- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: University of Georgia Press (July 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 082032616X
- ISBN-13: 978-0820326160
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,202,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Southern Manhood: Perspectives on Masculinity in the Old South
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An important and timely contribution to the burgeoning field of gender history. This rich and compelling collection will take its place on the bookshelves of every serious scholar of gender in the American experience.(Anya Jabour author of Marriage in the Early Republic: Elizabeth and William Wirt and the Companionate Ideal)
The essays in Southern Manhood are joined by an attention to race and evolving market forces. What emerges from this are often subtle arguments attuned to southern men's overlapping concerns with class and racial identity as they negotiated their position as men within local societies.(Matthew Basso editor of Across the Great Divide: Cultures of Manhood in the American West)
A fine collection of essays that apply the new methods and approaches of masculine studies to the study of the Old South. . . . Southern Manhood: Perspectives on Masculinity in the Old South is a pioneering effort opening new ground in both the study of masculine history and the history of the American South.(North Carolina Historical Review)
All the essays in this collection are insightful, original, well written, well researched, and well worth reading.(Civil War History)
The insights that this study yields are tremendously useful and provide valuable building blocks for more in-depth epistemologies on region - including the South - in critical masculinities.(Men and Masculinities)
This fine collection of essays provides an important corrective to what has been a generally narrow discussion of masculinity in the antebellum South.(Journal of American History)
Southern Manhood is a marvelous addition to our understanding of textured manhood.(Florida Historical Quarterly)
About the Author
Craig Thompson Friend is an associate professor of history and Director of Public History at North Carolina State University. He is coeditor of "Southern Manhood: Perspectives on Masculinity in the Old South" (Georgia). Lorri Glover is the John Francis Bannon Professor of History at Saint Louis University. She is the author of "Southern Sons: Becoming Men in the New Nation" and, with Daniel Blake Smith, "The Shipwreck that Saved Jamestown."
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The book strictly covers the post-revolution and pre-Emancipation era. Those looking for a talk on modern Souther masculinity must turn elsewhere. This book does represent the entire South, rather than focusing on one state and assuming that it was representative of all of them.
The book states interesting things about Southern, white men. Not only did Southern men purposely differentiate themselves from their Northern counterparts, they also strictly saw themselves as not European. The changing economics of the South is also analyzed, noting how it changed concepts of manhood accordingly.
The book is not flawless. The first chapter, "Refuge of Manhood," details how Southern voluntary soldiers distanced themselves from women and African Americans and demanded guns and uniforms. However, these two concepts are never really brought together. The chapter ends up just being a laundry list. In "Fraternity and Masculinity," the author attempts to compare white artisans to black ones. However, she focuses much more on whites than blacks and never once explains why or bothers to note this as a problem.
The best chapter is "The Absent Subject: African American Masculinity and Forced Migration." In it, the author says that whites and Northern blacks looked at slaves as fools and eunuchs for not running away or committing suicide. Here, Edward Baptist gives precise details how male slaves often created their sense of manhood by caring for women and children or doing shoddy work on the plantation. They also embraced Christianity, hoping the afterlife would be the promised paradise the Bible suggests. As a black person whose grandparents did not leave the South until the tail end of the Great Migration, I was blown away by this piece. Big applause for Edward E. Baptist.
Sometimes the chapters felt like they were all details and little analysis. The chapters are quite short but are well-written. Readers will applaud the contributors because surely this dated information would be hard for any person, even academics, to find.