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September 01, 1996|CHARLES SOLOMON

UNDER THE RAINBOW: Growing Up Gay by Arnie Kantrowitz (St. Martin's Press: $12.95, 217 pp.). Originally published in 1977, Kantrowitz's memoir runs from the repressive '50s through the early days of gay liberation. His descriptions of his lonely childhood, psychoanalysis, drug use and promiscuity reflect the experiences of many gay men who came of age in the '60s, believing in the freedom the era seemed to promise. In a new afterword, Kantrowitz notes how the repressive right has returned as a political force at the same time AIDS has struck down many of the gay leaders who were his friends. This somber coda puts his story in context for a younger generation of gay men and lesbians.

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