Manhood in America: A Cultural History
Oxford University Press, 2006 - 322 pages
For more than three decades, the women's movement and its scholars have exhaustively studied women's complex history, roles, and struggles. In Manhood in America, Second Edition, author Michael S. Kimmel--a leading authority in gender studies--argues that it is time for men to rediscover their own evolution. Drawing on a myriad of sources, including advice books, magazine columns, political pamphlets, and popular novels and films, he demonstrates that American men have been eternally frustrated by their efforts to keep up with constantly changing standards. Kimmel contends that men must follow the lead of the women's movement; it is only by mining their past for its best qualities and worst excesses that men will free themselves from the constraints of the masculine ideal.
Condensed and revised in this second edition, Manhood in America features updated chapters and examples that extend its coverage through the Bush administration. Touching on issues of masculinity as they pertain to current events, the book discusses such timely topics as post-9/11 politics, "self-made" masculinities (including those of Internet entrepreneurs), presidential campaigns, and gender politics. It also covers contemporary debates about fatherlessness, the biology of male aggression, and pop psychologists like John Gray and Dr. Laura. Outlining the various ways in which manhood has been constructed and portrayed in America, this engaging history is ideal as a main text for courses on masculinity or as a supplementary text for courses in gender studies and cultural history.
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In rough outline my argument will look something like this: At the turn of the
nineteenth century, American manhood was rooted in landownership (the
Genteel Patriarch) or in the self-possession of the independent artisan,
One solution, as we've seen, was to colonize the home, to find a small corner that
could be unmistakably "his," like the den or the study in the nineteenth century, or
the basement, the workshop, the garage, or even the backyard barbecue pit ...
But true traditional initiation ceremonies and sex-segregated mystical
celebrations did not occur in a vacuum, and just as masculinist separation was
not lost on feminists in the late nineteenth century, it was not lost on feminist
women a century ...
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MANHOOD IN AMERICA: A Cultural HistoryUser Review - Kirkus
Kimmel (Sociology/SUNY, Stony Brook) applies the methodology of feminist history to the experience of being male in America. Rejecting the idea that almost every history book is about the male ... Read full review
Manhood in America: a cultural historyUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Kimmel, a noted men's studies authority, coeditor of Against the Tide (LJ 2/1/92), and editor of The Politics of Manhood, reviewed below, presents in his own words the first cultural history of men in ... Read full review
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