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"Elaine Frantz Parsons brings enormous freshness to a topic—American temperance and anti-temperance debates—about which we thought we knew a great deal. Her research encompasses the ways in which class, race, gender, religion, reform, legal discourse, and scientific knowledge shaped understandings of alcohol, efforts to control or eliminate it, and its symbolic uses. Thanks to her skill in simultaneously reading texts deeply and in locating them within social structures, she found far more complexity, ambiguity, and diversity in anti-alcohol arguments than previous scholars perceived. Her book gives far richer understanding of what was at stake in post-Civil War debates over alcohol, linking the concerns of both proponents and opponents of temperance to larger social and cultural forces in late nineteenth-century America."

"A lively and sophisticated intellectual history... Manhood Lost furnishes new evidence for the centrality of the drink debate to nineteenth-century culture."

"Manhood Lost deserves a wide readership among historians of gender, temperance, and the nineteenth-century United States."

"Parsons makes a convincing argument for a much closer connection between discourses of women's rights and temperance in the nineteenth century."

"A fresh perspective on the ways in which nineteenth-century participants in America's temperance debate understood the roles of men and women and the relationships between individuals and their environment."

"Its findings will be embraced enthusiastically by scholars affiliated with the emergent field of alcohol and addiction studies."

"A provocative, fascinating, and elegant book."

"Parsons offers a fresh perspective on one of the more turgid chapters in American history: the temperance movement of the 19th century. She identifies a pervasive genre—the so-called 'drunkard narrative'—and uses it to uncover strains in how contemporaries thought about free will, individual responsibility and sexual inversion."

"An intriguing, well written, and thought-provoking study that deserves a wide audience among American cultural historians."

Manhood Lost
Fallen Drunkards and Redeeming Women in the Nineteenth-Century United States
Publication Date: 27 Jul 2009
Status: Available
Usually ships 2-3 business days after receipt of order.
Trim Size: 6" x 9"
Page Count: 256 pages
Illustrations: 7 halftones
ISBN: 9780801892561