Guys Like Us
Citing Masculinity in Cold War Poetics
"Evoking Baudelaire's flaneur in his analysis of Whitman and O'Hara, Davidson becomes something of a flaneur himself, strolling through the bustling, vibrant excesses of twentieth-century cultural production, and sampling with astonishing grace, facility, and acumen the wealth of significations around that central sign, masculinity, in a way that . . . is always richly challenging and frequently illuminating. His degree of cultural literacy is astonishing. . . . A thought-provoking work that sreaks to a variety of disciplines: American history, literary criticism, and gender studies."
"[Guys Like Us] advance[s] the historical study of poetics and poetry significantly."
“Guys Like Us seeks to re-assess the historiography of the policing of gender roles and its relation to foreign state affairs during the Cold War era in the United States. . . . Davidson’s text is innovative in that it analyses the role of postwar countercultural poetry and its adjacent literary criticism in the construction of alternative models of masculinity. . . . [Davidson] privileges the poetic genre because he considers it the ideal site to contest ideologies through literature. Consequently, the author explains that the careful reading of poems produced during the Cold War era provides an accurately complex picture of postwar America—a picture which has become blurred by the convenient forgetfulness resulting from a manichean defense of so-called “moral” and, by extension, “democratic” values from the late 1940s to the late 1960s.”
1 Compulsory Homosociality: Charles Olson, Jack Spicer, and the Gender of Poetics
2 From Margin to Mainstream: Postwar Poetry and the Politics of Containment
3 The Lady from Shanghai: California Orientalism and "Guys Like Us"
4 "When the world strips down and rouges up": Redressing Whitman
5 The Changing Name: Writing Gender in the Black Arts Nation Script
6 Definitive Haircuts: Female Masculinity in Elizabeth Bishop and Sylvia Plath
7 Hunting among Stones: Poetry, Pedagogy, and the Pacific Rim
Afterword: Moving Borders
List of Works Cited