The Globe and Anchor Men
U.S. Marines and American Manhood in the Great War Era
Sales Date: March 22, 2024
416 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
- Published: March 2024
- Published: March 2024
Throughout the World War I era, the United States Marine Corps’ efforts to promote their culture of manliness directed attention away from the dangers of war and military life and towards its potential benefits. As a military institution that valued physical, mental, and moral strength, the Marines created an alluring image for young men seeking a rite of passage into manhood. Within this context, the potential for danger and death only enhanced the appeal.
Mark Ryland Folse’s The Globe and Anchor Men offers the first in-depth history of masculinity in the Marine Corps during the World War I era. White manhood and manliness constituted the lens through which the Marines of this period saw themselves, how they wanted the public to see them, and what they believed they contributed to society. Their highly gendered culture helped foster positive public relations, allowing Marines to successfully promote the potential benefits of becoming a Marine over the costs, even in times of war.
By examining how the Marine Corps’ culture, public image, and esteem within U.S. society evolved, Folse demonstrates that the American people measured the Marines’ usefulness not only in terms of military readiness but also according to standards of manliness set by popular culture and by Marines themselves. The Marines claimed to recruit the finest specimens of American manhood and make them even better: strong, brave, and morally upright. They claimed the Marine would be a man with a wealth of travel and experience behind him. He would be a proud and worthy citizen who had earned respect through his years of service, training, and struggle in the Marine Corps. Becoming a Marine benefited the man, and the new Marine benefited the nation. As men became manlier, the country did, too.
“It is impossible to understand the Marine Corps without appreciating how much gender has shaped its institutional culture. By placing gender at the heart of his analysis, Mark Folse’s sophisticated work thus greatly advances our understanding of the Marine Corps’ history in the twentieth century.”—Heather P. Venable, author of How the Few Became the Proud: Crafting the Marine Corps Mystique 1874–1918
“A fascinating history of how the few became the proud, Globe and Anchor Men exposes the Marine Corps' efforts to secure legitimacy, funding, and public approval by idolizing Marines as the epitome of physical, mental, and moral manliness. Chivalrous, brave, and strong, the ideal Marine both inspired and excluded, adapted and retrenched, and left a legacy that continues to ripple today.”—Kara Dixon Vuic, author of The Girls Next Door: Bringing the Home Front to the Front Lines and Officer, Nurse, Woman: The Army Nurse Corps in the Vietnam War
“Does the Marine Corps make men or does manhood make the Marines? The answer is complex, and it is both, as Mark Folse shows us in his well-researched study of U.S. Marine Corps identity formation in the early twentieth century. Marine Corps identity changed as American ideas about masculinity shifted, and Folse convincingly illustrates that there is not a fixed definition of what it means to be a soldier.”—Heather Marie Stur, author of Beyond Combat: Women and Gender in the Vietnam War Era
List of Figures
Part I: Marine Corps Identity
1. Elements of the U.S. Marine Corps
2. With Hart Two-Fisted Hands
Part II: The Great War
3. A “Sure-’Nough” Man
4. the Cleanest and Strongest of Our Young Manhood
Part III. Consequences of War and Counterinsurgency
6. An Invitation to Brave Men
7. To Build Up a Class of Men
8. the Marine Corps “Trys to Make Men”