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Legendary Children

The First Decade of RuPaul's Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life
Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins

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Publisher's Summary

A definitive deep-dive into queer history and culture with hit reality show RuPaul's Drag Race as a touchstone, by the creators of the pop culture blog Tom and Lorenzo.

A New York Times New & Noteworthy book.

One of Logo/NewNowNext's "11 Queer Books We Can't Wait to Read This Spring"

From the singular voices behind Tom and Lorenzo comes the ultimate guide to all-things RuPaul's Drag Race and its influence on modern LGBTQ culture. Legendary Children centers itself around the idea that not only is RuPaul's Drag Race the queerest show in the history of television, but that RuPaul and company devised a show that serves as an actual museum of queer cultural and social history, drawing on queer traditions and the work of legendary figures going back nearly a century. In doing so, Drag Race became not only a repository of queer history and culture, but also an examination and illustration of queer life in the modern age. It is a snapshot of how LGBTQ folks live, struggle, work, and reach out to one another - and how they always have - and every bit of it is tied directly to Drag Race. Each chapter is an examination of a specific aspect of the show - the Werk Room, the Library, the Pit Crew, the runway, the Untucked lounge, the Snatch Game - that ties to a specific aspect of queer cultural history and/or the work of certain legendary figures in queer cultural history.

©2020 Tom Fitzgerald, Lorenzo Marquez (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"Using Drag Race's prominence as a mirror to reflect drag brilliance through the ages, this must-read book articulately celebrates the icons - both well-known and under-appreciated - who made magic with a mascara wand and whose finely glossed lips were always worth reading. Like this book!" (Michael Musto)

“Informative, entertaining, melodramatic in its obsessiveness, and written with equal amounts of insight and wit, the book serves as a commemorative archive of drag in American life.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“It's officially been a decade since RuPaul's Drag Race aired its first season, and a groundbreaking queer phenomenon was born. In celebration of this milestone, Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez wrote Legendary Children, which explores queer history and culture and talks about how RuPaul's hit reality show contributed to this rich tradition.” (Cosmopolitan)

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Colby Glunt
  • 2020-03-10

A Primer on Queer Performance

A book with more depth than the premise would suggest. Definitely worth a listen if you want a primer on 20th century queer cultural figures. Most older gays wont find a ton of revelatory information within, but its well written enough that if youre at all interested in a refresher course, i reccommend it

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew Schlegel
  • 2020-03-17

Same old fairy tales

Just the same old fairy tales that don’t need to be told. Why do so many in the queer community feel they need to embellish stories and lives that need no embellishing? That is what this book does in an effort to filter “the last century” of gay culture through the lens of the authors. Hardly any history here, only hagiography. The most accurate part of the book is the cartoonish cover.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alex
  • 2020-04-17

An Outstanding Queer History

This is truly an amazing glimpse into queer history using Drag Race as a jumping off point. It argues that not only is everything on the show intentional and pointed, but also part of a long queer lineage. A must read for everyone!

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  • Brandon
  • 2020-04-13

Great listen! Great queer history!

I really enjoyed this. If you’re a Drag Race (or drag in general) it’s a must-listen. It delves into broader queer history, too, and I came away with topics to research further.

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  • María Foulquié
  • 2020-04-05

Informative, emotional and entertaining

Beautiful written and narrated. Appreciated the conversational tone but also the sensibility shown by the authors by acknowledging their own privileges, and the layers of intersecting discrimination existing within the LGBT community. Very entertaining and fun, but also emotional at times. A great listen for anyone interested in LGBT+ history and culture.

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  • Catherine
  • 2020-03-22

Entertaining and revealing history through a drag lens

Tom & Lorenzo’s fun and incredibly well researched history of queer expression, particularly as seen via drag, cross dressing, female impersonators and related acts of courage is easy to listen to, except the bits that make you cry.

The different threads of performance, protect and societal change are deftly shown as interconnected and continuous with the chaos and exuberance brought into a coherent narrative which is highly impressive.

Highly recommended, it will inspire and inform

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  • Kelley
  • 2020-03-19

So much more than a history of Drag Race

Really enjoyed the audio version of this book. I'm a regular reader of the authors' blog. Really learned a lot about queer history is an entertaining way.