The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams (Hardcover)
“On these pages, Eve Adams rises up, loves, rebels—her times, eerily resembling our own.” —Joan Nestle, cofounder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives and author of A Restricted Country
Historian Jonathan Ned Katz uncovers the forgotten story of radical lesbian Eve Adams and her long-lost book Lesbian Love
Born Chawa Zloczewer into a Jewish family in Poland, Eve Adams emigrated to the United States in 1912, took a new name, befriended anarchists, sold radical publications, and ran lesbian-and-gay-friendly speakeasies in Chicago and New York. Then, in 1925, Adams risked all to write and publish a book titled Lesbian Love.
Adams’s bold activism caught the attention of the young J. Edgar Hoover and the US Bureau of Investigation, leading to her surveillance and arrest. Adams was convicted of publishing an obscene book and of attempted sex with a policewoman sent to entrap her.
Adams was jailed and then deported back to Europe, and ultimately murdered by Nazis in Auschwitz. In The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams, acclaimed historian Jonathan Ned Katz has recovered the extraordinary story of an early, daring activist.
Carefully distinguishing fact from fiction, Katz presents the first biography of Adams, and the publisher reprints the long-lost text of Adams’s rare, unique book Lesbian Love
About the Author
Jonathan Ned Katz is the author of four pioneering books on the US history of life, sexuality, and intimacy. He is the founder of outhistory.org, and he has taught and spoken at Yale, Harvard, and Princeton. He's also the recipient of the Magnus Hirschfeld Medal for outstanding contributions to sex research and Yale University's Brudner Prize, among many other accolades.
“An audacious lesbian pioneer, long hidden from both LGBT and Jewish history, Eve Adams finally gets her due in this wonderful book. Eve, a poor immigrant from Poland, became a lesbian bar owner, bon vivant, activist, and early chronicler of queer culture. Her life offers a window into radical working-class bohemians in New York and Chicago in the early twentieth century. Her persecution reveals the ways social conservatives, anti-Semites, and anti-immigrant forces conspired to rid the country of 'undesirables'—with tragic consequences. The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams offers powerful lessons for today” —Arlene Stein, author of Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity and Reluctant Witnesses: Survivors, Their Children, and the Rise of Holocaust Consciousness
“Once again, through indefatigable sleuthing informed by historical erudition and political sophistication, Jonathan Ned Katz has uncovered and reconstructed a lost LGBTQ life. And what a life! Anarchist, lesbian, Jew, writer, anthropologist, and freedom fighter Eve Adams lived her beliefs and her desires boldly and died the victim of small-mindedness and barbarity. A fascinating, groundbreaking book.” —Judith Levine, journalist and author of The Feminist and the Sex Offender: Confronting Sexual Harm, Ending State Violence
“This amazing feat of research restores lesbian pioneer Eve Adams to her proper place in American LGBTQ history. It also makes her extremely rare 1925 book, Lesbian Love, available to the public for the first time since it was censored for obscenity and used as a pretext to have her deported. Katz shows us once again how much astonishing LGBTQ history remains out there to be explored and shared.” —Hugh Ryan, author of When Brooklyn Was Queer
“Absolutely wonderful, so timely, so important! Eve Adams played a courageous pioneering role in Lesbian history, fighting US government officials’ homophobic, anti-radical, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, right-wing acts during the 1920s and 1930s that censored, attacked, and destroyed many lives.” —Deborah Edel, cofounder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives
“This is a truth-stranger-than-fiction narrative that is compelling, gripping and revelatory. Through imaginative research, Katz has uncovered the story of a Jewish immigrant who was both a political radical and an open lesbian a century ago. He has restored to history a life that we need to know about.” —John D’Emilio, author of Queer Legacies: Stories from Chicago’s LGBTQ Archives
“Bohemian lesbians, radical activism, police entrapment—this first biography of Eve Adams offers anti-immigrant history unlike any other! Adams arrives in the US in 1912, adventures around the country with other 'hoboettes,' sells leftie literature on the street, runs a queer tea shop in Greenwich Village, and writes a book about her women friends and lovers. The US Bureau of Investigation, led by a young J. Edgar Hoover, is having none of it. With the help of the police, agents concoct a deportation case against the young Polish Jew, even as Europe descends into fascist-led anti-Semitism.” —Elizabeth Heard, adjunct professor, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University.
“Praises for Jonathan Ned Katz, who keeps rescuing from oblivion fascinating 20th century LBGTQ pioneers, including the lesbian bohemian Eve Adams. As a bonus we get to read her taboo-breaking book Lesbian Love.” —Alix Kates Shulman, author of Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen and coeditor of Women’s Liberation!
“This book documents an important part of early twentieth-century LGBT and European history. The research is extraordinary, and Katz’s writing brings Eve Adams to life. What a brave and determined soul. Hounded out of this country for being a lesbian, she suffered the ultimate consequences for her authenticity as a person.” —Ken Lustbader, cofounder of NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project