Brutes in Suits
Male Sensibility in America, 1890–1920
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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In completing this study, I’ve come to view masculinity as a type of cultural disease—a contagion that spreads through the communication of ideas as well as through the transference of emotional and cognitive disposition. This pathological model may in some ways resemble post–Civil War elites’ assumptions about ...
Introduction. The De-Evolutionary Turn in U.S. Masculinity
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“My mind-set has shifted from the intellectual to the animal,” Timothy McVeigh wrote to his sister in February 1995, two months before bombing the Oklahoma City Federal building: “I want to rip the bastards’ heads off.”1 This book locates the modern origins of such thinking in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century masculinity. ...
Chapter One Rugged Individualism
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In examining masculinity, we need to consider at least two types of discourses, figures and texts. Ultragendered, outwardly violent hypermasculinity is a core component of this study. And in this realm, no subject deserves more attention than Teddy Roosevelt. Author as well as adventurer, the young Roosevelt’s ...
Chapter Two Brute Fictions
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It’s hard to determine what it meant for one of the thousands of men who bought Edgar Rice Burroughs’s novel Tarzan of the Apes when it came out in 1914 to actually sit down and read through this story of the young Lord Greystoke, the infant son of English aristocrats, who is raised in the African jungle by ...
Chapter Three College Football [Contains Image Plates]
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If ever there was a good time for an anthropologist from outer space to drop down and take a reading of modern U.S. masculinity, it would have been at a college football game between Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley played in 1896 in San Francisco’s Central Park. ...
Chapter Four War in the Head
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In an open-letter response to Albert Einstein’s questions, Why do humans make war and what can be done to avoid it? Sigmund Freud began by positing that “it is so easy to make men enthusiastic about a war” because “killing an enemy satisfied an instinctual inclination.” Written in 1932, Freud’s widely published letter ...
Chapter Five Laws of Sexual Selection
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This chapter on masculinity and sexual violence is predicated on two uses of the word law. The first includes the laws passed by legislatures and interpreted by judges—the rules, codes, penalties, and procedures enacted by the state and accepted, contested, and developed by society as a whole. ...
Epilogue Irony, Instinct, and War
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“Thinking,” as political theorist Harvey Mansfield has written, “is by itself a challenge to the superiority of manliness.”1 That masculinity is undone by mindfulness has been a first principle of this study. And yet thought and masculinity are hardly antithetical. As detailed in the preceding chapters, ...
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Essay on Sources
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Page Count: 424
Illustrations: 24 halftones
Publication Year: 2007
Series Title: Gender Relations in the American Experience