How a Paris Rag Outlived de Gaulle
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Published in: March-April 2010 issue.


Living in ArcadiaLiving in Arcadia: Homosexuality, Politics, and
Morality in France from the Liberation to AIDS
by Julian Jackson
University of Chicago Press
321 pages, $40.


When traveling in France a few months ago, I noticed how in several cities many newsstands displayed eye-catching posters for the main gay magazine Têtu. I knew this was a common sight in Paris, but I wasn’t aware this was the case throughout France. Common as this sight is in modern-day France, this kind of publicity for a magazine was forbidden by French authorities until long after World War II. Nevertheless, several gay titles tried their luck soon after the war. Only one, started in 1954, managed to get past the many legal hurdles and survive for any length of time. Its name was Arcadie, and its driving force was André Baudry, who is now 87 years old and lives near Naples, Italy. London-based historian Julian Jackson, who specializes in the cultural history of modern France, has written a remarkable book full of vivid details about this forgotten episode in French gay history.

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