Manhood in America
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Manhood in America

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  126 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In a time when psychologists are rediscovering Darwin, and much of our social behavioral is being reduced to ancient, hard-wired patterns, Michael Kimmel's history of manhood in America comes as a much needed reminder that our behavior as men and women is anything but stable and fixed. Kimmel's authoritative, entertaining, and wide-ranging history of men in America demonst...more
Hardcover, 560 pages
Published November 10th 1996 by Free Press (first published 1996)
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A cunningly written dissection of the history of men's search for safety and a self-definition which is achievable and sustaining. Kimmel writes from such a widely and deeply read experience that he is able to slit open the substantial soft underbelly of American manhood as deftly as a surgeon and possesses the wit to read the auguries in the entrails. Higly recommended.
Edward Cornejo
I'm only about half way through the text and decided to read it before considering having my American history students read it in conjunction with some women's history. So far I find it fascinating, not because any of it is new to me, but because it paints a nice picture of what men have had to go through in order to be perceived as men (straight or gay, for that matter) by other men. After all, I kind of agree that what women think of us doesn't really matter to us. But, what other men - other...more
Tiny Pants
Pour me a glass of haterade. I mean, it's interesting, and MK does a decent job, but it's frustrating. I feel like all of it I just want to be like, you know what? Boo-effing-hoo! Men in America (particularly UMC white men) don't have it that bad! They don't have it bad at all! Cry me an effing river. If I have to hear one more time how like, standards of beauty are so hard for men to live up to, I'm going to crucify myself on a Bowflex. Then why is like every sitcom ever premised on some fat-as...more
I only read a few sections of this, the modern sections that are relevant to my students, but I thought that MK wrote in a very clear and compelling fashion. He's very objective in his analysis of men and how they have been impacted by the feminist movement. He makes some really good points about how George Bush (or George I) was perceived to be not manly enough: he went to Yale, was clean-cut in look, etc..., so he made a concerted effort to be more masculine. Willy Loman and Hamlet are analyze...more
Melissa Maxwell
I really enjoyed the book and it provided a good amount of insight into men and the changing definition of Manhood and Masculinity over time in America. I was not fond of the women bashing and blaming for all mens woes but it was still a good read. His dates for films and books were off frequently throughout the book and needs to be changed with future editions but other than that I would recommend to people interested in Manhood and Masculinity historically in America.
This is the most interesting book I have ever read about masculinity. It explains in detail the history of manhood (as the title offers) in a very easy way to read, amusing, and with the most amazing details, statistics and anecdotes about famous people, philosophers, writers, sociologists, and just normal men. It is a must if you are interested in gender studies.
Verrry interesting. He starts with the Revolutionary era and ends with Promise Keepers. Along the way he talks about the hyper-masculinization of politics (Van Buren was derided for using nice silverware and wearing a girdle), the rise of physical fitness and sports, the vicissitudes of the wage market, the role of the father, and many other male self-image issues.
I enjoyed this book; it is very interesting. Kimmel does a good job bringing forward American history and discussing it relates to notions of gender. Of course, as it goes with these sorts of cultural studies, there is leeway, interpretation, and conjecture. But still good.
Sam Lindsay-levine
A scholarly and comprehensive look at masculinity in America, reminding us how deeply socially constructed it is. Plenty of "I never knew that before" moments. This book is everything I wanted Guyland to be that it wasn't.
Apr 25, 2008 Carrie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody!
What a great overview of the history of American masculinity! I didn't want to put it down. Its only flaw is that it gets a little weak towards the end.
MK has an intriguing writing style. I enjoyed the book, but I do not completely agree with his argument.
Oct 11, 2010 AJ marked it as could-not-finish
Maybe I'll come back to this book later but it's really not doing it for me right now.
Great if you are interested in masculinity studies...which I am
Susan Bin
ok im going to concentrate in gender studies now
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Michael Scott Kimmel is an American sociologist, specializing in gender studies. He is among the leading researchers and writers on men and masculinity in the world today. The author or editor of more than twenty volumes, his books include The Politics of Manhood, and The History of Men (2005).

His documentary history, "Against the Tide: Pro-Feminist Men in the United States, 1776-1990" (Beacon, 19...more
More about Michael S. Kimmel...
Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era The Gendered Society Reader Men's Lives Privilege: A Reader

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