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Controlling Sex in Captivity: POWs and Sexual Desire in the United States during the Second World War (Hardback)
  • Controlling Sex in Captivity: POWs and Sexual Desire in the United States during the Second World War (Hardback)
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Controlling Sex in Captivity: POWs and Sexual Desire in the United States during the Second World War (Hardback)

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£85.00
Hardback 240 Pages / Published: 14/06/2018
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Controlling Sex in Captivity is the first book to examine the nature, extent and impact of the sexual activities of Axis prisoners of war in the United States during the Second World War. Historians have so far interpreted the interactions between captors and captives in America as the beginning of the post-war friendship between the United States, Germany and Italy. Matthias Reiss argues that this paradigm is too simplistic. Widespread fraternisation also led to sexual relationships which created significant negative publicity, and some Axis POWs got caught up in the U.S. Army's new campaign against homosexuals. By focusing on the fight against fraternisation and same-sex activities, this study treads new ground. It stresses that contact between captors and captives was often loaded with conflict and influenced by perceptions of gender and race. It highlights the transnational impact of fraternisation and argues that the prisoners' sojourn in the United States also influenced American society by fuelling a growing concern about social disintegration and sexual deviancy, which eventually triggered a conservative backlash after the war.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781350060616
Number of pages: 240
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Controlling Sex in Captivity is a compelling and highly original account of wartime imprisonment, showing how eroticism was central to life in captivity and had far-reaching implications for American society beyond. Through assiduous research, Reiss sensitively exposes the multifarious nature of sexuality and the complexities surrounding the policing of `deviant' behaviour during this era. This is essential reading for anyone interested in captivity, gender, race relations and America in the Second World War. * Clare Makepeace, Honorary Research Fellow, Birkbeck, University of London, UK *
Through memoirs, interviews, rare personnel files, periodicals, and government records, Reiss investigates the sexual activities of Axis POWs and the U.S. military's extensive efforts to curtail them. Not only does Sex in Captivity add an exciting new chapter to the history of German, Italian, and Japanese POWs, but its examination of heterosexual fraternization and same-sex encounters also richly complicates studies of racial, sexual, gender, ethnic, and national identities in homefront America. Meticulously researched and tightly argued, this fascinating volume will engage readers interested in masculinity and gender studies, the history of sexuality, World War II, and early Cold War civil rights issues. * Christina Jarvis, Professor of English, State University of New York, USA *

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