Cover image for American masculinities : a historical encyclopedia
American masculinities : a historical encyclopedia
Carroll, Bret E., 1961-
Publication Information:
Thousand Oaks, Calif. : SAGE Publications, [2003]

Physical Description:
562 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ1090.3 .A453 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



American Masculinities: A Historical Encyclopedia explores the wide range of identities and experiences that have defined men and masculinity in the United States from pre-Columbian times to the present. The first reference work devoted to this scholarly field, it draws on important contemporary research in history, gender and sexuality studies, and cultural and literary studies.

The encyclopedia--in more than 250 articles--analyzes American manhood through historical eras and events; sexuality and the body; cultural icons and symbols; attitudes and behaviors; work and leisure; institutions and organizations; controversial issues and movements; key figures; family and the life cycle; literature, film, theater, and art; theories and concepts; and identities based on race, ethnicity, class, age, and region. Each entry includes suggestions for further reading and a list of other articles with additional information on a topic.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

It seems so simple, American masculinity--that social archetype that can never be attained but must be proved again and again. Yet the publication of this sweeping encyclopedia on the subject testifies to its complexity. In entries such as Bogart, Humphrey; Dean,ames; Death of a Salesman; Eugenics; Fathers' rights; Marlboro Man; Prostitution; Shaft; Slave narratives0 ; and Violence, American Masculinities0 offers substantial coverage of a wide range of relevant topics, individuals, creative works and characters, theories, and events that over centuries have shaped the notion of American masculinity and its implications for men and women. That is not, however, a monolithic notion. The encyclopedia explores masculinities other than that those assumed and accepted by most and reinforced by countless cultural signals. These include female masculinity, androgyny, homosexuality, post-Vietnam masculinity, middle-class manhood, the men's movement, and transvestism. Accessible to a broad audience, this informative encyclopedia demonstrates the maturity of the men's movement and the interdisciplinary breadth of men's studies since these began to emerge three decades ago. It will provide information, help clarify the issues in play, and raise the consciousness of many not yet aware of the vitality of this small movement and its related academic discipline. Reference collections in academic and large public libraries make it available to their users. -- RBB Copyright 2004 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-With overlapping but not identical focuses, these encyclopedias include a well-organized range of articles. Both address what it means to be masculine, as opposed to male in gender. With more than 400 articles, Men and Masculinities has a much broader overview. It includes articles about such international figures as Michelangelo, Sigmund Freud, Fran?ois Truffaut, and even Leni Riefenstahl in her exploration of the "superman" and the "cult of the male body." This volume also provides access to many concepts and their variations, offering for example "Contemporary Bodybuilding," "History of Bodybuilding," "Physical Culture," and "Adonis Complex." However, American, by virtue of its focus, provides articles on subjects not emphasized in Men, such as the one that looks at the New Deal's reinforcement of traditional gender roles. As the existence of an article on "Jocks" indicates, Men is arguably hipper than its counterpart with more entries on contemporary figures. American, on the other hand, seems to pay more attention to religious or spiritual aspects of various masculinities. Both encyclopedias include cross-references, bibliographies at the end of articles, and expansive indexes. The black-and-white photographs are incidental rather than essential. All large collections are likely to want both resources. Where only one can be afforded, Men wins by a nose.-Coop Renner, Fairmeadows Elementary, Duncanville, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Carroll, who previously produced works on American spiritualism and religion, fortifies the growing field of men's studies with an interdisciplinary work that addresses the multiple, alternate meanings and manifestations of men's awareness of themselves and their social and cultural roles. His encyclopedia encompasses the fields of literature, history, art, anthropology, sociology, religion, and the media, underscoring the importance of power relationships in public and private life. Essays touch such themes as self-control, rationality, competition, hypermasculinity, protective paternalism, and physical strength, focusing especially on the 19th and 20th centuries by attending to homosocial meeting halls, taverns, and sports clubs in the earlier period and the iconic popular cultural images of John Wayne, James Dean, Cary Grant, Jim Anderson of Father Knows Best, and Tim Taylor of Home Improvement in the later.With entries by 100 contributors (primarily faculty, doctoral candidates, librarians, and Carroll himself), the encyclopedia displays scholarly apparatus in a closing general index, bibliographies after each article, and a "Reader's Guide" that arranges entry titles under 14 thematic categories (e.g., "Class, Ethnic, and Racial Identities," "Icons and Symbols," "Religion and Spirituality"), approximating the divisions of the comprehensive bibliography. Black-and-white illustrations, largely from the Library of Congress and Bettmann/Corbis, break up and enhance the text. Masculinity studies blossomed in response and as a complement to feminist scholarship in the late 1970s, making gender studies more holistic. A similar work, Men and Masculinities: A Social, Cultural, and Historical Encyclopedia, ed. by Michael Kimmel and Amy Aronson (2004), attests to the growing market for men's and gender studies. Pleasing layout and good cross-references make Carroll's compendium a welcome addition to collections serving readers of all ages. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All libraries. F. J. Augustyn Jr. Library of Congress