Top positive review
35 of 47 people found this helpful
Great topic, decent execution
on 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.