Southern Manhood
Perspectives on Masculinity in the Old South

Edited by Craig Thompson Friend and Lorri Glover

How diverse southerners confronted expectations of manhood


"An important and timely contribution to the burgeoning field of gender history. This rich and compelling collection will take its place on the bookshelves of every serious scholar of gender in the American experience."
—Anya Jabour, author of Marriage in the Early Republic: Elizabeth and William Wirt and the Companionate Ideal

"The essays in Southern Manhood are joined by an attention to race and evolving market forces. What emerges from this are often subtle arguments attuned to southern men's overlapping concerns with class and racial identity as they negotiated their position as men within local societies."
—Matthew Basso, editor of Across the Great Divide: Cultures of Manhood in the American West

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Spanning the era from the American Revolution to the Civil War, these nine pathbreaking original essays explore the unexpected, competing, or contradictory ways in which southerners made sense of manhood. Employing a rich variety of methodologies, the contributors look at southern masculinity within African American, white, and Native American communities; on the frontier and in towns; and across boundaries of class and age.

Until now, the emerging subdiscipline of southern masculinity studies has been informed mainly by conclusions drawn from research on how the planter class engaged issues of honor, mastery, and patriarchy. But what about men who didn’t own slaves or were themselves enslaved? These essays illuminate the mechanisms through which such men negotiated with overarching conceptions of masculine power. Here the reader encounters Choctaw elites struggling to maintain manly status in the market economy, black and white artisans forging rival communities and competing against the gentry for social recognition, slave men on the southern frontier balancing community expectations against owner domination, and men in a variety of military settings acting out community expectations to secure manly status.

As Southern Manhood brings definition to an emerging subdiscipline of southern history, it also pushes the broader field in new directions. All of the essayists take up large themes in antebellum history, including southern womanhood, the advent of consumer culture and market relations, and the emergence of sectional conflict.

Page count: 256 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $26.95

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Craig Thompson Friend is an associate professor of history and Director of Public History at North Carolina State University. He is coeditor of Southern Manhood: Perspectives on Masculinity in the Old South (Georgia). Lorri Glover is the John Francis Bannon Professor of History at Saint Louis University. She is the author of Southern Sons: Becoming Men in the New Nation and, with Daniel Blake Smith, The Shipwreck that Saved Jamestown.