Intimate States - Gender, Sexuality and Governance in Modern US History Book

Intimate States - Gender, Sexuality and Governance in Modern US History Book

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The last few decades have seen a surge of historical scholarship that analyzes state power and expands our understanding of governmental authority and the ways we experience it. At the same time, studies of the history of intimate life―marriage, sexuality, child-rearing, and family―also have blossomed. Yet these two literatures have not been considered together in a sustained way.

This book, edited and introduced by three preeminent American historians, aims to close this gap, offering powerful analyses of the relationship between state power and intimate experience in the United States from the Civil War to the present. The fourteen essays that make up Intimate States argue that “intimate governance”―the binding of private daily experience to the apparatus of the state―should be central to our understanding of modern American history.

Our personal experiences have been controlled and arranged by the state in ways we often don’t even see, the authors and editors argue; correspondingly, contemporary government has been profoundly shaped by its approaches and responses to the contours of intimate life, and its power has become so deeply embedded into daily social life that it is largely indistinguishable from society itself. Intimate States makes a persuasive case that the state is always with us, even in our most seemingly private moments.

"A pioneering work that puts the history of the American state into direct and sophisticated conversation with the history of gender and sexuality. Brilliantly conceived and executed, Intimate States compels us to deconstruct the categories of private and public, to theorise in new ways about the realm of the intimate, and to rethink the sources and sway of government power. This collection will profoundly shape future studies of the American state."
Gary Gerstle, University of Cambridge

"Canaday, Cott, and Self have not only succeeded in brilliantly underscoring the importance of studying intimacy and state power anew--they have also curated a distinct collection of essays that decisively answers this charge."
Kali Gross, Emory University

"Intimate States is a stunning achievement, challenging conventional thinking that sharply divides public from private; sex and gender from politics; identity from material concerns. In its breadth and depth, originality, and cohesiveness, Intimate States also manages to avoid the usual pitfalls of edited volumes; while far-ranging, it offers a single and coherent argument of profound importance."
Deborah Dinner, Emory University

Author Edited by Margot Canaday & Nancy F Cott
Format Paperback
Pages 360
ISBN 9780226794754


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