Him/Her/Self: Gender Identities in Modern America

Him/Her/Self: Gender Identities in Modern America
Genre: 
Language: 
ISBN10: 
0801859212
ISBN13: 
9780801859212
Pages: 
376
Published: 
December 14th 1998 by Johns Hopkins University Press
Rating: 
4.11

When first published in 1975, Him/Her/Self was a pathbreaking book. At a time when scholars were just beginning to explore women's history, Peter Filene expanded his inquiry to include both both genders. He was the first to claim the men, too, had a history grounded in gendered experience. Since then much has changed, not only in the lives and attitudes of American men and women, but in the ways that historians think about gender. But Him/Her/Self remains the only book that analyzes the interactions between American men and women comprehensively during the past century.

In this third edition, Filene brings his concise and forceful analysis of 20th-century gender history up to the present. He describes the new men's movements of the 1980s and 1990s, ranging from pro-feminist to anti-feminist. He expands his discussion of the gay and lesbian experience, especially in the years since AIDS. He assesses the women's movement, weighing both its achievements and the antifeminist reactions of the past quarter-century. Finally, he enlarges the conceptual scope of the book, focusing not only on social roles of men and women but also on their dynamic sense of identity—of self in historical time.

"When Him/Her/Self first appeared, women's history was in its infancy. Gender as a category of analysis was barely a glow on the scholarly horizon, and the idea that manhood was a topic of historical investigation was practically unimagined. In that early dawn of feminist scholarship, Peter Filene's pioneering work was a godsend. It was essential reading for both undergraduate and graduate students eager to understand the workings of gender in history and desperate for models of scholarship that broke the mold of 'traditional' historical writing. Peter Filene's path breaking study did both."—Elaine Tyler May, from the Foreword

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