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Monday, October 3, 2011

The Book of Man: a Review

The Book of Man by William Bennett
Review by Mike Robinson

Conservative leader William Bennett employs anecdotes, essays, historical illustrations, and current outlines in order to teach the reader what it is to be a real man. Forming a man from a boy is more difficult now than ever; numerous men live their lives pursuing vain, empty, and purposeless activities as they often neglect the deep profound things that make one a true man. And in “The Book of Man” Bennett patiently admonishes American men concerning their identity predicament: “We need to bring that word ‘virtues’ back and put the word ‘values’ on the shelf. We have a man problem in American society, and we need to address it.”

“The Book of Man” aims to help teach boys and men crucial lessons on the route to becoming a man.

Bennett adds: “Men are not marrying, not making the commitments in the way at they used to.” “Women have said, women I’ve met, daughters of friends of mine in their 20s and 30s, have said, ‘Where are the men? Where are the men? Where are the men we want to marry, where are the men we want to raise our children with?’”

Bennett employs statistics to make his point: The proportion of women to men at the start of college (55% female, 45 % male) rises by the time of graduation to 62 % female, 38 % male; additionally the difficulty is worse at black colleges, where the graduation proportion is 70 % female, and 30 % male. Men ought to aim to live a more robust life: intellectually, spiritually, and in leadership roles.

Sections consist of:

Man in War
Man at Work
Man in Play, Competition, and Leisure

Man with Woman and Children

Man in Prayer and Reflection
And more.

“We are raising a lot of great boys into men in this society… but we’re not raising enough,” continued Bennett; inasmuch as young men are open to a “dizzying array of confusing signals” from social images elevating “hood culture,” to violence on women, and “the gay culture.” “You have to be taught, you have modeling, you have to have mentors, you have to have men in your lives.”
I received this volume at no cost from the publisher through the BookSneez. It was not a prerequisite to write a positive review.

review by Mike Robinson