Paperback / softback
February 23, 2018
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.85 Pounds (US)
$26.95 USD
v2.1 Reference
March 5, 2018
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6.00 Inches (US)
1.08 Pounds (US)
$90.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

American Tomboys, 1850-1915

A lot of women remember having had tomboy girlhoods. Some recall it as a time of gender-bending freedom and rowdy pleasures. Others feel the word is used to limit girls by suggesting such behavior is atypical. In American Tomboys, Renée M. Sentilles explores how the concept of the tomboy developed in the turbulent years after the Civil War, and she argues that the tomboy grew into an accepted and even vital transitional figure. In this period, cultural critics, writers, and educators came to imagine that white middle-class tomboys could transform themselves into the vigorous mothers of America's burgeoning empire. In addition to the familiar heroines of literature, Sentilles delves into a wealth of newly uncovered primary sources that manifest tomboys' lived experience, and she asks critical questions about gender, family, race, and nation. Beautifully written and exhaustively researched, American Tomboys explores the cultural history of girls who, for a time, whistled, got into scrapes, and struggled against convention.

About the Author

Renée M. Sentilles is author of Performing Menken: Adah Isaacs Menken and the Birth of American Celebrity.


"American Tomboys departs from the trend of focusing on literary fiction by offering a detailed historical account that contrasts the lived experiences of historic tomboys with their imagined lives in fiction. This contrast lies at the heart of this book's originality."—Laura L. Lovett, author of Conceiving the Future: Pronatalism, Reproduction, and the Family in the United States, 1890–1938

"American Tomboys is an exciting, interdisciplinary look at the ways in which concepts of gender changed from the eve of the Civil War until the onset of World War I. More capacious and probing than previous studies of gender and cultural expression during this period, Sentilles's focus on the tomboy develops a fresh way to think about the issues such a figure raises."—Joy Kasson, author of Buffalo Bill's Wild West: Celebrity, Memory, and Popular History

"This book effectively charts the rapidly changing boundaries between childhood, adolescence, and adulthood during the same period. Readers will gain a nuanced understanding of the tomboy's origins and her complicated racial history . . . This is an essential title for all libraries and all levels."—Choice
University of Massachusetts Press
Childhoods Interdisciplinary Perspectives

9781625343192 : american-tomboys-1850-1915-sentilles
178 Pages
$90.00 USD
9781625343208 : american-tomboys-1850-1915-sentilles
Paperback / softback
168 Pages
$26.95 USD

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