Pride by Matthew Todd

By Matthew Todd

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Pride charts the events of that night, the days and nights of rioting that followed, the ensuing organization of local members of the community – and the 50 years since in which activists and ordinary people have dedicated their lives to reversing the global position.


01 Aug 2019

KathyL of BiblioBelles

PRIDE, The Story of the LGBTQ Equality Movement by Matthew Todd
Reviews by members of Bibliobelles (Reading Group of StoneRangers, Leytonstone Eat London WI)
(Reading group set of books in exchange for honest reviews.)

1) Review by Kathy Livingstone
Generally speaking, I’m not a frequent reader of non-fiction books, even less so reading them for pleasure but, when I saw the offer of a free set of these for my Reading Group, I thought it would be good for us to expand our breadth of genres.

Also, being part of the Women’s Institute, we are somewhat pre-disposed towards issues of diversity, rights, community, equality, local and global issues of all manner. In the same way that it’s all too easy to forget how far we’ve come in a relatively short time as regards enfranchisement of women (a particular focus for the WI over this last year), I felt that this book could provide a similar focus for our Reading Group, given that there are many similarities in the PRIDE journey.

My first surprise was the size and quality of the set of books we received: hardcover (dust jacket and actual book cover same colourful design), 24.5x28.3cm, weighing in each at 1.5kg! It is a thing of beauty in itself, if you love the sight and touch of a book. That aside, and more seriously, the contents are beautifully presented, clearly and thoughtfully categorised and arranged, and of a varied nature.

I imagined it would be a book I’d dip into throughout the month between our group meetings - expecting to treat it like a ‘coffee table’ book of a by-gone era. (Maybe some homes other than glossy magazine house shoots do still have those. Maybe also someone can enlighten me on that.)

Well, what happened when I did start to give it attention was quite other than expected. I found that I got very caught up in the lives, especially the creativity and diversity of the lives of those which are woven into the fabric of the book. This was especially true of the soundtrack which runs through it. (Deliberately so or not, I can’t say: it’s perhaps something that became a particular point of focus due to personal interests.)

At the point of writing this, I haven’t finished reading, but I know I’m going to be putting aside a couple more good chunks of time before our group meets, to come back to it, pick up from where I’ve left off and lose myself in it again. I had intended passing my copy on to a friend but I’m not sure I’ll be able to part with it for a good while yet. Maybe not for years! Sounds like I need to buy a coffee table ... I think that says how much I’d recommend it. Matthew Todd deserves to be proud of this work.

2) Review by Jill Hasler
This is as the title states a story, there are succinct accounts of key events, but it is not a history fixed in time. It ends looking to the future Matthew Todd emphasizing that as well honouring the people who fought to reach the current position we need to “safeguard the future for the generations that follow us”.
There is much to learn from the well written chapters and attractively constructed timelines on topics such as sport, art and office life. Good use is made of colour and photographs throughout making it visually appealing.Many of the events are well known such as the Stonewall Riots, some happened much closer to homebut maybe less well known. I was intrigued to read thatthe first Gay Rights demonstration in Britain took place in Highbury Fields on 27th November 1970 at a time when I was at school nearby. The personal testimonies enliven the book, the amazing variety and moving nature of them add greatly to it. It is a timely read this year being the 50th anniversary of Pride and with our local Pride March in Waltham Forest attracting verbal attacks on the marchers an important warning that the struggle for equality and inclusion continues. The storyis not yet over.
On a practical note it is a coffee table sized book weighing in at 1.5 kilos and not easy to carry around as it’s 25 by 29 cms. At first I found this off putting but soon adjusted to dipping in and out rather than reading it end to end.

3) Review by Pamela Tindall
I am really glad I picked up this book it's a beautiful book with wonderful photos and it's full of information. The subject matter, the history of the LGBTQ movement, is one we think we know all about because we have lived through it (well, in my case anyway! ) and yet, as one dips into the well written articles, one finds a lot of new and interesting details giving much fuller, satisfying picture. The photographs really enhance the reading. Thoroughly recommended.

4) Review by Bernadette Halil

I found this a very interesting and informative book. I liked the way that history and information was interspersed with personal testimonies. The photographs brought everything to life. Family members and visitors have picked it up and flicked through the book. A great book to dip into.


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