306 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 17 halftones, notes, bibl., index
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-2765-6
Published: April 2016
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-2766-3
Published: March 2016
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By examining the BSA’s national reach and influence, Jordan demonstrates surprising ethnic diversity and religious inclusiveness in the organization's founding decades. For example, Scouting officials’ preferred urban Catholic and Jewish working-class immigrants and "modernizable" African Americans and Native Americans over rural whites and other traditional farmers, who were seen as too "backward" to lead an increasingly urban-industrial society. In looking at the revered organization’s past, Jordan finds that Scouting helped to broaden mainstream American manhood by modernizing traditional Victorian values to better suit a changing nation.
About the Author
Benjamin René Jordan is associate professor in history and political science and director of the Living Learning Communities at Christian Brothers University.
For more information about Benjamin René Jordan, visit the Author Page.
“An accessibly written and delightfully illustrated history of America’s largest and most enduring youth organization.”--Journal of American History
“In his splendid new book . . . Jordan explores how the Boy Scouts of America stepped into this realm of gender formation and forged a new sense of American masculinity for the modern age.”--American Historical Review
“Benjamin René Jordan delivers well on his central thesis, complicating previous arguments that Scouting was centrally about primitive virility and martial aggression.”--Journal of Southern History
“Jordan’s story of a transforming and adopting masculinity is compelling. His work will reward scholars of gender, of the early twentieth century, and of the ways that popular organizations managed the transition to industrial modernity.”--Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
“An extensively-researched book that should be essential reading to anyone interested in early-twentieth-century American masculinity.”--Journal of Social History
"A splendid reinterpretation of the BSA's early years and growth."--H-Net Reviews
Multimedia & Links
Watch: Jordan talks about the early days of the Boy Scouts. (2/12/2016, running time 10:31)
Read: Jordan's article "What History Tells Us about Boy Scouts and Inclusion," at theconversation.com. (3/27/2017)
Read: Jordan's article "How summer camps and Scout groups turn children into citizens," at Aeon. (9/26/2016)
Read: Jordan writes at History News Network: "The Boy Scout Litmus Test Both Veep Candidates Had to Pass". (9/12/2016)