Gay Bar is a remarkable time capsule view into how gay folks lived, loved and gathered a half-century ago in a small bar on Melrose in Los Angeles. With the interweaving of the remarkable charm of Helen Branson’s personal memoir and Will Fellows’ deft contemporary analysis, this work is a major contribution to gay history. Will Fellows delivers an impressive series of commentaries that open up the original work in remarkable ways. It is a very compelling story with a completely appealing mother hen at the center. The book pins Los Angeles as a crucial petri dish for gay liberation in the ’50s. From the founding of Mattachine Society, to the work Harry Hay and Evelyn Hooker, to the publishing of One, L.A. in the ’50s was a primary locus where gay people began to claim social and political space.