Political Manhood: Red Bloods, Mollycoddles, and the Politics of Progressive Era Reform [NOOK Book]

Overview


In a 1907 lecture to Harvard undergraduates, Theodore Roosevelt warned against becoming "too fastidious, too sensitive to take part in the rough hurly-burly of the actual work of the world." Roosevelt asserted that colleges should never "turn out mollycoddles instead of vigorous men," and cautioned that "the weakling and the coward are out of place in a strong and free community."

A paradigm of ineffectuality and weakness, the mollycoddle was "all inner life," whereas his ...

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Political Manhood: Red Bloods, Mollycoddles, and the Politics of Progressive Era Reform

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Overview


In a 1907 lecture to Harvard undergraduates, Theodore Roosevelt warned against becoming "too fastidious, too sensitive to take part in the rough hurly-burly of the actual work of the world." Roosevelt asserted that colleges should never "turn out mollycoddles instead of vigorous men," and cautioned that "the weakling and the coward are out of place in a strong and free community."

A paradigm of ineffectuality and weakness, the mollycoddle was "all inner life," whereas his opposite, the "red blood," was a man of action. Kevin P. Murphy reveals how the popular ideals of American masculinity coalesced around these two distinct categories. Because of its similarity to the emergent "homosexual" type, the mollycoddle became a powerful rhetorical figure, often used to marginalize and stigmatize certain political actors. Issues of masculinity not only penetrated the realm of the elite, however. Murphy's history follows the redefinition of manhood across a variety of classes, especially in the work of late nineteenth-century reformers, who trumpeted the virility of the laboring classes.

By highlighting this cross-class appropriation, Murphy challenges the oppositional model commonly used to characterize the relationship between political "machines" and social and municipal reformers at the turn of the twentieth century. He also revolutionizes our understanding of the gendered and sexual meanings attached to political and ideological positions of the Progressive Era.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of American History - Jay Hatheway

An engaging historical investigation into the negative application of homophobic rhetoric against those deemed political enemies.... A must read.

H-Histsex - Thomas A. Foster

This clearly written and cleanly argued gem of a gendered political history examines the 'historical connections between categories of gender and sexuality and American political culture'

Journal of American History
An engaging historical investigation into the negative application of homophobic rhetoric against those deemed political enemies.... A must read.

— Jay Hatheway

Men & Masculinities

To understand fully the political shifts in the early twentieth century, or to flesh our gender and sexual identity in this time, this book will serve all of these purposes, and more.

H-Histsex
This clearly written and cleanly argued gem of a gendered political history examines the 'historical connections between categories of gender and sexuality and American political culture'

— Thomas A. Foster

Historian - Ruth Crocker

In shifting the examination of Progressive reform back from the terrain of voting and office-holding to that of gender and sexuality, Political Manhood makes a major contribution to our understanding of American political history.

Historian
In shifting the examination of Progressive reform back from the terrain of voting and office-holding to that of gender and sexuality, Political Manhood makes a major contribution to our understanding of American political history.

— Ruth Crocker

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231503501
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 7/6/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 941,173
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author


Kevin P. Murphy is associate professor of history at the University of Minnesota.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction 1

1 Of Mugwumps and Mollycoddles: Patronage and the Political Discourse of the "Third Sex" 11

2 The Tammany Within: Good Government Reform and Political Manhood 38

3 White Army in the White City: Civic Militarism, Urban Space, and the Urban Populace 68

4 Socrates in the Slums: "Social Brotherhood" and Settlement House Reform 104

5 Daddy George and Tom Brown: Sexual Scandal, Political Manhood, and Self-Government Reform 125

6 The Problem of the Impracticables: Sentimentality, Idealism, and Homosexuality 171

Epilogue: Red Bloods and Mollycoddles in the Twentieth Century and Beyond 201

Notes 211

Bibliography 275

Index 293

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