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Southern Sons: Becoming Men in the New Nation
     

Southern Sons: Becoming Men in the New Nation

by Lorri Glover
 

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Between the generations of Thomas Jefferson and Jefferson Davis, the culture of white Southerners experienced significant changes, including the establishment of a normative male identity that exuded confidence, independence, and power. Southern Sons, the first work in masculinity studies to concentrate on the early South, explores how young men of the

Overview

Between the generations of Thomas Jefferson and Jefferson Davis, the culture of white Southerners experienced significant changes, including the establishment of a normative male identity that exuded confidence, independence, and power. Southern Sons, the first work in masculinity studies to concentrate on the early South, explores how young men of the southern gentry came of age between the 1790s and the 1820s. Lorri Glover examines how standards for manhood came about, how young men experienced them in the early South, and how those values transformed many American sons into southern nationalists who ultimately would conspire to tear apart the republic they had been raised to lead.

This was the first generation of boys raised to conceive of themselves as Americans, as well as the first cohort of self-defined southern men. They grew up believing that the fate of the American experiment in self-government depended on their ability to put away personal predispositions and perform prescribed roles. Because men faced demanding gender norms, boys had to pass exacting tests of manhood—in education, refinement, courting, careers, and slave mastery. Only then could they join the ranks of the elite and claim power in society.

Revealing the complex interplay of nationalism and regionalism in the lives of southern men, Glover brings new insight to the question of what led the South toward sectionalism and civil war.

Editorial Reviews

Civil War Book Review - Giselle Roberts
A compelling examination.

Journal of American History - Anya Jabour
Makes important contributions to historians' understandings of gender, family, and sectionalism.

Journal of the Early Republic - Evan A. Kontarinis
We read about young men who exhibited a lifelong negotiation with authority, with society's expectations, with one another, and eventually with the North... Well-written, meticulously researched.

H-NC, H-Net Reviews - Jennifer L. Gross
Glover convincingly revises the long-held thesis that honor is the best paradigm for investigating young Southern men's identities in the early national period.

Register of the Kentucky Historical Society - Charlene Boyer Lewis
Glover successfully demonstrates that becoming a man in the early national South was a complicated process that demanded much of the boys who sought to be considered men.

Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review - R. Matthew Poteat
Glover carefully charts the empowerment which elite southern boys received over a lifetime of successfully navigating these social waters.

William and Mary Quarterly - Thomas A. Foster
Glover's new study of southern elite manhood in the new nation is an important contribution to southern history as well as to gender history.

Historian - Steve Tripp
Southern Sons is an impressive work, certain to influence—and perhaps even reshape—Southern social and cultural history for years to come, as well as the history of American masculinities.

Southern Quarterly - Matthew Mason
Glover's analysis is insightful and rests on exhaustive research in reliable sources.

H-CivWar - Michael DeGruccio
An important book for anyone interested in gender, family history, or education in antebellum America. It is also a refreshing way to frame the origins of the American Civil War.

Journal of Social History - Ehren K. Foley
Southern Sons provides insight into the day-to-day lives of young southern elites and offers a detailed examination of the process by which southern boys became southern men in the Early Republic.

Choice
Insightful study.

Historian
Southern Sons is an impressive work, certain to influence—and perhaps even reshape—Southern social and cultural history for years to come, as well as the history of American masculinities.

— Steve Tripp

Journal of American History
Makes important contributions to historians' understandings of gender, family, and sectionalism.

— Anya Jabour

Journal of Social History
Southern Sons provides insight into the day-to-day lives of young southern elites and offers a detailed examination of the process by which southern boys became southern men in the Early Republic.

— Ehren K. Foley

Southern Quarterly
Glover's analysis is insightful and rests on exhaustive research in reliable sources.

— Matthew Mason

Civil War Book Review
A compelling examination.

— Giselle Roberts

Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
Glover successfully demonstrates that becoming a man in the early national South was a complicated process that demanded much of the boys who sought to be considered men.

— Charlene Boyer Lewis

William and Mary Quarterly
Glover's new study of southern elite manhood in the new nation is an important contribution to southern history as well as to gender history.

— Thomas A. Foster

Journal of the Early Republic
We read about young men who exhibited a lifelong negotiation with authority, with society's expectations, with one another, and eventually with the North... Well-written, meticulously researched.

— Evan A. Kontarinis

H-CivWar
An important book for anyone interested in gender, family history, or education in antebellum America. It is also a refreshing way to frame the origins of the American Civil War.

— Michael DeGruccio

Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review
Glover carefully charts the empowerment which elite southern boys received over a lifetime of successfully navigating these social waters.

— R. Matthew Poteat

Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review - R. Matthew Poteat

Glover carefully charts the empowerment which elite southern boys received over a lifetime of successfully navigating these social waters.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801898211
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
09/01/2010
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

What People are Saying About This

Bertram Wyatt-Brown

Southern Sons adds immeasurably to our understanding of gender relations in the antebellum South. Compellingly argued, lucidly written, and thoroughly researched, this work is a model of sensitive historical analysis. Especially valuable is her demonstration of the complexities in social relations between parents and sons, peers and kin, college authorities and their often immature students. She pursues the lives of these favored young slaveholders through their courtships, marriages, and arrival on the threshold of responsible adulthood. Throughout their development, Glover persuasively asserts, they sought to become 'men of honor' and refinement in the classic terms of their time and culture. This study will be highly acclaimed by ordinary readers well as scholars of American history.

Bertram Wyatt-Brown, author of Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South and The Shaping of Southern Culture: Honor, Grace, and War

Meet the Author

Lorri Glover is the John Francis Bannon Professor in the Department of History at Saint Louis University. She is the author of All Our Relations: Blood Ties and Emotional Bonds among the Early South Carolina Gentry, also published by Johns Hopkins, and coauthor with Daniel Blake Smith of The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America.

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