Making American Boys: Boyology and the Feral Tale

By Kenneth B. Kidd | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

I have often fantasized that writing my acknowledgments would be like throwing a party. Family, friends, and colleagues could meet up, and I could thank everyone at once, champagne glass in hand and party hat askew. These words don't a party make, I know, but for now they will have to suffice.

In a sense, this project began at Friday Mountain Boys Camp, which my family ran for nearly forty years in central Texas. Thanks to the Kidd family, beginning with my grandparents, Von and R. J. “Captain” Kidd. My grandfather, too, was writing a book about boys before he died, and while this book doesn't look much like his, I owe him and Friday Mountain more than I know. I dedicate the book to my parents and sister, to whom I owe everything.

Making American Boys is also derived from a doctoral dissertation codirected by Lora Romero and Wayne Lesser at the University of Texas– Austin. Thanks to Wayne for taking me on, and for his exemplary interest in all matters disciplinary. Committee members Ann Cvetkovich, Marjorie Curry Woods, Katherine Arens, and Shelly Fisher Fishkin were generous with their time and knowledge. I particularly appreciate Katie's warmth and advice, then and now. Thanks also to Lance Bertelsen, Jerome Bump, and Edmund Farrell for their example. Among my grad school pals, Susan Dauer, Kay Harris, Mary Lenard, and Robby Sulcer especially shared their humor and love and sustain me still. Having Susan just down the road is one of the best things about living in Florida. Ed Madden remains the one-stop source for all news academic and not.

I have been fortunate to work in two English departments in which collegiality and intellectual life go hand in hand. At Eastern Michigan University, many folks cheered me on, among them Nancy Allen, Gilbert Cross, Marcia Dalbey, Craig Dionne, Jim Dolan, Laura George, Sally McCracken, Michael McGuire, Kate Mehuron, Sheila Most, Sandy Norton, and Marty Shichtman. Ian Wojcik-Andrews has been the best children's literature colleague I could hope for, and Rhonda Kinney has taught me much about political science and friendship as we dined our way through Ann Arbor. At EMU I was granted a faculty research fellowship, thanks in large part to my chair, Marcia Dalbey.

At the University of Florida, English chairs Ira Clark and John Leavey have likewise supported me generously. Special thanks to John for enabling a semester's leave for the book's completion. A summer research grant from the University of Florida also provided key support. At Florida I've been fortunate to count among friends and colleagues Apollo Amoko, Efraín Barradas, Kathryn Baker, Roger Beebe, Patrick Brennan, Marsha Bryant, John Cech,

-ix-

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Making American Boys: Boyology and the Feral Tale
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Boyology or Boy Analysis ii
  • Making American Boys - Boyology and the Feral Tale iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Boyhood for Beginners: An Introduction 1
  • 1. Farming for Boys 23
  • 2. Bad Boys and Men of Culture 49
  • 3. Wolf-Boys, Street Rats, and the Vanishing Sioux 87
  • 4. Father Falnagan's Boys Town 111
  • 5. from Freud's Wolf Man to Teen Wolf 135
  • 6. Reinventing the Boy Problem 167
  • Notes 191
  • Works Cited 221
  • Index 237
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