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Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era Hardcover – November 5, 2013

3.3 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Kimmel believes it comes down to aggrieved entitlement: the school shootings perpetrated by middle-class white male students, the men’s-rights movement, white supremacists, the fathers’-rights groups, etc. There is, he elaborates, a strong (and getting dangerously stronger) feeling, among some white male Americans, that they are losing their place in society. The era of entitlement, when the good jobs and the best stuff was the white male American’s due, has passed, replaced by a society in which—at least in the skewed view of the people about whom Kimmel is writing—white males are being systematically marginalized, passed over in favor of minorities and women. (For example, the men’s-rights movement, the author says, is based on the belief that the oppression of men is a feminist conspiracy.) The angry white man, says Kimmel, isn’t able, or perhaps willing, to face the simple truth: the era of entitlement is over. The book offers no real solution to the problem, delivering instead a lively, frequently scary look at a group of people who are trying, ever more desperately, to hang onto a world that no longer exists. --David Pitt

Review

"Kimmel, a sociologist at Stony Brook University in New York, is unusually adventurous for an academic... Kimmel maintains a delicate balance when handling his sources... In one fascinating chapter Kimmel explores the changing nature of school violence... Kimmel's balance of critical distance and empathy works best in his chapter on the fathers' rights movement, a subset of the men's rights movement."
—New York Times Book Review

"[Kimmel's] book exposes an urgent need for a strong, appealing, sensible Left movement that addresses the dispossession of America' s angry men and replaces it with a movement that respects our needs emotionally, politically and economically."—Truthout

"An interesting and ranging discussion of the dark side of modern manhood with America's best expert on the topic. That quality is what makes the book so special, interesting, and easy to read. Kimmel blends personal stories with careful, journalistic study; he shifts between accessible academic and wide-ranged social commentarian; he explains complex sociology with the accessibility of a fun high school teacher in a small seminar class.... Whether you care about men, boys, masculinity, gender, feminism, violence, prejudice, post-industrial economics, or the frustrating, never-ending catastrophes that seem to make up modern American political life, Angry White Men is worth a read."
—The Good Men Project

"[Angry White Men] delivers... a lively, frequently scary look at a group of people who are trying, ever more desperately, to hang onto a world that no longer exists."
—Booklist

"Kimmel's writing is open and engaging, reminiscent of a conversation with friends in a bar... Another worthwhile examination of important issues affecting men and, by extension, everyone else, from an author known for his insight into the subject."
—Kirkus Reviews

“Being white and male has brought unfair power for so long that some think it’s natural, both among those claiming it and those suffering from it. Michael Kimmel has done us the life-saving favor of naming this delusion that may endanger us more than any other. From executives for whom no amount of money is enough to white supremacists for whom no amount of power is enough, from U.S. wars in which men die to U.S. domestic violence in which even more women die, this illness is lethal for us all. Angry White Men is a brave, sane, compassionate, and rescuing book.”
—Gloria Steinem, feminist activist and author

“White men still have most of the power and most of the money, so why do so many of them feel so victimized? In this fascinating guided tour of the world of angry white men—Glenn Beck fans, white supremacists, school shooters, men’s rights activists—pioneer sociologist of masculinity Michael Kimmel shows how ‘aggrieved entitlement’ leads them to blame people of color, immigrants, liberals, intellectuals, the government, and above all, women, for a society that is changing fast and, they fear, leaving them behind. No dry academic study, Angry White Men is full of shrewd political analysis, empathy, and humor.”
—Katha Pollitt, columnist for The Nation

“Michael Kimmel has written a comprehensive study of working and middle-class white men and described their collective grievances with insight and compassion. In regard to those among them who ally with the Far Right, he is equally insightful but justifiably more critical; his analysis of their misdirected rage at minorities and women is entirely persuasive. I enthusiastically recommend Angry White Men to the wide readership it has amply earned.”
—Martin Duberman, professor of history emeritus at the Graduate School of the City University of New York

“Men and women should read Angry White Men. Women will gain insights into the sources of male anger and men will learn that increasing gender equality does not pose a threat to their masculinity. Rather, in this rapidly changing society, Kimmel believes that women and men will be able to lead more satisfying lives.”
—Madeleine Kunin, former governor of Vermont, author of The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work, and Family and Pearls, Politics, and Power: How Women Can Win and Lead

