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My Desire for HistoryEssays in Gay, Community, and Labor History$
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Allan Berube, John D'Emilio, and Estelle B. Freedman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834794

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877982_berube

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 01 December 2021

Trying to Remember

Trying to Remember

Chapter:
(p.270) Chapter 15 Trying to Remember
Source:
My Desire for History
Author(s):

Allan Bérubé

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807877982_berube.18

This essay explains that, although Berube never finished his book on the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union, he did produce several incomplete drafts, each one approaching the material in a different way. In this selection, drawn from a draft he wrote in 2003, Berube experimented with using a first-person voice to present this history. He injects himself, the interviewer, into the narrative, thus allowing readers to see something of how he worked as an oral historian. The approach gives this account of labor struggles in the 1930s and 1940s an immediacy as it draws the reader into the lives and homes of these historical actors. The excerpt illustrates Berube's commitment to preserving the stories of an older generation of gay activists, many of whom have died since he conducted his interviews.

Keywords:   Berube, incomplete drafts, first-person voice, oral historian, labor struggles, gay activists

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