US Macmillan Tradebooks for Courses

The Feminization of American Culture

Ann Douglas; With a New Preface by the Author

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Feminization of American Culture Download image

ISBN10: 0374525587
ISBN13: 9780374525583

Trade Paperback

416 Pages



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This modern classic by one of our leading scholars seeks to explain the values prevalent in today's mass culture by tracing them back to their roots in the Victorian era. As religion lost its hold on the public mind, clergymen and educated women, powerless and insignificant in the society of the time, together exerted a profound effect on the only areas open to their influence: the arts and literature. Women wrote books that idealized the very qualities that kept them powerless: timidity, piety, and a disdain for competition. Sentimental values that permeated popular literature continue to influence modern culture, preoccupied as it is with glamour, banal melodrama, and mindless consumption.

This paperback edition, featuring a new preface, will engage and challenge all students with its persuasive reasoning and provocative theories. As Richard Bernstein of The New York Times has noted, Douglas's "remarkable scholarship is going to set the standard for a long time to come."


Praise for The Feminization of American Culture

"Admirably documented and ambitious . . . [The] examination of the perils of sentimentalism and the legacy it bequeathed modern culture is excellent."—Newsweek

"An exciting, readable book."—The New Republic

"A feminist work in the best sense of that word; its author laments the violence done in the name of the gender to both men and women . . . A responsible and passionate act of scholarship."—The Atlantic Monthly

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Ann Douglas; With a New Preface by the Author

Ann Douglas, author of Terrible Honesty: Mongrel Manhattan in the 1920s, has taught American studies at Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia, where she is now Parr Professor of English and Comparative Literature. She lives in New York City.