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By K. Kippola

Exploring the functionality of masculinity off and on the nineteenth-century American level, this booklet seems on the shift from the passionate muscularity to highbrow restraint as no longer a linear trip towards nationwide refinement; but a multitude of masculinities combating concurrently for dominance and popularity.

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Extra resources for Acts of Manhood: The Performance of Masculinity on the American Stage, 1828–1865

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Sinclair Lewis posthumously crowned him “a combination of St. ”68 The theatricalization and commodification of social improvement suggests a connection to the temperance dramas that were so popular midcentury. Dramatic, moral allegories like William H. Smith’s The Drunkard; or, The Fallen Saved (1844) and William W. Pratt’s Ten Nights in a Barroom (1858) presented fallen heroes who had returned to sobriety and social respectability. ”70 William H. Smith, who was well publicized as a former drinker, originally played the title role in his drama and provided the impression that he “was playing his own life” and offering his own sin and failings as a model of masculine reformation.

Lincoln eschewed obvious and theatrical rhetorical pyrotechnics in favor of a perceived simplicity and earnestness that proved more effective. 57 Frequently identified as emerging from humble beginnings, Lincoln furnished urban workers with an illusory connection to frontier, logcabin roots. Lincoln at least outwardly retained the image and behavior of a simple, honest, country man unspoiled by success—continuing to eschew the trappings of wealth or position—seemingly propelled purely by hard work and native wisdom.

Sinclair Lewis posthumously crowned him “a combination of St. ”68 The theatricalization and commodification of social improvement suggests a connection to the temperance dramas that were so popular midcentury. Dramatic, moral allegories like William H. Smith’s The Drunkard; or, The Fallen Saved (1844) and William W. Pratt’s Ten Nights in a Barroom (1858) presented fallen heroes who had returned to sobriety and social respectability. ”70 William H. Smith, who was well publicized as a former drinker, originally played the title role in his drama and provided the impression that he “was playing his own life” and offering his own sin and failings as a model of masculine reformation.

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