Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880-1917 (Women in Culture and Society)

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9780226041391: Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880-1917 (Women in Culture and Society)

When former heavyweight champion Jim Jeffries came out of retirement on the fourth of July, 1910 to fight current black heavywight champion Jack Johnson in Reno, Nevada, he boasted that he was doing it "for the sole purpose of proving that a white man is better than a negro." Jeffries, though, was trounced. Whites everywhere rioted. The furor, Gail Bederman demonstrates, was part of two fundamental and volatile national obsessions: manhood and racial dominance.

In turn-of-the-century America, cultural ideals of manhood changed profoundly, as Victorian notions of self-restrained, moral manliness were challenged by ideals of an aggressive, overtly sexualized masculinity. Bederman traces this shift in values and shows how it brought together two seemingly contradictory ideals: the unfettered virility of racially "primitive" men and the refined superiority of "civilized" white men. Focusing on the lives and works of four very different Americans—Theodore Roosevelt, educator G. Stanley Hall, Ida B. Wells, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman—she illuminates the ideological, cultural, and social interests these ideals came to serve.

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About the Author:

Gail Bederman is associate professor of history at the University of Notre Dame. She is currently writing a history of early public advocacy of contraception in Great Britain and the United States, and especially the activities of seven individuals: William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, T.R. Malthus, Francis Place, Richard Carlile, Robert Dale Owen, and Frances Wright.

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Manliness & Civilization is a cultural history of gender and race in the United States from 1880 through 1917. In Manliness & Civilization, Gail Bederman investigates the connection between powerful manhood and racial dominance as it was debated, promoted, and resisted during the decades around the turn of the century. Bederman traces a cultural reconfiguration of manhood in which Victorian ideals of self-restraint and moral manliness were challenged by new formulations of aggressive, sexualized masculinity. These new ideals celebrated both the unfettered virility of "racially" primitive men and the refined superiority of "civilized" white men, and Bederman shows how such seemingly contradictory notions came together in the larger discourse of "civilization". She illuminates this tactical interplay between ideologies and evolutionary civilization, racial dominance, and male primitivism by focusing on the lives and works of four very different Americans: G. Stanley Hall, Theodore Roosevelt, Ida B. Wells, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Beterman persuasively suggests that the historical connections between manliness and civilization retain their troubling power to this day. Manliness & Civilization is an important contribution to both American History and to Gender Studies reading lists. -- Midwest Book Review

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. When former heavyweight champion Jim Jeffries came out of retirement on the fourth of July, 1910 to fight current black heavywight champion Jack Johnson in Reno, Nevada, he boasted that he was doing it for the sole purpose of proving that a white man is better than a negro . Jeffries, though, was trounced and Whites everywhere rioted. The furor, the author of this work seeks to demonstrate, was part of two fundamental and volatile national obsessions: manhood and racial dominance. In turn-of-the-century America, cultural ideals of manhood changed profoundly, as Victorian notions of self-restrained, moral manliness were challenged by ideals of an aggressive, overtly sexualized masculinity. Gail Bederman traces this shift in values and shows how it brought together two seemingly contradictory ideals: the unfettered virility of racially primitive men and the refined superiority of civilized white men. Focusing on the lives and works of four very different Americans - Theodore Roosevelt, educator G. Stanley Hall, Ida B. Wells, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman - she explores the ideological, cultural, and social interests these ideals came to serve. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780226041391

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. When former heavyweight champion Jim Jeffries came out of retirement on the fourth of July, 1910 to fight current black heavywight champion Jack Johnson in Reno, Nevada, he boasted that he was doing it for the sole purpose of proving that a white man is better than a negro . Jeffries, though, was trounced and Whites everywhere rioted. The furor, the author of this work seeks to demonstrate, was part of two fundamental and volatile national obsessions: manhood and racial dominance. In turn-of-the-century America, cultural ideals of manhood changed profoundly, as Victorian notions of self-restrained, moral manliness were challenged by ideals of an aggressive, overtly sexualized masculinity. Gail Bederman traces this shift in values and shows how it brought together two seemingly contradictory ideals: the unfettered virility of racially primitive men and the refined superiority of civilized white men. Focusing on the lives and works of four very different Americans - Theodore Roosevelt, educator G. Stanley Hall, Ida B. Wells, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman - she explores the ideological, cultural, and social interests these ideals came to serve. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780226041391

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