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A Fine Young Man: What Parents, Mentors, and Educators Can Do to Shape Adolescent Boys into Exceptional Men Paperback – Bargain Price, April 5, 1999


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Building on the success of his guide to raising healthy young boys (The Wonder of Boys, Michael Gurian has written the next chapter--a book focusing on the much-maligned adolescent male. Gurian asserts, "We do not understand adolescent-male development, and therefore are unable to give our adolescent males the kind of love they need to become fully responsible, loving, and wise men." Adolescent boys may appear to be self-sufficient, but Gurian asserts that they actually need their parents and elders desperately. The author carefully illustrates what we--as parents, mentors, and educators--need to know about male adolescents, and what we can do to aid them on their journey to adulthood.

In the face of many sociologists and scholars who strongly declare the contrary, Gurian claims a biological basis for many male behavioral traits. In A Fine Young Man, he employs convincing data from scientific studies on neurological development to assert that female and male brains have significant differences, and that testosterone plays an important role in male development and behavior.

But A Fine Young Man offers far more than theory. Gurian's arguments are firmly rooted in reality, and he offers specific suggestions for typical family dilemmas. He breaks down the stages of development into preadolescence, early, middle, and late adolescence; discusses education and the role of the media; and suggests ways to keep aggression (caused in part by the testosterone flooding the adolescent male brain) from becoming violence. In a social sense, Gurian says, adolescent boys are our most undernourished population, and A Fine Young Man encapsulates his hope that our neglected young men receive the nurturing they need. --Ericka Lutz --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Carrying forward some of the themes first introduced in his book The Wonder of Boys (1996), Gurian focuses on male adolescence, a crucial stage of development that, he argues, is in crisis today, being both misunderstood and diminished in importance. Drawing on his own research and experience as a psychotherapist, he lays out a picture of male adolescence that is often bleak: adolescent males are four times as likely as females to commit suicide; only one out of six adolescents diagnosed with ADHD is female, and that 90% of adolescent discipline problems in schools are about males. The thrust of his approach, however, is proactive and ultimately imbued with hope. Gurian emphasizes the importance of family in the three distinct stages (transformation, determination and consolidation) of male adolescent development, which can begin as early as nine and extends through the early 20s. In the nurture/nature debate, Gurian falls somewhere in the middle, explaining and validating the importance of both male "hardwiring" (the genetic component) as well as emotional and cultural "softwiring." With persuasive eloquence, Gurian outlines thoughtful and practical steps parents and other caregivers can take to create the kind of positive role-models and nurturing support systems that will help boys successfully negotiate the passage to manhood.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc. New York; 1st Trade Pbk. Ed edition (April 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874779693
  • ASIN: B000CEXTU2
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,447,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Gurian is a social philosopher, family therapist, corporate consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of twenty books published in fifteen languages. The Gurian Institute, which he co-founded, conducts research internationally, launches pilot programs and trains professionals. Michael has been called "the people's philosopher" for his ability to bring together people's ordinary lives and scientific ideas.
As a social philosopher, he has pioneered efforts to bring neuro-biology and brain research into homes, workplaces, schools and public policy. A number of his ground-breaking books in child development, including THE WONDER OF BOYS, BOYS AND GIRLS LEARN DIFFERENTLY! THE WONDER OF GIRLS and WHAT COULD HE BE THINKING? have sparked national debate. His newest work, THE MINDS OF BOYS (September 2005) provides a revolutionary new framework, based in neuro-biology, by which to understand and care for the educational needs of our sons.
Michael has served as a consultant to families, corporations, therapists, physicians, school districts, community agencies, churches, criminal justice personnel and other professionals, traveling to approximately 20 cities a year to keynote at conferences. His training videos (also available as DVDs) for parents and volunteers are used by Big Brother and Big Sister agencies in the U.S. and Canada.
As an educator, Michael previously taught at Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, and Ankara University. His speaking engagements include Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, Macalester College, University of Colorado, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and UCLA. His philosophy reflects the diverse cultures (European, Asian, Middle Eastern and American) in which he has lived, worked and studied.
Michael's work has been featured in various media, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, People, Reader's Digest, the Wall Street Journal, Parenting, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, PBS and National Public Radio.
Michael can be reached on the worldwide web at
www.michaelgurian.com

