Karen Schechner reviews PRIDE and interviews John Oakes for Kirkus Reviews

Pride, published by OR Books to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, is a new edition of Gay Pride: Photographs From Stonewall to Today, published 25 years ago. “We completely reset the original edition,” says John Oakes, the editor of the 2019 edition and co-publisher of OR Books. “We added 26 photos and took out a bunch that weren’t related to the New York City scene. We also came up with a new cover and a foreword by Hilton Als, who got his first job thanks to Fred. (We of course kept the original essays by Allen Ginsberg and Jill Johnston.)” I recently asked Oakes about the new edition and McDarrah’s work.

KAREN SCHECHNER: Where did Fred W. McDarrah’s photos first appear, and what was the public’s response?

JOHN OAKES: Many of his photos appeared in the Village Voice, where he was senior staff photographer and the paper’s first photo editor. The Voice was a tabloid, and Fred’s pictures were often used to document the city’s thriving alternative nightlife as well as provide evidence of alternative lifestyles. The Voice catered to a bohemian, sophisticated readership that reveled in their own exploits and those of their friends and neighbors.

SCHECHNER: How would you describe his photographic style, and what ideas did he capture in his work?

OAKES: More than anyone else, Fred W. McDarrah’s work recalls that of Weegee (Arthur Fellig). Like Weegee, McDarrah was a master of street photography—the sudden insight, the lightning-quick glimpse of another world.

Read the full review here.

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