Her Best Shot by Laura Browder
Women and Guns in America

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Synopsis

The gun-toting woman holds enormous symbolic significance in American culture. For over two centuries, women who pick up guns have disrupted the popular association of guns and masculinity, spurring debates about women's capabilities for violence as well as their capacity for full citizenship. In Her Best Shot, Laura Browder examines the relationship between women and guns and the ways in which the figure of the armed woman has served as a lightning rod for cultural issues.

Utilizing autobiographies, advertising, journalism, novels, and political tracts, among other sources, Browder traces appearances of the armed woman across a chronological spectrum from the American Revolution to the present and an ideological spectrum ranging from the Black Panthers to right-wing militias. Among the colorful characters presented here are Deborah Sampson, who disguised herself as a man to fight in the American Revolution; Pauline Cushman, who posed as a Confederate to spy for Union forces during the Civil War; Wild West sure-shot Annie Oakley; African explorer Osa Johnson; 1930s gangsters Ma Barker and Bonnie Parker; and Patty Hearst, the hostage-turned-revolutionary-turned-victim. With her entertaining and provocative analysis, Browder demonstrates that armed women both challenge and reinforce the easy equation that links guns, manhood, and American identity.

<!--copy for pb cover:<BR>The gun-toting woman holds enormous symbolic significance in American culture. Laura Browder examines the relationship between women and guns in America and the ways in which the figure of the armed woman has served as a lightning rod for cultural issues. In an entertaining and provocative analysis, she looks at women including Deborah Sampson, who disguised herself as a man to fight in the American Revolution; Pauline Cushman, who posed as a Confederate to spy for Union forces during the Civil War; Wild West sure-shot Annie Oakley; African explorer Osa Johnson; 1930s gangsters Ma Barker and Bonnie Parker; and Patty Hearst, the hostage-turned-revolutionary-turned-victim.<BR>-->
 

About Laura Browder

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aura Browder is professor of English at Virginia Commonwealtaura Browder is professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is author, most recently, of "Her Best Shoh University. She is author, most recently, of "Her Best Shot: Women and Guns in America", and is writer and coproducer t: Women and Guns in America", and is writer and coproducer of the documentary film "Gone to Texas: The Lives of Forrestof the documentary film "Gone to Texas: The Lives of Forrest Carter", based on her book "Slippery Characters: Ethnic Imp Carter", based on her book "Slippery Characters: Ethnic Impersonators and American Identities" (both books UNC Press). ersonators and American Identities" (both books UNC Press).
 
Published October 2, 2006 by The University of North Carolina Press. 301 pages
Genres: History, Gay & Lesbian. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Her Best Shot

Publishers Weekly

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Browder discusses a series of " armed celebrities"—from Wild West stars like Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane to outlaws such as Bonnie Parker (of Bonnie and Clyde fame) and Patty Hearst—and examines the contradictory views about women soldiers, the gun-slinging pioneer mother "lioness" protecting...

Jul 10 2006 | Read Full Review of Her Best Shot: Women and Guns...

Project MUSE

Browder draws no connection between the symbolism of women and guns and the actual gun culture in America or women gun owners specifically.

| Read Full Review of Her Best Shot: Women and Guns...

Project MUSE

Rather than attempting a comprehensive portrait of women soldiers, armed women, or even gun–carrying female celebrities, Browder focuses on a few paradigmatic cases to examine the influence of guns on images of women as well as on debates about citizenship, gender stereotypes, and female capacity.

| Read Full Review of Her Best Shot: Women and Guns...

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