In this exhibit, historian Jonathan Ned Katz documents the story of radical lesbian Eve Adams and her long-lost book Lesbian Love.
Born Chawa Zloczewer into a Jewish family in Poland, Adams emigrated to the United States in 1912. The young woman took a new name, befriended anarchists, sold radical publications, and ran lesbian-and-gay-friendly speakeasies in Chicago and New York. Then, in 1925, Adams risked all to write and publish a book titled Lesbian Love.
In a repressive era, long before today’s gay liberation movement, when American women had just gained the right to vote, Adams’s bold activism caught the attention of the young J. Edgar Hoover and the US Bureau of Investigation, leading to her surveillance and arrest.
In a case that pitted immigration officials, the New York City police, and a biased informer against her, Adams was convicted of publishing an obscene book and of attempted sex with a policewoman sent to entrap her. Adams was jailed, deported back to Europe, and ultimately murdered by Nazis in Auschwitz.
In The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams (2021), historian Jonathan Ned Katz recovered the extraordinary story of an early, daring activist. Drawing on startling evidence and carefully distinguishing fact from fiction, Katz presents the first biography of Adams and shares the long-lost text of Adams’s rare and unique book Lesbian Love.