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Queer Cowboys: And Other Erotic Male Friendships in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
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Queer Cowboys: And Other Erotic Male Friendships in Nineteenth-Century American Literature

3.4  ·  Rating details ·  45 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Brokeback Mountain exploded the myth of the American cowboy as a tough, gruff, and grizzled loner. Queer Cowboys exposes, through books by legendary Western writers such as Mark Twain, James Fenimore Cooper, and Owen Wister, how same-sex intimacy and homoerotic admiration were key aspects of Westerns well before Brokeback's 1960's West, and well before the word "homosexual ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Palgrave Macmillan
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(showing 1-30)
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Susanne
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Does not allow for the existence of *any* platonic friendship. Surely, like the infamous cigar, sometimes a sidekick is just a sidekick?

A little repetitive. (Yes, this leads to skimming parts.) But full of stuff I didn't know - especially about Mark Twain - and I'd consider it a good resource for those interested in the subject matter. Thanks to this book, I discovered another fave Bret Harte story. (Bret Harte rocks!)
Denise
Jan 28, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a very short book, like a respectable length for a thesis. Lots of nice archival pictures including a shirtless Mark Twain and some very cuddly cowboys!

Other than the pictures this book was kinda a bummer, because I LOVE books about “homosocial environments,” especially with men, but this book does some overreaching with the literary analysis I think. Now, yes, pardner’d men alone in the woods in the 1800s probably did some crazy amounts of gay sex, but I don’t think that means every pe
...more
Gerry Burnie
Nov 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
While my usual genre is historical fiction, I am always on the lookout for research of a historical variety. Therefore, although it has been around for a while, “Queer Cowboys: And other erotic male friendships in nineteenth-century American literature” by Chris Packard (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) is one such work.

The stated objective of this thesis is to explore the “bonds that hold … [same-sex partners, i.e. ‘sidekicks’] together, particularly the erotic affection that undergirds their friends
...more
JOSEPH OLIVER
Dec 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: gay, history
Quite a difficult book to rate really. It promised a lot but delivered very little but then it depends on what you were hoping would be delivered I suppose.

This is largely an academic work - possibly a Masters Thesis put into book form. The wiser academic students tend to double with a subject which will get them their degree and which can be used then as the foundation for a book. The entire subject matter is structured around an academic work and there are copious references for the reader's f
...more
Laura Stone
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, lgbt-nf
At midway through this -- I'm using it as a source for research and find a lot of it fascinating, but am also side-eyeing the lack of platonic relationships among men. I'm all for putting LGBT history back where it belongs, but I feel like I might need to fact check? That sounds stronger than I intend, it's just that I'm slightly skeptical about a few things. But the overall premise and most of the stories (I say most because I'm just about 2/3 through with some skimming ahead) are fascinating.

W
...more
George Ilsley
Dec 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, gay
An attempt to re-imagine what all those lonely cowboys were up to (written before Brokeback Mountain gave us onee answer), this academic exercise is only moderately convincing. Clues, hints and innuendo are sometimes misleading and secrets remain untold. "Never underestimate the love of straight men" is a motto which would undermine many of this book's assertions. Homosocial is not homosexual. Pair bonds between males is not the same as same sex marriage. On the other hand, I am convinced that t ...more
Marta
Aug 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: queer-interest
If the homoerotic potential of two men living alone in the wilderness had never occurred to you, this book might not be 100% boring. But hey, if you want to read a book called 'queer cowboys' you are probably already aware of how totally queer cowboys can be. If that is the case, then you might enjoy some of the nice old-timey photos of cowboys touching each other, and also the shirtless photo of Mark Twain...but Mr. Chris Packard is not really going tell you anything you didn't already know. Be ...more
Bookish at Midnight
May 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Reading the story and seeing the movie, Brokeback Mountain, prompted me to delve more into glbt literature. The book was an eye opener as such I never thought of cowboys as queer. I viewed them as the Marlboro man who is manly, tough, and masculine. Please note, my statement is not be taken as offensive but merely an observation.

Nicci
Jun 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Reading the story and seeing the movie, Brokeback Mountain, prompted me to delve more into glbt literature. The book was an eye opener as such I never thought of cowboys as queer. I viewed them as the Marlboro man who is manly, tough, and masculine. Please note, my statement is not be taken as offensive but merely an observation.

Kate Woods Walker
Mar 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Interesting look at male same-sex relationships in America up to the time of the Old West, using the works of James Fenimore Cooper, Walt Whitman and Mark Twain (among others). It reads a bit like three distinct articles welded together to make a distinct, if brief, whole.
John
Apr 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Whitman-est
Ken Yliniemi
Jan 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting read of a part of Gay history that is all far to often overlooked. It has been something I always wondered about but I am sure was never discussed.
Ronald
Apr 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Read a little like a doctoral dissertation. And I'm not sure I buy into all the conclusions reached by the author. But an interesting premise nonetheless.
Rachel
Jan 12, 2008 rated it liked it
Interesting argument, but like too much of queer theory, it sometimes reaches too far to prove its point.
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