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Marked Men: White Masculinity in Crisis
     

Marked Men: White Masculinity in Crisis

by Sally Robinson
 

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White men still hold most of the political and economic cards in the United States; yet stories about wounded and traumatized men dominate popular culture. Why are white men jumping on the victim bandwagon? Examining novels by Philip Roth, John Updike, James Dickey, John Irving, and Pat Conroy and such films as Deliverance, Misery, and Dead Poets Society—as well

Overview

White men still hold most of the political and economic cards in the United States; yet stories about wounded and traumatized men dominate popular culture. Why are white men jumping on the victim bandwagon? Examining novels by Philip Roth, John Updike, James Dickey, John Irving, and Pat Conroy and such films as Deliverance, Misery, and Dead Poets Society—as well as other writings, including The Closing of the American Mind—Sally Robinson argues that white men are tempted by the possibilities of pain and the surprisingly pleasurable tensions that come from living in crisis.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Analyzes reconstructions of white masculinity within mainstream America during the 1960s through 1980s. Material is organized around political, academic, cultural, emotional, and sexual sites of crisis to chart a movement from the political to the personal which characterized the period. Locates the birth of the crisis in white masculinity in the "discovery" of Middle America following the 1968 election of Richard Nixon, then examines the work of authors including John Updike, Philip Roth, John Irving, and Stephen King. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The Women's Review of Books - Judith Kegan Gardiner
Marked Men: White Masculinity in Crisis is an intelligent, wide-ranging, clearly argued and thoroughly femnist book about the shifting meanings of dominant masculinity in American culture....Robinson makes appropriate but not heavy-handed use of other theorists and literary critics, often developing their insights in original directions....Robinson is an astute critic of cultural images.

San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle Book Review - Jonathon Keats
White men have it all, except the hardship of having to live in a world dominated by white men. Sally Robinson argues, with shocking originality... that they now want that too: Through victimization, we find the tensions that make us most alive.

The Women's Review of Books
Marked Men: White Masculinity in Crisis is an intelligent, wide-ranging, clearly argued and thoroughly femnist book about the shifting meanings of dominant masculinity in American culture....Robinson makes appropriate but not heavy-handed use of other theorists and literary critics, often developing their insights in original directions....Robinson is an astute critic of cultural images.

— Judith Kegan Gardiner

San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle Book Review
White men have it all, except the hardship of having to live in a world dominated by white men. Sally Robinson argues, with shocking originality... that they now want that too: Through victimization, we find the tensions that make us most alive.

— Jonathon Keats

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231500364
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
01/22/2005
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
File size:
1 MB

What People are Saying About This

Marlon Bryan Ross
Brilliant and timely, Marked Men pries open the workings of American masculinity in the cultural wars of the 1970s and 1980s with piercing intellect and wit—bringing critical attention to a broad range of pressing contemporary issues. Robinson deftly interweaves interdisciplinary readings of cultural texts, from novels and movies to academic theory and self-help books, to deliver a stunning critique not only of white male anxiety but also of the more general cultural fall-out plaguing American society in the aftermath of the 1960s.

Judith Kegan Gardiner
In Marked Men, Sally Robinson argues persuasively that the white male role of individual victim serves to turn social and political issues into purely personal matters—an analysis that explains contemporary American masculinity more cogently than either the judgment that now men are behaving badly out of a pure 'backlash'against feminism or that they have been 'stiffed'by uncontrollable cultural forces.

Michael Kimmel
In the past two decades, white men have proclaimed themselves the new victims—buffeted by feminism and other forces out of their control, and often even 'falling down.'In this textured and nuanced reading of central works from that era, Sally Robinson helps us understand the crisis of white masculinity and thus chart a course away from victimhood and towards accountability.

Robyn Wiegman
Marked Men turns the emergent field of whiteness studies on its head: where other scholars posit that making whiteness and masculinity visible as specific forms of embodiment is an inherent critical insurgency, Sally Robinson shows that such critical strategies are actually complicit with the dominant project of white masculinity in the public sphere. This book is the single most important and concise revisiting of the social and scholarly terrain of white masculinity to date.

Meet the Author

Sally Robinson is associate professor of English at Texas A& M University and the author of Engendering the Subject: Gender and Self-Representation in Contemporary Women's Fiction.


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