A Conversation with James Kirchick: The Hidden History of Gay Washington

June 8, 2022

On June 8th, 2022, FOLCS was joined by James Kirchick to celebrate the launch of his New York Times Bestselling book, Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington.  For decades, the specter of homosexuality haunted Washington. The mere suggestion that a person might be gay destroyed reputations, ended careers, and ruined lives.

Using thousands of pages of declassified documents, interviews with over one hundred people, and material unearthed from presidential libraries and archives around the country, Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington is a chronicle of American politics like no other.  James Kirchick illuminates how the idea of homosexuality shaped presidential administrations and impacted everything from the creation of America’s earliest CIA, to the rise and fall of McCarthyism, the struggle for African American civil rights, and the conservative movement.

In celebration of Pride Month 2022, Kirchick offers a reinterpretation of American history told from the perspective of the citizens who lived in its shadows.



Watch A Conversation with James Kirchick: The Hidden History of Gay Washington here.

See more from FOLCS here.

James Kirchick

James Kirchick is an award-winning journalist and author of The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues and the Coming Dark Age. A visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, he has reported from over 40 countries and is a columnist for Tablet magazine.

Kirchick has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, the New York Review of Books, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung among many other publications, and lives in Washington, D.C.