The Image of Man: The Creation of Modern Masculinity

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Oxford University Press, Oct 8, 1998 - History - 241 pages
What does it mean to be a man? What does it mean to be manly? How has our notion of masculinity changed over the years? In this book, noted historian George L. Mosse provides the first historical account of the masculine stereotype in modern Western culture, tracing the evolution of the idea of manliness to reveal how it came to embody physical beauty, courage, moral restraint, and a strong will. This stereotype, he finds, originated in the tumultuous changes of the eighteenth century, as Europe's dominant aristocrats grudgingly yielded to the rise of the professional, bureaucratic, and commercial middle classes. Mosse reveals how the new bourgeoisie, faced with a bewildering, rapidly industrialized world, latched onto the knightly ideal of chivalry. He also shows how the rise of universal conscription created a "soldierly man" as an ideal type. In bringing his examination up to the present, Mosse studies the key historical roles of the so-called "fairer sex" (women) and "unmanly men" (Jews and homosexuals) in defining and maintaining the male stereotype, and considers the possible erosion of that stereotype in our own time.
 

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User Review  - AlexTheHunn - LibraryThing

George Mosse explores contemporary western culture’s concept of Masculinity or Manliness in The Image of Man: The Creation of Modern Masculinity. Mosse argues that masculinity, as an established and ... Read full review

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Great book

Contents

THE MASCULINE STEREOTYPE
3
2 SETTING THE STANDARD
17
3 GETTING THERE
40
4 THE COUNTERTYPE
56
THE DECADENCE
77
6 WARRIORS AND SOCIALISTS
107
7 THE NORMAL SOCIETY OF MEN
133
8 THE NEW FASCIST MAN
155
9 TOWARD A NEW MASCULINITY?
181
Notes
195
Index
219
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

The late George L. Mosse was Bascom-Weinstein Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and also Koebner Professor of History Emeritus at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He wrote many highly regarded books, including Fallen Soldiers: Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars (Oxford University Press, 1990).

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