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Vice Patrol – Cops, Courts, and the Struggle over Urban Gay Life before Stonewall - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Vice Patrol: Cops, Courts, and the Struggle over Urban Gay Life before Stonewall

Anna Lvovsky


In the mid-twentieth century, gay life flourished in American cities even as the legal repression of queer communities reached its peak. Liquor investigators infiltrated and shut down gay-friendly bars. Plainclothes decoys entrapped men in parks and clubs. Vice officers surveilled public bathrooms through peepholes and two-way mirrors. This book chronicles that painful history, tracing the tactics used to criminalize, profile, and suppress gay life from the 1930s through the 1960s, and the surprising controversies those tactics inspired in court. Exploring the internal dynamics of anti-gay pol ... More

Keywords: police, vice squads, liquor laws, entrapment, clandestine surveillance, homosexuality, gay bars, courts, expertise, public knowledge

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780226769646
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2022 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226769813.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Anna Lvovsky, author
Harvard Law School