“In this timely book, Kimmel shows us that in these times, even those who have historically been powerful and dominant are becoming victims as they find themselves slipping between the cracks and falling behind. Kimmel has his finger on the pulse of their anger and by revealing their fears and growing desperation, he reminds us that their problems are ours as well.”
—Pedro Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568586965
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568586960
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Defensiveness of the white male is so narcissistic that any criticism of masculinity and male entitlement is seen as attacking and destroying an entire biological sex". This is a quote from Michael Kimmels book, and I think it resonates a lot with many of the 1 star reviews of his book. Angry white men that read this book, feel like "masculinity" is being attacked, and so they say things like "the pussification of America!!!" and leave a poorly written 1 star critique.

It's a great book. It is well written, thoroughly researched, incredibly informative, and I came across it just in the nick of time. I was getting frustrated with the countless droves of men that seem to have made it their mission in life to spend their days on the internet, typing furiously at their keyboards about the "evils of feminism" and about how "oppressed" the male sex is now "because of the feminists!" . Men going to forums and spreading their misogyny around, swapping false and misinterpreted statistics, trying to make claims about how women are "the primary perpetrators of domestic violence!" and that "40% of all cases of rape reported by females are lies!" and that "women rape men the same amount, if not more than men rape women!". It seems like any time I enter a space on the internet where a female centered discussion is occurring, either about rape, domestic abuse, sexual harassment etc....there are men that immediately show up, and they try try to tell me about this apparent "epidemic" of female rapists and women that mercilessly beat their husbands.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fascinating book. What drives male behavior and, in particular, what makes many of us males act out the way we often do? The opening line I used references a study of Chimps that was cited in the book where researchers picked the third chimp in a troop of five (hence the Borg designator) who, after getting an artificial boost to his testosterone, did not challenge either of the top two chimps but beat on the bottom two more than he had before. Perhaps this experiment tells us more than we want to know because we tend to accept that the people in power deserve it (yeah, evolutionary biology at work) while taking out our frustration on those beneath us in the social hierarchy. Of course there were lots-and-lots of other revelations, but this one seemed pivotal to the whole book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
On January 12, 2014, Brit Hume said on Fox News " I would have to say that in this sort of feminized atmosphere in which we exist today, guys who are masculine and muscular like that in their private conduct, kind of old-fashioned tough guys, run some risks" As a white male, I didn't get what he said. I couldn't relate to it and I had no idea where he was coming from. After reading this book, I now get it. There are angry white men who feel their masculinity and their social dominance is under attack by people that are economically, socially and politically below them.

This book is a fascinating look at a segment of white male American culture. I think the author hit a cord with a social segment of our population that is not discussed. A hard look at white America, the ruling class that feels entitled to the American dream and to power, and angry because it is under attack and feel powerless in a changing society. This white anger from aggrieved entitlement, contributes to racism and violence far beyond any other social/ethnic or racial group in this country. His analysis and conclusions are well thought out and presents an interesting perspective. His observation that gun violence, especially mass shootings is a white male phenomenon was very interesting.

But I give it three stars because I wasn't sure what was fact and what was opinion. As an academic, he did not explain how he came to his conclusions. What studies or research did he personally conduct? What peer review paper did he publish? I would have liked to know who are these angry white men? What is their demographic? What percent of the population? There were very little facts to support grand observations and conclusions.
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3 Comments 48 of 63 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
As a (not-particularly-angry) white woman from southeast Michigan, I have come across my fair share of angry white men without ever really understanding them. Reading this book gave me some perspective that I don't think I'd considered before. It was an entertaining and engaging read, though perhaps a little preachy at times.

I find the negative reviews to be rather interesting, as many of them seem to agree that they are angry white men, and even agree with the author on some of the reasons for it, but I guess they don't like having it put out in the light of day by a liberal, Jewish, feminist male, New York sociology professor. In many places throughout the book, he states that these men have every right to be angry-- it's just that they're often taking out their anger on the wrong targets. It's unlikely that this book will change the mindset of any of those men (or the women who support them), but it offers a glimpse to the rest of us as to why these men are so angry, where they're coming from, and even some of the consequences of ignoring and/or not identifying them.

I feel that I've been given a greater understanding of angry white men in general, though of course individuals will vary, and I think that can only be helpful in finding a way to communicate and compromise.
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