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Taking It Like a Man 1st Edition

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0691016375
ISBN-10: 0691016372
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Covering a spectrum of masculine imagery that embraces everything from John Wayne and Rambo to Tony Kushner and gay S&M, Savran (Communists, Cowboys, and Queers) traces the rising fortunes of the white-man-as-victim in recent American history. At first isolated and alienated in the margins of the 1950s Beat generation, the American White Man as a type was "feminized" at the center of the '60s radical discourse before returning as a reconstructed concept in an array of backlash movements in the '70s, finally establishing itself as a cultural center in the '80s and '90s. Despite Savran's wide range of accessible sources and broad canvas, however, his demanding, psychoanalytically informed prose, dense with wordplay, parentheses, and jargon, makes for tough going. Moreover, the sheer volume of material hereAamong the genres surveyed are poetry, fiction, literary criticism, drama, political discourse and filmAsometimes becomes overwhelming; the same case might well have been made with fewer examples. Yet the author's argument is worth pursuing, and a number of readings are acute and original. In the movie Twister, for instance, he finds both a post-Cold War fear of terrorism ("a new and unpredictable monster that may strike at any moment, destroying property, killing innocent people, and uprooting families") and a renewed spirituality (the awful, and awe-ful, monster twister as "the finger of God"). Not for the uninitiated, but valuable for those with the stamina to push to the end.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A professor of English at Brown University who has published widely on American theater and culture, Savran draws on earlier journal articles and research to take a critical look at the white male as a victim of contemporary society. He observes the changing model of masculinity in post-World War II America, examining the social and sexual milieu that has created that model and scouring literary, film, and journalistic material to lay bare the foundation for the self-destructive, feminized, masochistic, and victimized American white male of today. Noting the differing social and power status of men and women, Savran argues persuasively that white masculinity has been a casualty in the battles fought by the Civil Rights and women's movements. His well-written, scholarly study is for academic and larger public library cultural studies collections.AMichael A. Lutes, Univ. of Notre Dame Libs., IN
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; 1 edition (March 30, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691016372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691016375
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,614,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
The book proposes, as the editorial blurb above says, to examine the contradictory construction of white masculinity in America, and I think it does a good job.
While I am not wholly satisfied with some of Savran's arguments -- I generally dislike Freudian discourse as an analytic tool, and the discussion of economic factors (military-industrial capitalism, etc.) seems to me to be lacking (a proper analysis would be beyond the scope of the work) -- there's enough cogent analysis most of the time to outweigh the few instances that I don't find convincing.
Those who have read Susan Faludi's _Stiffed_ will find many parallels between the two books, though this one is targetted at a more academic audience. Some familiarity with psychoanalytic and poststructuralist thought will be beneficial. Savran refers on several occassions to Judith Butler, so having read _Gender Trouble_ can be useful background.
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By Cole on February 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was greater than expected. I loved how informative it was. I cannot wait to reread this fascinating work again.
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