The Image of Man: The Creation of Modern Masculinity

Paperback | September 1, 1998

byGeorge L. Mosse

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What does it mean to be a man? What does it mean to be manly? How has our notion of masculinity changed over the years? In this book, noted historian George L. Mosse provides the first historical account of the masculine stereotype in modern Western culture, tracing the evolution of the ideaof manliness to reveal how it came to embody physical beauty, courage, moral restraint, and a strong will. This stereotype, he finds, originated in the tumultuous changes of the eighteenth century, as Europe's dominant aristocrats grudgingly yielded to the rise of the professional, bureaucratic, andcommercial middle classes. Mosse reveals how the new bourgeoisie, faced with a bewildering, rapidly industrialized world, latched onto the knightly ideal of chivalry. He also shows how the rise of universal conscription created a "soldierly man" as an ideal type. In bringing his examination up tothe present, Mosse studies the key historical roles of the so-called "fairer sex" (women) and "unmanly men" (Jews and homosexuals) in defining and maintaining the male stereotype, and considers the possible erosion of that stereotype in our own time.

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The Image of Man provides the first historical account of the masculine stereotype in modern Western culture. Tracing the evolution of manliness to reveal how it came to embody physical beauty, courage and strong will, the book looks at where these ideas came from and how they are still perpetuated in modern society.

From the Publisher

What does it mean to be a man? What does it mean to be manly? How has our notion of masculinity changed over the years? In this book, noted historian George L. Mosse provides the first historical account of the masculine stereotype in modern Western culture, tracing the evolution of the ideaof manliness to reveal how it came to embody ...

The late George L. Mosse was Bascom-Weinstein Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and also Koebner Professor of History Emeritus at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He wrote many highly regarded books, including Fallen Soldiers: Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars (Oxford University Press, 1990).

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8.19 × 5.39 × 0.79 inPublished:September 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195126602

ISBN - 13:9780195126600

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From Our Editors

The Image of Man provides the first historical account of the masculine stereotype in modern Western culture. Tracing the evolution of manliness to reveal how it came to embody physical beauty, courage and strong will, the book looks at where these ideas came from and how they are still perpetuated in modern society.

Editorial Reviews

"Mosse...has immeasurably strengthened the position of those who believe that masculinity is socially constructed by showing who constructed it and how. His notion of the transcendent power of a visual symbol--a particular 'image of man'--is original and ingenious; he may well beright."--Journal of American History