Boyhood in America

An Encyclopedia

by Priscilla Ferguson Clement and Jacqueline S. Reinier, Editors


What in the world is going on with boys? How has their development changed in the last 100 years? From the barefoot innocents of Tom Sawyer's era to the jaded, media-saturated youths of the computer age, the evolution of American boys' lives provides dramatic evidence of a changing society.

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Cover image for Boyhood in America

October 2001


Pages 845
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Popular Culture/General
  • Hardcover



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    Hardcover: £147.00/160,00€/A$245.00

The first reference work to focus on the history of American boyhood from the early 17th century to the present, with careful attention to sports, ethnicity, education, and region.

Boyhood in America: An Encyclopedia provides insight into the origins of the American man. More than a well-researched collection of facts about American boys and boyhood, this illuminating investigation addresses such issues as the influence of children on American culture and the attitudes of adults toward boys as they relate to school, religion, TV programs, and competitive sports.

The book includes analyses of the influence of boys on the creation of toys like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the role of comic books as vehicles for expressing rebellion. It covers topics from the boyhood of Theodore Roosevelt to the exploitation of young boys in show business. This title offers an examination of boys from different racial backgrounds and reveals how they have developed their own cultures.


  • 150+ A–Z signed entries including such wide-ranging topics as cowboys, abuse, drag racing, gangs, and superheroes
  • 124 expert contributors from a myriad of disciplines, including history, cultural studies, media studies, education, literature, sociology, and anthropology


  • Analyzes the changing roles and relationships of boys as family members, wage earners, students, and among peers
  • Addresses historical and contemporary causes of bullying, gang involvement, drug use, and suicide
  • Reviews the inspirational boyhoods of Teddy Roosevelt, Frederick Douglass, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, among others, and discusses how each man's upbringing was representative of the experiences of his generation and social milieu
Author Info

Priscilla Ferguson Clement is professor of history at Pennsylvania State University, Delaware County, PA.

Jacqueline S. Reinier is professor emerita at California State University, Sacramento, CA.



"Each entry includes a list of suggested readings that appear to be both timely and to the point. In addition, at the end of volume 2 there is a 75-page bibliography that would make the set worth its price. . . . Boyhood in America serves as a good introduction to an emerging area of study and is recommended for high school, public, and academic libraries."Booklist

"This work is a worthy contribution to the field of men's studies. . . . The set's information and perspective are unique and make this work valuable for public libraries and gender studies collections in secondary and college level libraries."Library Journal

"Readers will find that one of the main benefits of this set is the historical perspective given by these articles . . . useful work that provides an overview of a somewhat neglected subject and offers bibliographic references to more specific aspects of each topic. Boyhood in America: An Encyclopedia is one of those sets that could equally be at home in circulating collections, particularly in academic and larger public libraries."Against the Grain

Other Titles of Interest

Parenthood in America cover imageAdolescence in America cover imageGirlhood in America cover image
The Family in America cover imageInfancy in America cover image

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