December 30, 2005 James Gilbert to Discuss Masculinity in the 1950s on Jan. 19

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

James Gilbert will discuss his book “Men in the Middle: Searching for Masculinity in the 1950s” at noon on Thursday, Jan. 19, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The event, which is sponsored by the Library’s John W. Kluge Center, is free and open to the public; no reservations are required.

“Men in the Middle” draws on the biographies of men who explored manhood either in their writings or in their public personas. Gilbert examines the stories of several of the most important figures of the day—revivalist Billy Graham, playwright Tennessee Williams, sociologist David Riesman, sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, Playboy magazine’s literary editor Auguste Comet Spectorsky, and TV-sitcom dad Ozzie Nelson—and shows how each of these stories enhances the understanding of masculinity in the 1950s.

Gilbert, distinguished professor in the department of history at the University of Maryland, College Park, is the author of numerous books, including “Explorations of American Culture,” “Redeeming Culture: American Religion in an Age of Science,” “Perfect Cities: Chicago’s Utopias in the 1890s” and “A Cycle of Outrage: America’s Reaction to the Juvenile Delinquent in the 1950s.”

Gilbert has been a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Rutgers University Center for Historical Analysis and the Rockefeller Center at Bellagio, Italy. He has been a visiting lecturer at Columbia Teachers College, the University of Paris and Sydney University and has held the Walt Whitman Chair at Amsterdam University. He is the founder of the Center for Historical Studies at the University of Maryland.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000. The center brings leading scholars together with key Washington policymakers to discuss important world issues, drawing on the Library’s incomparable national and international collections. For information about the fellowships, grants and programs offered by the Kluge Center, visit


PR 05-264
ISSN 0731-3527