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Boys Don't Cry?


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Table of Contents

Introduction What Feels an American? Evident Selves and Alienable Emotions in the New Man's World, by Evan Carton Loving with a Vengeance: Wieland, Familicide and the Crisis of Masculinity in the Early Nation, by Elizabeth Barnes "The Manliest Relations to Men": Thoreau on Privacy, Intimacy, and Writing, by Milette Shamir Manly Tears: Men's Elegies for Children in Nineteenth-Century America, by Eric Haralson How to be a (Sentimental) Race Man: Mourning and Passing in W.E.B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk, by Ryan Schneider The Law of the Heart: Emotional Injury and its Fictions, by Jennifer Travis "The Sort of Thing You Should Not Admit": Hemingway's Aesthetics of Emotional Restraint, by Thomas Strychacz Road Work: Rereading Kerouac's Midcentury Melodrama of Beset Sonhood, by Stephen Davenport Men's Tears and the Roles of Melodrama, by Tom Lutz Men's Liberation, Men's Wounds: Emotion, Sexuality, and the Reconstruction of Masculinity in the 1970s, by Sally Robinson The Politics of Feeling: Men, Masculinity, and Mourning on the Capital Mall, by Judith Newton

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We take for granted the idea that white, middle-class, straight masculinity connotes total control of emotions, emotional inexpressivity, and emotional isolation. That men repress their feelings as they seek their fortunes in the competitive worlds of business and politics. This collection of essays by prominent literary and cultural critics rethinks such commonly held views by addressing the history and politics of emotion in prevailing narratives about masculinity. How did the story of the emotionally stifled U.S. male come into being? What are its political stakes? Will the "release" of straight, white, middle-class masculine emotion remake existing forms of power or reinforce them? This collection forcefully challenges our most entrenched ideas about male emotion.

About the Author

Milette Shamir is lecturer in American literature at Tel Aviv University. Jennifer Travis is assistant professor of English at St. John's University in New York.


This book questions the persistence of the emotionally alienated male in narratives of white, middle-class masculinity and addresses the political and social implications of male emotional expression. Brandeis Review This collection of eleven scholarly essays successfully combines a cultural history of male emotion with detailed readings of male-authored texts... Shamir and Travis's collection discovers male emotionality to be far more intricate than many facile equations of masculine subjectivity... are inclined to allow for. -- Berthold Schoene Modernism/Modernity

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