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The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood Hardcover – October 3, 2011

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About the Author

Dr. William J. Bennett is one of America’s most influential and respected voices on cultural, political, and educational issues. Host of the top-ten nationally syndicated radio showBill Bennett’s Morning in America, he is also the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute. He is the author and editor of more than twenty-five books.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595552715
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595552716
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

William J. Bennett served as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George H. W. Bush and as Secretary of Education and Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities under President Reagan. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Williams College, a doctorate in political philosophy from the University of Texas, and a law degree from Harvard. He is the author of such bestselling books as The Educated Child, The Death of Outrage, The Book of Virtues, and the two-volume series America: The Last Best Hope. Dr. Bennett is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show Bill Bennett's Morning in America. He is also the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute and a regular contributor to CNN. He, his wife, Elayne, and their two sons, John and Joseph, live in Maryland.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 74 people found the following review helpful By John Bird on September 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Dr. William J. Bennett's Book of Virtues is a favorite in our house. At dinner time, bath time, or bed time, the children ask me to read a story or poem from "the big book," as they call it. And I'm always willing to; Bennett's Book of Virtues has as much to offer the parents as it does the children.

I expected the Book of Man to be like the Book of Virtues, only for little boys. But the readings are more for older boys or men. Still, the subtitle, "Readings on the Path to Manhood," is appropriate. After all, what man doesn't continue on the path to manhood?

Bennett asks:

"What does it mean to be a man today?...While the plot, actors, and scenes are constantly changing, the virtues, characteristics, and challenges of manhood remain the same today as thousands of years ago."

On how to be a man, Bennett says, "More can and should be said. That is what I offer here. There are examples worthy of emulation, stories worth knowing, lives worth studying and remembering, and counsel worth hearing..."

Bennett's quotes span the time from Pericles to Colin Powell, while the characters range from Robert Murray M'Cheyne to Jimmy Carter.

Stories about men like Theodore Roosevelt or Martin Luther King Jr. are always inspiring, and Bennett gives us plenty. But equally inspiring are the stories of men like Terry Toussaint, Fort Valley, Georgia's "proud sanitation worker." Toussaint was inspired by Martin Luther King's speech to a crowd of street sweepers in Memphis, TN:

"If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures....sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, `Here lived a great street sweeper...
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118 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Book Reviewer on September 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It is out concern for the trouble that man is in today - that William Bennett has offered this text. The author uses stories & essays of both historical & contemporary figures to help aid in shaping boys to become men. Heroism is lacking in contemporary venues of entertainment & literature. This book is broken down into 6 sections...


Man in War
Man at Work
Man in Play, Competition, and Leisure
Man in the Polis
Man wth Woman and Children
Man in Prayer and Reflection

The text is portioned to be read & pondered daily. It is this reviewers opinion that Bennett has brought forth a tool worth owning & using to train, shape & grow boys into men. The author hits the nail on the head in many of the available essays.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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47 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Benny515 on October 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Before going into a review of William J Bennett's The Book of Man, I must first comment on how beautifully printed it is. The hardcover version is printed with an elegant looking binding, and pages that take on an aged and more authentic look and feel to the type of book this is.

I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into when I first decided to read this book; I can't even honestly say that I thought I was going to enjoy it. I figured to would be some sort of self help book for men, and that I wouldn't remember much after reading it.

Boy, was I wrong.

The messages in this book really cause you to stop and take a good look at your life. Are you where you are meant to be? Are you doing the right thing? Are you on the best track for you? It is difficult for me to really say why I enjoyed this so much, other than that I did. I would recommend this to anybody who wants to evaluate their own life, and get a better look at the impact they are having on this world. What an amazing read.

*I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
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51 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Fr. Charles Erlandson on October 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A lot of us have figured out that there is a lack of male leadership in our culture these days. It's easy to lament this fact but more difficult to do something about it. William Bennett, the compiler of the excellent Book of Virtues, has done something about the need for real men in our culture. He's compiled a book, The Book of Man, that offers a great selection of short writings that act as a model for virtuous manhood.

I've been talking to my three sons about what it means to be a Christian man, and now that I have The Book of Man in hand I have my choice of stories, profiles, and speeches to illustrate what I'm trying to teach them. Bennett offers an excellent (but too brief) introduction and organizes his selections around 6 areas of masculine endeavor: man at war; man at work; man in play, sports, and leisure; man in the polis; man with women and children; and man in prayer and reflection. I'm especially glad to see the last two sections because our culture has some notion of men in the first four categories but not enough for men with their families and men with their God.

Bennett has done a good job of selecting a wide variety of writings related to manhood - enough to offer something for everyone. I especially like this because there's not only one vocation to which men are called, and The Book of Man offers a vision for men in six different spheres. The book is aimed at adult readers, but there is a lot that young men and older boys could benefit from, especially if they read the selections together with their father.

The Book of Man upholds a traditional, moral and religious view of man, even though many of the selections are from men who are not specifically Christian or even religious.
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