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The Male Body: A New Look at Men in Public and in Private

The Male Body: A New Look at Men in Public and in Private Cover

ISBN13: 9780374280659
ISBN10: 0374280657
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An exciting new popular study of the male body--fresh, honest, and full of revelations

In this surprising, candid cultural analysis, Susan Bordo begins with a frank, tender look at her own father's body and goes on to perceptively scrutinize the presentation of maleness in everyday life.

Men's (and women's) ideas about men's bodies are heavily influenced by society's expectations, and Bordo helps us understand where those ideas come from. In chapters on the penis (in all its incarnations), fifties Hollywood, male beauty standards, and sexual harassment, and in discussions of topics ranging from Marlon Brando and Boogie Nights to Philip Roth and Lady Chatterley's Lover, Bordo offers fresh and unexpected insights. Always--whether she is examining Michael Jordan or Humbert Humbert, the butch phallus or her own grade-school experiences--she rejects rigid categories in favor of an honest, nuanced version of men as flesh-and-blood human beings.

Book News Annotation:

Bordo (humanities, English, women's studies, U. of Kentucky) examines sociocultural attitudes toward the male body, with reference to such diverse sources as Vladimir Nabokov, Calvin Klein, and Jerry Seinfeld. One section demythologizes the phallus; another demonstrates the pervasive influence of gay and African-American cultural attitudes on contemporary attitudes toward masculinity and male beauty. Also explored are differences and, especially, similarities in the ways men and women view gender roles and the opposite sex.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


Includes bibliographical references (p. [337]-347) and index.

About the Author

Susan Bordo has written and edited several books, including Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky.

Table of Contents

  1. In hiding and on display
  2. Hard and soft
  3. Does size matter? --What is a phallus? --Fifties Hollywood: the rebel male crashes the wedding
  4. Gay men's revenge
  5. Beauty (re)discovers the male body
  6. Gentleman or beast?: the double bind of masculinity
  7. Sexual harasser is a bully, not a sex fiend
  8. Beautiful girls, from both sides now
  9. Humbert and Lolita
  10. Coda: my father the feminist.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

milalucie, April 10, 2007 (view all comments by milalucie)
Beauty (Re)discovers the Male Body is an interesting book. I felt a strong connection to
the idea that the rediscovery of the male body is mainly due to consumerism. Just
another way to make money. The advertising industry realized that making women feel
bad about their bodies was an excellent way to make money. Why not try this with men
as well and double the profit? Maybe we can get the kids in on it next. I feel concern
when reading Bordo’s work. Is everything that America touches predisposition to have a
monetary value? Are we really just dollar signs to the rich and wealthy who have
positions of power? I feel a sense of regret knowing that we are constantly trying to live
up to such high body expectations and some will never be able to accomplish their lofty
goals. What is wrong with a “little bit” of fat anyway? It is an evolutionary tactic that helps
us feed ourselves when food isn’t readily available. Who are we to say that fat is
unnecessary when thousands of years of adapting has provided us with it?
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

A New Look at Men in Public and in Private
Bordo, Susan
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
New York :
Men's Studies - Masculinity
Body, human
Masculinity (psychology)
Nude in art
Men in popular culture
Masculinity in popular culture
Body, Human -- Social aspects.
Gender Studies
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Includes 45 black-and-white photos throu
8.26 x 5.73 x 1.025 in

Related Subjects

Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Literary and Cultural Studies

The Male Body: A New Look at Men in Public and in Private
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Product details 368 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374280659 Reviews:
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