Analyzing the speeches of the two Bush presidencies, this book presents a new conceptualization of hegemonic masculinity by making the case for a multiplicity of hegemonic masculinites locally, regionally, and globally. This book outlines how state leaders may appeal to particular hegemonic masculinites in their attempt to "sell" wars and thereby camouflage salient political practices in the process. Messerschmidt offers a fresh historical perspective on the war against Iraq over an 18-year period, and he argues that we cannot truly understand this war outside of its gendered (masculine) and historical context.
"A unique interpretation of an ongoing struggle. Summing Up: Highly recommended."
“Modern societies and their war-making capacities place enormous power in the hands of elite leaders. Such people live in tightly guarded spaces, but they are products of the wider society and its problems, including its gender problems.In this remarkable book, James ?W. Messerschmidt shows how the making of hegemonic masculinity plays out in the rhetoric and actions of the two men who have most recently led the USA into war. This work makes an original and important contribution to our understanding of how masculinities operate in large-scale arenas. The book’s analysis of the contrast between the two presidents throws a new light on a widely sensed but little understood dimension of American politics; and helps us understand a deeply embedded problem about masculinity, leadership and violence, which the world must solve if we are to have lasting peace.”
—Professor Raewyn Connell, University of Sydney, Australia, and author of Masculinities and Gender
“Hegemonic Masculinities and Camouflaged Politics provides both a cogent and thorough review of existing theories of hegemonic masculinity and an important contribution to its development…this book is essential reading for scholar of gender especially those interested in masculinities, femininities, and gender hegemony. This book will also be of interest to students and scholars of ethnicity and global politics. Finally, because of the accessibility and clarity of Messerschmidt’s empirical examples, this book would also be a very good choice for required reading in undergraduate courses on gender, ethnicity, and global politics.”
--American Journal of Sociology Vol. 117 No. 01 (July 2011)
“Exactly how quite different masculinites operate in and shape any government's foreign policy actions and justifications is something we are only now trying to grasp. James W. Messerschmidt has given us here a provocative case study of two American presidents, father and son, wielding distinctive masculinized public discourses in order to explain and justify their overseas military interventions. Everyone exploring the complex politics of masculinities and of gender more broadly will be energized by reading this important book.”
—Professor Cynthia Enloe, Clark University, USA, and author of The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire
"James W. Messerschmidt has been producing path-breaking books on men, gender relations and above all crime for many years. His new book expands those concerns into the area of war and armed conflict. Hegemonic Masculinities and Camouflaged Politics: Unmasking the Bush Dynasty and its War against Iraq is a significant contribution to current debates in at least three ways: first, rather than sustaining the idea of a singular hegemonic masculinity, it argues the case for considering hegemonic masculinities in the plural, particularly so in considering regional and global contexts; second, it makes a clear distinction between hegemonic and dominant masculinities; and, third, it demonstrates convincingly that Bush Senior was not really the more civilized one after all. The book will become necessary reading for all following contemporary and indeed contested debates on hegemony masculinity."
—Professor Jeff Hearn, Linköping University, Sweden, Hanken School of Economics, Finland, and University of Huddersfield, England, co-editor of the Handbook of Studies on Men & Masculinities.