When We Rise: My Life in the Movement (Hardcover)

Staff Pick Logo
When We Rise: My Life in the Movement Cover Image
Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days

Staff Reviews

This really is a beautiful read. 

At first, it was a little slow. The first 80 pages are mostly gratuitous set up: who slept with who, what drugs everyone was taking, and celebrating gay liberation for a young man in San Francisco. Then the narrative switches to a history of political engagement in California. Clever travels all over and works with so many important figures in California and national politics on the fight for equality and worker protections. It's hopeful and very personal.

I cried a lot and can't wait to see the new show on ABC this spring!

-- Cody

— From Cody M. Staff Picks



The partial inspiration for the ABC television mini-series

"You could read Cleve Jones's book because you should know about the struggle for gay, lesbian, and transgender rights from one of its key participants--maybe heroes--but really, you should read it for pleasure and joy."--Rebecca Solnit, author of Men Explain Things to Me

Born in 1954, Cleve Jones was among the last generation of gay Americans who grew up wondering if there were others out there like himself. There were. Like thousands of other young people, Jones, nearly penniless, was drawn in the early 1970s to San Francisco, a city electrified by progressive politics and sexual freedom.

Jones found community--in the hotel rooms and ramshackle apartments shared by other young adventurers, in the city's bathhouses and gay bars like The Stud, and in the burgeoning gay district, the Castro, where a New York transplant named Harvey Milk set up a camera shop, began shouting through his bullhorn, and soon became the nation's most outspoken gay elected official. With Milk's encouragement, Jones dove into politics and found his calling in "the movement." When Milk was killed by an assassin's bullet in 1978, Jones took up his mentor's progressive mantle--only to see the arrival of AIDS transform his life once again.

By turns tender and uproarious, When We Rise is Jones' account of his remarkable life. He chronicles the heartbreak of losing countless friends to AIDS, which very nearly killed him, too; his co-founding of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation during the terrifying early years of the epidemic; his conception of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the largest community art project in history; the bewitching story of 1970s San Francisco and the magnetic spell it cast for thousands of young gay people and other misfits; and the harrowing, sexy, and sometimes hilarious stories of Cleve's passionate relationships with friends and lovers during an era defined by both unprecedented freedom and and violence alike.

When We Rise is not only the story of a hero to the LQBTQ community, but the vibrantly voice memoir of a full and transformative American life.

About the Author

Cleve Jones' career as an activist began in San Francisco in 1970s where he befriended pioneer gay rights leader Harvey Milk. After Milk's death, Jones co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and conceived the idea of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which memorializes over 85,000 Americans who have died from AIDS. He lives in San Francisco and works as a labor activist.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780316315432
ISBN-10: 0316315435
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication Date: November 29th, 2016
Pages: 304
Language: English