Customer Reviews

As a single mom this was a hard book for me to read.
Rebecca Brown
While Gurian's style makes this "easy" reading, one finds oneself pausing numerous times and talking to oneself about what one has just read.
John Rice
As a divorced mom,it helped me understand the mind of an adolescent male.
tms092355

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By John Rice on August 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
One of the best features of this book is the fact that Michael Gurian. having lived in other cultures, researches his material through the scientific process aas well as by investigating other cultures in how they relate to boys. In so doing Gurian discovers some common elements and some differences. Some of these differences are surprising and offer our own culture something to thnink about. It is hard to focus on what is good about this book because one would have to summarize all its chapters. Perhaps a strong element of "A Fine Young Man" is the structure of those chapters. Guriam presents the thesis of the chapter. He presents cross-cultural references, scientific reseach and personal histories. He then offers some practical "how-to's". For those of us who work with boys, especially adolescents, this practical aspect is quite important. While Gurian's style makes this "easy" reading, one finds oneself pausing numerous times and talking to oneself about what one has just read. Gurian inspires the reader to bring "his" own life to the process. I thought this book would be a releif from the spiritual and theological reading I have been doing. Yet I found myself reflecting frequently on Gurian's insights, the implications of the research he discovered and the stories he presents. I found myself journaling about these times.
This book has solid practical value, but it also has a deep spiritual challenge to those of us to want to help our young men grow into healthy and faithful adults.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on May 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As a single mom this was a hard book for me to read. I had no problem finding mentors for my daughter - there were always other mothers & teachers. Finding mentors for my son was problematic. At least I did recognize he needed male role models & decent ones at that. In A Fine Young Man, Michael Gurian gives us a swift, fluent & readily digestible version of the Adolescent Male 101. For those of us in the body female - this is fascinating, validating & enlightening. For those of us in the body male I expect it's all of that with the added feature of being familiar! I sure hope so! A must for anyone raising sons or mentoring our young men...
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A teacher at a boys' school, and mother of a teenage boy on March 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
At a conference for educators, I atttended Gurian's presentation. I had never heard of him, but thought he was one of the most sane and compassionate voices among the many addressing these issues. Having subsequently read all his books except the new one, A Good Son, I found A Fine Young Man to be the most helpful and most interestingly written. I've recommended it and given it as a gift quite a few times. His position is not anti-feminist; it is pro-boy, which is quite different. Until we can make this distinction as educators and as parents we will continue to put our young men and our society at risk.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 20, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have 2 boys 12 and 14. I hunger for books on this subject. I liked this book better than others. I chaff at the sterotypes necessary in this sort of book although Gurian handled this issue gracefully. The book is dense on theory and philosophy and more articulate and complete and thought provoking than most. I liked his list of characteristics and attributes of the fine young man. The sections on practical hints, while much more complete than most other books on the subject could certainly bear some fleshing out especially for parents who not are well connected with adequate male models. It made me grateful I have a great husband and a circle of good friends.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This excellent book is written by the author of The Wonder of Boys, a book which has helped me as I raise my sons. I found Fine Young Man to be even better, though, because the ideas are even more fleshed out into real, practical solutions and suggestions. Not content to just blame everything on "nurture", Gurian seems to suggest that "nature" plays a key role, perhaps a larger role than many people would care to admit. He outlines how rough the road is for boys growing up in today's world, and how we as parents and mentors can help our sons become strong, sane, and well-balanced. I particularly liked his description of the three stages of male adolescence, which somehow rang extremely true. And his assertion that male role models are essential is right on the money. His book is a cut above others, because he is able to inspire and encourage with real ideas, not just theory or blame. If I had one criticism, it would be that I wished he had inc! luded a few more resources at the end. But that's small criticism for an extremely fine book.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Gwyneth Calvetti VINE VOICE on July 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've been a teacher of this species for almost twenty years, and am in the throes of raising two of them myself, but Gurian explains many of the mystifying aspects of teenaged boys to those of us who have never been one!
He explains the biology and psychology, but more than that, he shares insights into the ways to best reach and connect with teenaged young men. As an example, which we probably all know intuitively, but didn't realize on a conscious level, if you want to try and talk with them, you have to do something active, like shoot hoops. You also have to be prepared to take the time to wait. These are the types of insights I found personally useful, but there is much more here that is helpful to anyone who is hoping to help boys grow up into well-adjusted men. I recommend this to anyone who spends time with adolescent boys.
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