Presidential wounds: The JFK assassination and the white male body

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2 Scopus citations


Much of the literature about the assassination of John F. Kennedy focuses on and fetishizes the physical body of the president. This article examines how the president's wounded body-as represented in the Zapruder film and the autopsy photos especially- has become the subject of an enduring pornography of violence. In particular, the essay considers how his body has aroused in some white men feelings of not only horror and anxiety but also of exhilaration and guilty pleasure. By studying these contradictory impulses at work, we can draw closer to understanding why the damaged white male body has become, since the 1960s, an object of fantasy for many thousands of Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-582
Number of pages26
JournalMen and Masculinities
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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