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Why Americans always elect men as presidents?It's no secret that there is a wide-and growing-gender gap in American presidential politics. Over the past thirty years, Democrats have made major gains with women, while Republicans have been doing far better with men -especially white working class men.The question is why?In Leading Men, Jackson Katz argues that racial politics and economic anxieties are not enough to explain the dramatic gender divide in American voting patterns. Cutting against the grain of typical analyses of the gender gap that have focused almost exclusively on women, Katz trains his focus the other way around: on the male side of the equation. He offers stunning evidence that American presidential campaigns have evolved into nothing less than quadrennial referenda on competing versions of American manhood. And in the process, he never takes his eye off what this development means for women-as both candidates and citizens.Written in an engaging style that will appeal to general readers, political experts, and activists alike, Katz explores some of the major political developments, news events and campaign strategies that have made the presidency the center of a cultural conversation about manhood over the past few decades. Ranging from the election of the former Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan in 1980, through the election of Barack Obama in 2008, and into the 2012 campaign season, Katz zeroes in on how the very notion of what it means to be "presidential" has in many ways become synonymous with traditional definitions of manhood.Whether he is examining right-wing talk radio's relentless attacks on the masculinity of Democratic candidates, or how fears of appearing weak and vulnerable end up shaping candidates' actual policy positions, Katz offers a new way to understand the power of image in presidential politics. In the end, Leading Men offers nothing less than a paradigm-shifting way to understand the dynamics of presidential elections, and the very nature of the American presidency.
Praise for The Macho Paradox"An honest, intellectually rigorous and insightful work that challenges readers to truly engage in a political discourse that can change lives, communities and nations. "--Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes"Jackson Katz is an American hero! With integrity and courage, he has taken his message--that the epidemic of violence against women is a men's issue--into athletic terms, the military and frat houses across the country. His book explains carefully and convincingly why--and how--men can become part of the solution, and work with women to build a world in which everyone is safer. " --Michael Kimmel, author of Manhood in America, spokesperson, National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS)"If only men would read Katz's book, it could serve as a potent form of male consciousness-raising. "--Publishers Weekly"This book leaves no man behind when it comes to taking violence against women personally. . . . After reading this book you can see how important it is to be a stand-up guy and not a standy-by guy, no matter what race or culture you come from. "--Alfred L. McMichael, 14th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps and now serving as the Sergeant Major of NATO"A candid look at the cultural factors that lend themselves to tolerance of abuse and violence against women. "--Booklist"These pages will empower both men and women to end the scourge of male violence and abuse. Katz knows how to cut to the core of the issues, demonstrating undeniably that stopping the degradation of women should be every man's priority. "--Lundy Bancroft, author of Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
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