Christopher Oldstone-Moore

Of Beard and Men

The Revealing History of Facial Hair

University of Chicago Press 2015

New Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network March 6, 2018 Michael O. Johnston

Throughout Western history the clean-shaven face has been the default style. However, the ideal of the cleanly-shaven face has been challenged across time in...

Throughout Western history the clean-shaven face has been the default style. However, the ideal of the cleanly-shaven face has been challenged across time in Western society. Facial hair is a symbol of masculinity and the sculpting of facial hair allows men to negotiate their manliness in public spaces. In Of Beard and Men: The Revealing History of Facial Hair (University of Chicago Press, 2015), Dr. Christopher Oldstone-Moore discusses Western history of the beard and how beard movements have been developed to challenge the ideals of masculinity presented in wearing facial hair. He traces the history of the beard from Hadrian in the second century to the more recent bristled resurgence of today. Dr. Oldstone-Moore presents the beard as being a symbol of self-reliance and being unconventional, whereas the clean-shaven face presents a virtuous and sociable man.

Christopher R. Oldstone-Moore, Ph.D. is a Senior Lecturer of History at Wright State University. Dr. Oldstone-Moore’s research focuses on gender and masculinity, and particularly the aspect of the hair and body. He is currently researching the history of adventure.


Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. He earned his doctoral degree in Public Policy and Public Administration from Walden University. His most recent paper, to be presented at the upcoming American Society for Environmental History conference, is titled “Down Lovers Lane: A Brief History of Necking in Cars.”

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