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Picturing Men: A Century of Male Relationships in Everyday American Photography
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a book that probably is best read twice: the first 'read' should be a slow thumbing through the pages of wonderfully tender and humorous photographs of men in pairs, in poses, in groups of pageant/pantomime, in dorm rooms, barracks, and in nature. The second read should be on of thoughtful attention paid to the written word, an experience which is never cloyingly sentimental, yet ever mindful of the sad fact that our society has created a ban on men expressing tenderness to other men. He wisely shows the tendency to use rough-housing and elaborate greeting techniques to convey the feelings now considered not only 'inappropriate' but worse - as in the 'Don't ask, don't tell' stance of the military. In the most sensitive chapter of this gentile book Ibson studies life in the military from the Civil War through World War II, pointing out both sides of the argument that war and its accompanying terror encourages men to bond, at least psychologically if not sexually.Read more ›
captured in these photos of men from another era.I can't imagine men of my time allowing themselves to be caught in expressions of such open affection.
I seriously doubt that all these men were gay men, so how does one account for the shift in what is socially acceptable.Men of my generation would likely be most uncomfortable, I think, with what appears to be genuine affection and buddyship, but it may be that the lives of those men were enriched in a way that we can't appreciate today.
I now have a better understanding of why this is, because of this book. I really wish many men read this book, and they may understand themselves and their peers better.
I have read about Foucault's take on sexuality: that it doesn't really exist. Ibson discusses this as well. There really is not such a thing as a person being a homosexual; they are only inclined to be attracted to his or her own sex. I believe that this is one of the most important points in the book.
I also really appreciated the afterword, in Ibson's skepticism of Postmodernist/Poststructuralist (?) perception. Although I tend to agree with those, it is so refreshing for someone to not take that for granted! It made me think twice about what I have learned in my art school.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very ,Very , nice Copy !! Looks NEW !!! An important look into OUR. Past !!! !!Published 6 months ago by Keith
Excellent book - emotional support between military men and social friendships made during wartime. War is difficult.Published 17 months ago by D. G. Draper