Authors: Martin Duberman

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American playwright and historian

Identity: Gay or bisexual

Author Works


In White America, pr. 1963

Metaphors, pr. 1968

Groups, pr. 1968

The Colonial Dudes, pr. 1969

The Memory Bank, pr. 1970 (includes 2 one-act plays, The Recorder and The Electric Map)

Payments, pr. 1971

Soon, pr. 1971

Dudes, pr. 1972

Inner Limits, pr. 1972

Elagabalus, pr. 1973

The Guttman Ordinary Scale, pb. 1975

Male Armor: Selected Plays, 1968-1974, pb. 1975

Visions of Kerouac, pr. 1976

Mother Earth: An Epic Drama of Emma Goldman’s Life, pb. 1991

Posing Naked, pr. 1997


Charles Francis Adams, 1961

James Russell Lowell, 1966

The Uncompleted Past: Collected Essays, 1961-1969, 1969

Black Mountain: An Exploration in Community, 1972

Sociology: Focus on Society, 1979

About Time: Exploring the Gay Past, 1986

Paul Robeson, 1989

Cures: A Gay Man’s Odyssey, 1991

Stonewall, 1993

Midlife Queer: Autobiography of a Decade, 1971-1981, 1996

Left Out: The Politics of Exclusion, Essays, 1964-1999, 1999


The Deed, 1969


Historian and playwright Martin Bauml Duberman is a prolific, creative talent who has published and produced significant work. Known as a radical scholar and activist, he was born to Joseph M. Duberman, a dress manufacturer, and Josephine Duberman in New York City and grew up in the suburb of Mount Vernon. In 1948, he graduated from the Horace Mann School. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Yale University in 1952 and master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University in 1953 and 1957, respectively. After teaching American history at Yale from 1957 until 1962, he joined the history department at Princeton University. In 1971, he accepted an appointment as Distinguished Professor of History at Lehman College, City University of New York.{$I[A]Duberman, Martin}{$I[geo]UNITED STATES;Duberman, Martin}{$I[geo]GAY OR BISEXUAL;Duberman, Martin}{$I[tim]1930;Duberman, Martin}

Duberman is renowned in academia as a historian and in literature and the theater as a playwright. He also has conducted research in nineteenth century American social and intellectual history, radical social movements, the history of gender roles, and sexual ideology and behavior. He has a particular interest in the gay rights and Civil Rights movements and has written extensively on both.

Of particular interest are the Martin B. Duberman Papers, which contain manuscripts, typescripts, drafts of his writings, professional and personal correspondence, organization and topical files, recorded interviews, photographs, films and memorabilia which date from his childhood through 1979. Duberman is a noted activist, and material in the Duberman Papers reflects social unrest in the universities during the 1960’s. He was published in widely circulated magazines, newspapers, and journals, and his writings reached large audiences. Most of his writings are contained in the collection in some format through 1979, with his books and plays through 1992. The papers also document his academic career and theatrical activities as well as organizational files from the Gay Academic Union, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and Redress.

It was in the 1960’s that Duberman first gained national acclaim. His play In White America integrates his love for history with his love of the theater. The play is about civil rights and the black struggle for freedom in the United States, and it depicts historical events based upon historical documents. He successfully explored the relationship among history, the historian, and drama in The Recorder and in his book Black Mountain. In Black Mountain, he came out publicly as a homosexual. His book Stonewall explores the rise of the gay rights movement in the 1960’s. Additional works in this area include About Time and the autobiography Cures, which chronicles his life from childhood to the early 1970’s. This was followed by Midlife Queer.

Duberman is the recipient of numerous honors, which include Morse Fellow at Yale University, an American Council of Learned Societies grant, the Bancroft Prize for Charles Francis Adams, McCosh Faculty Fellow at Princeton University, a National Book Award nomination for James Russell Lowell, a Rockefeller Foundation grant, and the George Freedley Prize. He also wrote the biography Paul Robeson. Duberman is founder of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS), the first university-based research center in the United States dedicated to the study of historical, cultural, and political issues concerning gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered individuals.

BibliographyColby, Vineta, ed. World Authors, 1985-1990. New York: H. W. Wilson, 1995.Hogan, Steve, and Lee Hudson. Completely Queer: The Gay and Lesbian Encyclopedia. New York: Henry Holt, 1998.Simon, John. Uneasy Stages: A Chronicle of the New York Theater, 1963-1973. New York: Random House, 1975.Tyrkus, Michael, ed. Gay and Lesbian Biography. Detroit: St. James Press, 1997.
Categories: Authors