon Rice Drama Desk Award, three Lambda Literary Awards, a special award from the National Academy of Arts and Letters for his contributions to literature, the 2007 lifetime achievement award from the American Historical Association, and the Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement . He has been a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and has received honorary degrees from Amherst College and Columbia University. He lives in New York.