New Men: Manliness in Early America

Overview

In 1782, J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur wrote, “What then, is the American, this new man? He is an American, who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced.” In casting aside their European mores, these pioneers, de Crèvecoeur implied, were the very embodiment of a new culture, society, economy, and political system. But to what extent did manliness shape early America’s character and institutions? And what roles did race, ethnicity, ...

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New Men: Manliness in Early America

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Overview

In 1782, J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur wrote, “What then, is the American, this new man? He is an American, who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced.” In casting aside their European mores, these pioneers, de Crèvecoeur implied, were the very embodiment of a new culture, society, economy, and political system. But to what extent did manliness shape early America’s character and institutions? And what roles did race, ethnicity, and class play in forming masculinity?

Thomas A. Foster and his contributors grapple with these questions in New Men, showcasing how colonial and Revolutionary conditions gave rise to new standards of British American manliness. Focusing on Indian, African, and European masculinities in British America from earliest Jamestown through the Revolutionary era, and addressing such topics that range from slavery to philanthropy, and from satire to warfare, the essays in this anthology collectively demonstrate how the economic, political, social, cultural, and religious conditions of early America shaped and were shaped by ideals of masculinity.

Contributors: Susan Abram, Tyler Boulware, Kathleen Brown, Trevor Burnard, Toby L. Ditz, Carolyn Eastman, Benjamin Irvin, Janet Moore Lindman, John Gilbert McCurdy, Mary Beth Norton, Ann Marie Plane, Jessica Choppin Roney, and Natalie A. Zacek.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“With New Men, Foster ushers in a new era in masculinity studies. Both historically precise and analytically astute, these essays provide multiple meditations on masculinity before the birth of the nation.”
-Michael Kimmel,author of Manhood in America

“In lucid prose, the contributors map the contours of early American manhood from first encounters through the Revolution, and from the marriage bed to the battlefield. The results demonstrate the continuing vitality of gender as a category of analysis as well as the fascinating, sometimes terrifying dynamism of the colonial Atlantic world.”
-Jane Kamensky,Harry S. Truman Professor of American Civilization, Brandeis University

“This impressive collection of essays is one of the best books in print on the history of manliness. It covers a broad range of times, places and topics, and it does so at a consistently high level of interest and insight. As a result, New Men will make a great choice for courses on masculinity or early America.”
-E. Anthony Rotundo,author of American Manhood: Transformations in Masculinity from the Revolution to the Modern Era

“The essays published here provide fresh perspectives on time-honored topics from the settlement of Jamestown to revolutionary political rhetoric along with provocative insights from new topics such as dreams, desire, and dangerous men in the early modern world. Some essays will provoke wonderful classroom discussions, while others offer important points of departure for future scholarship. All of them are worth reading.”
-Anne Lombard,author of Making Manhood: Growing Up Male in Early New England

"These essays show the diverse approaches to masculinity studies...a welcome addition to early American social, cultural, and gender scholarship."
-The Journal of American History,

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814727812
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 1/24/2011
  • Pages: 292
  • Sales rank: 1,025,306
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas A. Foster is Professor of History at DePaul University, in Chicago, and author of Sex and the Eighteenth-Century Man: Massachusetts and the History of Sexuality in America, and Sex and the Founding Fathers: The American Quest for a Relatable Past. He is also editor of Long Before Stonewall: Histories of Same-Sex Sexuality (NYU Press, 2007), New Men: Manliness in Early America (NYU Press, 2011), and Documenting Intimate Matters: Primary Sources for a History of Sexuality in America. Foster tweets at @ThomasAFoster.

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Table of Contents

Preface Mary Beth Norton ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: New Men: Feminist Histories of Manliness in Early British America Thomas A. Foster 1

Part I Settlement

1 Gentlemen and Soldiers: Competing Visions of Manhood in Early Jamestown John Gilbert McCurdy 9

2 Indian and English Dreams: Colonial Hierarchy and Manly Restraint in Seventeenth-Century New England Ann Marie Plane 31

Part II Warfare

3 "We are men": Native American and Euroamerican Projections of Masculinity During the Seven Years' War Tyler Boulware 51

4 Real Men: Masculinity, Spirituality, and Community in Late Eighteenth-Century Cherokee Warfare Susan Abram 71

Part III Atlantic

5 "Blood and Lust": Masculinity and Sexuality in Illustrated Print Portrayals of Early Pirates of the Caribbean Carolyn Eastman 95

6 "Banes of Society" and "Gentlemen of Strong Natural Parts": Attacking and Defending West Indian Creole Masculinity Natalie A. Zacek 116

7 "Impatient of Subordination" and "Liable to Sudden Transports of Anger": White Masculinity and Homosocial Relations with Black Men in Eighteenth-Century Jamaica Trevor Burnard 134

Part IV Enactment

8 "Effective Men" and Early Voluntary Associations in Philadelphia, 1725-1775 Jessica Choppin Roney 155

9 "Strength of the Lion ... Arms Like Polished Iron": Embodying Black Masculinity in an Age of Slavery and Propertied Manhood Kathleen M. Brown 172

Part V Revolution

10 Of Eloquence "Manly" and "Monstrous": The Henpecked Husband in Revolutionary Political Debate, 1774-1775 Benjamin H. Irvin 195

11 John Adams and the Choice of Hercules: Manliness and Sexual Virtue in Eighteenth-Century British America Thomas A. Foster 217

12 "Play the Man ... for Your Bleeding Country": Military Chaplains as Gender Brokers During the American Revolutionary War Janet Moore Lindman 236

Afterword: Contending Masculinities in Early America Toby L. Ditz 256

About the Contributors 269

Index 271

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