I had been looking for a book like this for quite some time - a book at looks at the progression of masculinity over time - especially when it comes to relationships. Rotundo does an excellent job in this well-researched text. For example: "The key for men is not to abandon their individualism but to balance it with a renewed sense of connection; not to relinquish power to women but to share it in full and equal measure. The 18th and 20th centuries are given sparing attention, and only in reference to the evolution of manliness in the 19th century. Rotundo examines the formation of manliness from boyhood through youth and adulthood neglecting old age , with particular attention to sex and marriage Although the subtitle defines the period of the study "from the Revolution to the Modern Era," this book examines the cultural construction of maleness among white middle class males during the nineteenth century.

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Who is a "real man"? What is "naturally" male? How does a "manly" man act? Anthony Rotundo stresses that our concept of manhood is man-made; and like any human invention, it has a history.

Rotundo traces the drastic shifts in the meaning of masculinity that have occurred over the past two centuries, and presents a radically different portrait of manhood in earlier times.

Two hundred years ago, for example, men were considered more sexually restrained than women. The word "competitive" did not exist then, and the word "effeminate", until a century ago, referred to a fondness for luxury. Also in the nineteenth century, men often wrote each other love letters - even such famous Americans as Alexander Hamilton and Daniel Webster.

American Manhood argues that a revolution in our understanding of masculinity has occurred twice over the last two hundred years. A second revolution occurred in the twentieth century as "passionate manhood", based on aggression, combativeness, and sexual desire, became the ideal.

Speaking directly to the contemporary dilemmas of American masculinity, Rotundo brilliantly analyzes the moral and psychologicalparadoxes of becoming a man, discussing the bonds between mothers and sons as well as fathers and sons; the origins of an idealized athleticism; the worship of heroic entrepreneurs; patterns of love, marriage, and sexuality; and the roots of disdain for male homosexuality.

The book also reveals how changing concepts of manhood helped to define the character of many important modern American institutions, from higher education to sports to politics. Here is a fascinating account of how our understanding of what it means to be a man has changed over time.



JoJorisar Each week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert. Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic. Citing articles via Google Scholar. Here is a fascinating account of how our understanding of what it means to be a man has changed over time. Please provide an email address. While the slice of society Rotundo examines is narrow, what he reveals goes deep.


American Manhood: Transformations In Masculinity From The Revolution To The Modern Era



American manhood : transformations in masculinity from the Revolution to the modern era


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