It seems lately that all of society’s taboos have been exposed. The most recent that comes to mind is the Pedophilia scandal and the Catholic Church. And than I came across Strapped for Cash by Mack Friedman, A History of American Hustler Culture. For those not adept with gay language “hustler” is a term used for men (usually young men) who prostitute themselves with other men (usually older) for cash. If you might think Friedman’s book is a tawdry pornographic look at this underworld you are wrong.
Friedman is a former hustler, AIDS activist who did is own research to uncover the history of this social phenomena. Throughout our history from the thirteen colonies up to the internet chat rooms hustling has been and is a part of the fabric of our society. For a gay person it gives verification of a world one knew existed and for the rest of society it reveals a fascinating glimpse into another world.