cover of book

Manhood on the Line: Working-Class Masculinities in the American Heartland
by Stephen Meyer
University of Illinois Press, 2016
eISBN: 978-0-252-09825-3 | Paper: 978-0-252-08154-5 | Cloth: 978-0-252-04005-4
Library of Congress Classification HD8039.A82M4659 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 331.76292220973

Stephen Meyer charts the complex vagaries of men reinventing manhood in twentieth century America. Their ideas of masculinity destroyed by principles of mass production, workers created a white-dominated culture that defended its turf against other racial groups and revived a crude, hypersexualized treatment of women that went far beyond the shop floor. At the same time, they recast unionization battles as manly struggles against a system killing their very selves. Drawing on a wealth of archival material, Meyer recreates a social milieu in stunning detail--the mean labor and stolen pleasures, the battles on the street and in the soul, and a masculinity that expressed itself in violence and sexism but also as a wellspring of the fortitude necessary to maintain one's dignity while doing hard work in hard world.
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