Kramer takes us on an unsettling journey through the Unites States’ past through a series of imaginative vignettes. The constant stream of death by war, murder, and disease is told in an informal, conversational tone, verging on stream-of-consciousness.
The stories, from morally conflicted human traffickers to entrepreneurial salesmen of cereal made of dirt and several human excretions, suck the reader in to the time and place. Kramer’s storytelling is gripping; his humor juxtaposed to the gruesome histories he describes. The reader finds herself sinking into a story, to awaken and wonder if it was real.
Flitting between fact and fiction, Kramer leaves us questioning the very concept of history, noting: “That is both the sad and the wonderful thing about so much of history: we will never know for certain, and therefore we can suppose, we can wonder, we can dream, we can hope, and in doing so, one day, perhaps … what? We can believe?”
The American People: Volume 1 is Kramer’s supposing, wonderings, and hopes of the complex past of this country. Taking a gay lens to each moment from the Civil War to the lives of founding fathers, we are able to finally see ourselves written into a history book. Allowing historical figures a sexuality brings them to life in a dimension not often allowed to us.
Kramer described the “not-yet-states in America” as housing “many unfortunate secrets about their past, waiting to be believed.” So this book awaits the reader, waiting to be believed.
Sarah Prager is the founder and director of Quist, the organization focused on creative tech solutions to bringing LGBTQ history to the digital age. Quist's free mobile app, blog, social media, video series, and more can be accessed at www.quistapp.com. Sarah’s writing has been published in The Advocate’s website, Social Media Monthly magazine, Huffington Post, QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, the It Gets Better Project’s blog, and various other publications. She has been a guest on HuffPost Live, the Michelangelo Signorile Show on Sirius XM Progress Radio, and The List on ABC2. GO Magazine named her one of the 13 Red Hot Entrepreneurs of 2013. In 2014 she was invited to the White House to contribute on LGBTQ tech issues. She lives with her wife, Liz, live in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C. www.sarahprager.com