From Forgotten Man to Elder Statesman: Richard Nixon and Masculine Ideologies in American Political Culture in the Cold War

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Title: From Forgotten Man to Elder Statesman: Richard Nixon and Masculine Ideologies in American Political Culture in the Cold War
Author: Robertson, Brian R
Abstract: Within the growing field of new cultural history and Cold War studies , Richard Nixon is an ideal approach to understanding the masculine ideologies , in their prescriptive and proscriptive state , that shaped American perceptions of manhood in the twentieth century . The prescriptive state examines the cultural roots of Cold War masculinity at the end of the nineteenth century and the means by which the future President , through work , leisure , sports , and war hoped to evolve from boyhood to manhood . Nixon , like many men from the period , believed boys achieved manhood through physical assertion , violent punishments , physical and emotional struggle , and , of course , through his favorite pastime , sports . At first glance , Nixon may seem to be an odd choice . After all , he’s largely remembered for his profuse sweating , his five o’clock shadow , the Watergate scandal , his Vietnam policies , the opening of China , and his general awkwardness in social settings . Throughout the twentieth century , the masculine ideal alternated between mythic figures such as the cowboy , the rugged outdoorsman , the athlete , the selfless soldier , and the economically independent man . At various times during his lifetime , Nixon conformed to various constructs , which included the forgotten man , the anticommunist , the square , the hardhat , and conceptions of hardheaded détente . In the end , Nixon’s struggle to conform to these paradigms contributed to the destruction of his presidency and his rebirth as elder statesman during the final years of the Cold War .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /ETD -TTU -2011 -05 -1328
Date: 2011-05

Citation

From Forgotten Man to Elder Statesman: Richard Nixon and Masculine Ideologies in American Political Culture in the Cold War. Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /ETD -TTU -2011 -05 -1328 .

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