From Publishers Weekly
The "thriving gun culture" of the South took Browder by surprise when the New Englander moved to Virginia. Now Browder (Rousing the Nation: Radical Culture in Depression America
), an associate professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University, explores the social meanings of armed womanhood in a culture where violence is associated with masculinity. Browder traces the phenomenon from Civil War cross-dressing spies to the present-day National Rifle Association's female-oriented marketing strategies, demonstrating how public discussions of gun-toting women find each successive era revealing its particular anxieties about women's sexuality and role as citizens. Browder discusses a series of " armed celebrities"—from Wild West stars like Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane to outlaws such as Bonnie Parker (of Bonnie and Clyde
fame) and Patty Hearst—and examines the contradictory views about women soldiers, the gun-slinging pioneer mother "lioness" protecting her family, women at the turn of the 20th century who wielded their weapons to uphold white rightsand the women radical activists, both black and white, of the 1960s and 1970s who "used the gun as a bid for equal power within their often sexist movements." Browder packs her dense yet jargon-free study with salient examples drawn from contemporary print and visual sources. 34 illus. (Oct. 16)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Fascinating. . . . Lucidly written and clearly argued. . . . Illuminat[es] a culture of violence through the study of popular culture, media representations, and political spectacle."
-- Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"Provides fascinating insights into a feminized gun culture perhaps little known to academic readers. . . . An impressive account of women and guns in America."
-- Journal of American History
"Deftly analyzes the figure of the armed woman as both cultural hero and villain."
American Historical Review
"A rich story."
-- Journal of Social History
"Browder's book is far-ranging. It is filled with provocative observations on class dynamics and on the biological essentialism that is--and long has been--used to define women with guns."
-- The Journal of Southern History
"Deftly explores one facet of the relationship between women and guns in American history: that most manifest in literary expression and advertising."
-- Pacific Northwest Quarterly
"An enjoyable book. A well-written, thought-provoking history of images of women with guns. . . . A fascinating tour through American history."
"Filled with fascinating history that has largely been lost or ignored--until now."
-- Field and Stream
[An] engaging and readable history.
"The work is appealingly written, satisfyingly illustrated, and well researched."
There is a lot of fascinating historical information in Her Best Shot
, but its most attractive feature is the well-written narrative.
--Women & Guns