Muscular, fearless, youthful, athletic—the World War II soldier embodied masculine ideals and represented the manhood of the United States. In The Male Body at War, Christina Jarvis examines the creation of this national symbol, from military recruitment posters to Hollywood war films to the iconic flag-raisers at Iwo Jima. A poignant selection of illustrations brings togeMuscular, fearless, youthful, athletic—the World War II soldier embodied masculine ideals and represented the manhood of the United States. In The Male Body at War, Christina Jarvis examines the creation of this national symbol, from military recruitment posters to Hollywood war films to the iconic flag-raisers at Iwo Jima. A poignant selection of illustrations brings together comics, advertisements, media images, and government propaganda intended to impress U.S. citizens and foreign nations with America's strength.Jarvis recognizes, however, that the male body was more than a mere symbol. During the war, the nation literally invested its survival in the corps of servicemen, and the armed forces set about crafting them into soldiers. Drawing upon medical journals, War Department documents, and government health reports, Jarvis scrutinizes the ways in which physical inspections defined male bodies by fitness and race while training molded those bodies for action. At the same time, she gives servicemen a voice through war memoirs and a survey of over 130 veterans. Her searching analysis reveals not only how the men mediated popular culture and military regimen to forge an understanding of their own masculinity but how, in the face of dead and wounded comrades, they tempered such body-centered ideals with an emphasis on compassion and tenderness.Theoretically sophisticated and methodologically innovative, The Male Body at War makes a major contribution to the literature on the body as a cultural construction. With its compelling narrative and engaging style, it will appeal to a broad range of readers with interests in gender studies as well as to students of American history and culture....
|Title||:||The Male Body at War: American Masculinity during World War II|
|Number of Pages||:||258 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Male Body at War: American Masculinity during World War II Reviews
Theory is bad enough when sloppily applied, but as a veteran I often found myself shaking my head at the (masturbatory) use of theory to interrogate questions which do not require theory to answer intelligently. For example, leave it to practitioners of postmodern theory to develop convoluted explanations for one's embarrassment at shitting and pissing oneself in combat or after being wounded.The way Jarvis wields her evidence is squishy, too; this is clearly a book written by someone accustomed to the kind of "deep reading" that passes for compelling scholarship in literary theory circles, but doesn't suffice for historical work. Jarvis makes some claims which suggest, at best, a lack of nuance in her understanding of American military history leading up to and during WWII.Her discussion of FDR's two bodies - his actual body, and his "body politic" - was interesting, but unfortunately mainly serves to highlight the complete lack of attention to Theodore Roosevelt and his philosophy of The Strenuous Life, which was a landmark in the development of American masculinity. (Some day an excellent book will be written on the presidents Roosevelt and their embodiment of a binary conception of American masculinity.) Jarvis repeats this tendency to raise an interesting point, then fail to adequately follow through on analysis or implications, throughout the book.This is not an irredeemable book, but it's not one I would place on the reading list of anyone interested in masculinity at war.
I really enjoyed the first two chapters but found myself getting bored with the later half. The section about the military's efforts to keep out homosexuals was slightly amusing, just imagine how ridiculous giving a gag reflex test must've been. I suppose my favorite bit was in the first half when Jarvis discusses the body politic and how FDR's body was hidden from the public.