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VINE VOICEon February 5, 2008
After catching a few episodes of his TV show, I felt like Boteach "got it" in the way that Dr. Drew and occasionally Dr. Phil got it. He has the ability to cut to the core of the issue, understand when people are acting unhealthily and are unafraid to point fingers. The book confirmed my initial impression. Boteach is definitely onto something about male culture. His analogy of women and eating disorders and then men and workaholicism is apt. They are both a result of a tendency to apply internal identity to external factors. A woman feels she is as worthy as her beauty and a man as special as his wealth. No question, modern culture perverts many natural urges to unhealthy access--and we often examine how that effects women but rarely do the same for men. His book finally does this.

If there is any criticism to be leveled at this it is the mass of generalizations, feel-good assertions, and unsupported idealism. Look, men's behavior is not totally a result of culture. The traits he derides in the book existed long before man had developed to ability to speak, let alone build office buildings. To think that it could all go away with a few parenting changes is ridiculous. And as always, religion (namely the bible) is a poor place to found any theory. Being that he is a Rabbi, he rests heavily on scripture and the notion of "G-d." In this instance, I think he could have made an equally persuasive case without it. He didn't and the book suffers. I would recommend a few ev psych books to balance Boteach's words with some science such as Sperm Wars, The Evolution of Desire or even The Moral Animal.

Regardless, if you're a young person, you should read this before you go the way of your parents generation. And if you're older, maybe it's not too late to turn it around.
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on August 21, 2011
This fascinating book rang true most of time. There were lots of "aha- so that's why they act like that" moments. I do think that the book is incomplete. He spends most of his time discussing men who measure their success or self-worth based on money. Perhaps this is because he lives in New York and, by his own admission, knows many people who work in Wallstreet. Most of the performance-driven men I know are not measuring themselves by money, but by accomplishments, recognition, and the geek-cool-factor. He does not touch on how performance-driven self worth has been passed on to women. (If Daddy pays more attention to money or accomplishments than to "feminine" persuits, darling daughter is going to focus on money or accomplishments). While that is arguably outside the scope of this book, he does spend considerable time discussing the effects of a performance-driven man on his family.
He also doesn't touch on the arrested development that seems to afflict some men. This would be the 40-year-old that still lives at home and spends his time watching movies and playing video games. Or the man in his mid-30s that does just enough enough work to keep him supplied with ramen noodles and a season pass at the ski resort. I would dearly like to know what is going on in their brains. That said, I loved the book, and am passing it around to friends and family.
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on September 10, 2009
The only male role models many American men have these days are people on TV. Imagine if we all lived like most of the greedy philanderers we see on TV! What kind of a culture would this be? What would happen to the American family? If you have kids, I doubt that's the kind of society you would want them to grow up in or the people you want them to become!

A lot of men feel like failures because they don't have a new girlfriend, car, boat, house, etc. every so often. Men like me who are committed to their family aren't living the "cool" life as seen in the movies and on TV (though the celebrities aren't either, and that's why so many of them are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol). And so sometimes a man asks himself, why do I make this sacrifice? I'm getting old, my hair is falling out, my belly is getting bigger (not that we can't help that), and I'm barely caught up on my bills! It takes a book like this to make a man realize he's acting like a wimp.

I personally understand the pressure in our society. TVs are everywhere! They tell you that you don't have enough and are not good enough. Bimbo male celebrities have become the role models! Our nation's leaders aren't doing a very good job of being role models and neither are many religious leaders. Many of them are getting in trouble for having affairs and stealing money. We have TVs now in the break room at my work, in the gym, and I get to see tons of advertisements on billboards on my drive to and from work. It's hard to just shut the media off and start living once again. But if you want to be a good father, husband, and not spend the rest of your life in vain pursuits and depression, it's something you'll have to do. Read this book and pass on the advice to your children.

And yes, Rabbi Shmuley is religious and his ideas are old school in many ways. Yes, he does believe the feminine is greater than the masculine. If those things offend you, this book won't help you much.

Rabbi Shmuley's tone may seem a bit harsh in this book, but it's written for men. His assumption is that male readers probably won't break down and cry because he's being so mean.

This book is good for both Jew and non-Jew alike. Though I felt it should have been shorter, I liked it enough to give it 5 stars.
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on April 21, 2015
I'll be upfront I couldn't make it all the way through this book, he makes some very strange claims about men and women that are huge generalizations. He claims that porn is boring and he doesn't understand why men watch it?porn is about fantasy not reality. Women enjoy sex more than men? I guess maybe some but I wouldn't say that's the rule, consider the porn industry and who they try to appeal to. This book is saying that men feel like failures in life and that's why they're broken. Men are the reason for all the divorce in America even if women file 67% of the time or three quarters as he said. Women feel ugly and unloved because all men want tiny stick figure women not full sized women. Look around America there's tons of non stick figured women dating and getting married. Many men like a women with curves I don't know where he gets his evidence for this? Do men control the fashion industry? Is this why models are thin?. Any way this book basically says the same things over and over again. Men's problem are all their fault, women are victims of broken men and all their problems are men's fault. Apparently he doesn't see women as people with individual responsibility and being capable of have their own disfunction. This book is offensive to men who have dated dysfunctional women and have been badly effected by these relationships. Men are not broken as a whole and women are not victims as a whole. This book could be cut in half because of the constant repeating.
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on July 21, 2009
There's a lot of truth to what Shmuley is saying here, but his explanations and suggestions on "how to fix" men are questionable. His basic thesis is spot-on, where he goes wrong is with his support. Some of the chapters are wishy-washy and could be cut out entirely. At times, the text focuses too much on religion and spirituality, ignoring other aspects of the problem and solution. That being said, this book is still very important. After years of feminism dominating American culture, books like this and Palahniuk's "Fight Club" are starting to discuss a different problem: countless men who are unhappy, restless, and lost. Shmuley's book does a great job describing the problem and part of the solution, hopefully we continue to see more books addressing this subject.
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on April 21, 2014
Excellent. With his usual sharpness and insight, Rabbi Shmuley analyzes and explains why so many of us have (more or less regular) feelings of inadequacy, pain and/or numbness. Why parents and their children (especially teenagers) are disconnected. Why so many marriages fail. Rather than criticizing the American male, he takes a compassionate approach, advocating for "the average man" and showing how in reality he's a hero (he just doesn't realize it). Being very honest and upfront with his own emotions and shortcomings, Rabbi Shmuley never comes across as self-righteous in this book but rather empathizes with those of us who suffer from the consequences of a "soulless capitalist" society.
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on October 30, 2011
Rabbi Boteach combines the comforting power of a traditional father with the feminine, transformative energy the men of the world so desperately need and crave. I can tell you the book has been a lifeline for me personally, as I've been struggling in this culture consistently with 'soulless capitalism' and the pressure to always be moving, succeeding, working, etc. Being written by an orthodox rabbi, the book was a pleasant relief from new age self-help type literature, in that it came from a traditional, value-driven approach, even if the results were similar.
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on February 28, 2011
This is a must read. Helps me remember what is really important, who really matters, and what do to about it.
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on December 21, 2014
Great way of explaining his thoughts and the cultural dilemma that men face, no matter the bank account.
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on November 29, 2014
just one author's opinion, I suspose. Not a bad read but not over enlightening either.
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