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Men in Groups Paperback – November 28, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0765805980 ISBN-10: 0765805987 Edition: Revised

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers; Revised edition (November 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765805987
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765805980
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,090,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The most creative contribution to the social sciences since David Riesman's The Lonely Crowd." --Robert Ardrey, Life Magazine 

"[Tiger's] enquiry into male bonding is an important step towards the possibility of discovering a genuine human dimorphism" --James Hamilton-Paterson, New Statesman 

"The implications of Men in Groups are manifold. We should all be grateful to Dr. Tiger for drawing our attention to a neglected aspect of human behavior." --Anthony Storr, Times (London) 

About the Author

Lionel Tiger is Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University. He is the author of The Decline of Males,Optimism,The Pursuit of Pleasure,China’s Food,The Manufacture of Evil, Men in Groups, and The Imperial Animal. In addition, he is a regular contributor to both Psychology Today and The New York Times.  He is the series editor of Evolutionary Foundations of Human Behaviorfor Transaction Publishers.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jack Malebranche on August 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading a first edition hardcover of this book, which is believed to be responsible for popularizing the phrase "male bonding" which is widely in use to this day. A book with that sort of lasting influence could hardly be "obsolete," as another reader suggested.

Actually, some of Tiger's suggestions seem fresh and relevant, especially in light of recent trends that take another look at long buried, "dangerous" ideas like "Human Universals." (Notably referenced in Steven Pinker's excellent The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature)

Current thinking on chimpanzee social structure is irrelevant to the ideas presented in this book.

The key idea is here is that men seem to gain some sort of sense of well-being from male-male bonding and that male bonding seems to center around aggression (which Tiger defines broadly, not only in terms of violence but of seeking mastery of something--where violence is but one possible outcome of aggression). That aggression can be real or simulated. So this idea, in an age where cooperative online gaming (a new but highly male interest), ESPN, UFC and the movie 300 are all such popular points of reference for young , straight men, it actually seems that Tiger was actually more correct than he wished to be. Male bonding, and aggression, ARE part of human nature, and they can't necessarily be suppressed or rendered impotent despite the best intentions of "positivists."

He was correct that male bonding needs to be accommodated in our plans for our species, and I would add, in a productive and positive way. Because young men will seek out manly identity and bonding from those who offer it--be they Boy Scouts or gangs. Old school feminists can continue to put their hands over their ears and wish human nature away, but it ain't going anywhere. Not completely.

Highly recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Chapin on July 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Length: 6:09 Mins
This work is a sensational read that will appeal to anybody who does not think the words "male" and "men" are insults. It reads better a second time than the first.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Puterbaugh on May 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The condensed edition of this book: "Men function well, in teams, and women do not." You might go on to add that men "naturally" do this.

I suspect that there must be something biological, or genetic, in this obvious truth. Who knows? But I have heard curses from men who are coaching teams of women (soccer, basketball, etc.): "They just don't GET IT!"

The reviewer who claims that the book is "obsolete," in my opinion, has a highly-inflated idea of human flexibility.

Nevertheless, although this is a "ground-breaking" book, I find that it has aged, and it has not aged well. I don't know whether Lionel Tiger was simply too lazy to attempt a revision of this book, or whether his mind has gone to sleep over the last fifty years. Whatever: there are false notes struck on almost every page, and they are mostly political false notes. An example would be Lionel Tiger smugly asserting that racial segregation in America was due to whites not wanting to live with blacks. It does not even seem to occur to him that there is another side of the coin: that blacks do not want to live with whites. Even more incredible (for Tiger) is the concept that this might be a pretty good way to arrange life: whites and blacks do not necessarily live cheek-by-jowl, but perhaps in adjoining suburbs, where they have softball games on the weekends. OK, the whites probably lose the softball games most of the time, but why is this sort of living pattern assumed to be unthinkable?

Another example is Tiger's feminism: he actively wants more women participating in politics. ("Why?" does not seem to occur to him.
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