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The Disposable Male: Sex, Love, and Money: Your World through Darwin's Eyes Paperback – September 28, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


"Provocative ... engaging." --Kirkus February 1, 2006

"Fascinating ... engagingly written ... and highly accessible. A very impressive accomplishment. -- David M. Buss, Ph.D., author of The Evolution of Desire

From the Publisher

In The Disposable Male, Michael Gilbert takes on the important questions in life—who we fall in love with and why, how we feel about sex, marriage, family and career—exposing the deep and fundamental underlying forces that continue to shape the pivotal issues of vital concern to us all. In the early chapters, the author frames an evolutionary perspective for readers with an entertaining, informative, and original look at how we humans got here before deploying this unique and powerful lens in a searching examination of our modern, high-tech world. Bold, irreverent, funny and thought-provoking, The Disposable Male will provide you with fresh and penetrating insights, and valuable tips for dealing with the issues that matter so much in our hectic contemporary lives. It will have you looking at your world in new and exciting ways.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 307 pages
  • Publisher: The Hunter Press (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977655237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977655236
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,305,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Gilbert was born and raised in Montreal and concluded his formal education with a master's degree at Harvard. His multi-faceted career included positions as a college lecturer, investment banker, real estate executive, and independent film producer.

An ardent student of the anthropological and natural history of human behavior, over the last two decades, he has immersed himself in writings about sociobiology and the vibrant young field of evolutionary psychology. At 2000, he took a sabbatical and turned to writing The Disposable Male, the culmination of his research and ruminations on gender roles, work and family life.

In 2005, as he was preparing the book for publication, Michael was appointed a senior fellow at the Center for the Digital Future, a research and policy institute. Located at the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California, the Center's researchers track the ways that digital technologies, the Internet and virtual communities are changing the social, political and economic fabric of our lives.

Michael Gilbert is divorced and lives in Los Angeles. An avid reader, he enjoys museums, concerts and the theatre, and vigorous conversation with friends. He loves to play tennis, travel and explore our great philosophical, spiritual and mystical traditions.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 88 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on August 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you placed ten people, male and female, in a room with a copy of this book, a discussion could be started that could probably last for weeks. That is the primary beauty of this work. It is absolutely fascinating! Basically, the premise of this work is that there are boys and there are girls, and, thankfully, they are different. This books covers a wide range of subjects dealing with these differences and their impact on our lives and society. Through the eyes of an evolutionist, and through pure common sense, we find where we came from, where we are and where we might possibly be going in the future. This books is very well written. The author displays great insight and his easy writing style is a pleasure. This is the sort of work that will most assuredly make you think. You need not agree with everything the author says, I certainly did not, and you should probably worry about yourself if you did. On the other hand, what the author does do, is dish you out a very large helping of food for thought. He gives us yet another view to help handle life, which is always a good thing. Much of what the author said, I must admit to have already known, or at least suspected and do indeed agree with. The difference is that Gilbert is able to articulate his thoughts in a way I am unable to do. He has obviously spent a great amount of time in research and has gathered together a great amount of information, made it readable and understandable and in fact, rather enjoyable. I do agree with a couple of the other reviewers here that, personally, I would have appreciated a bit more information on his source documents. On the other hand, upon checking on several of his statements (just to keep him honest), I found not one instance where the author had not done his home work and done it well.Read more ›
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Patrick D. Goonan on August 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
I think the strongest point I can make about this book is how well written it is. It is well organized, complex in structure, but an easy and enjoyable read. It is very engaging because it is so well thought out in terms of presenting a story and powerful analogies and examples.

From an intellectual standpoint, it is extremely thought provoking, controversial and thoroughly researched. While I don't agree with everything Gilbert says, he presents good arguments for his point of view.

A lot of the information contained within the pages of this book can be found elsewhere. For example, much of it is presented in books by David Buss. On the other hand, the perspective is unique and the story telling is first rate without sacrificing content. It is like a Mozart sonata in the sense that the notes are the same as other music, but the way it is all put together makes it very special.

I also like the emphasis on the direction our culture is taking and what the implications are to both sexes. There is also an emphasis on what it means to be a male now and where things seem to be headed. This is all presented in an evolutionary context and the author makes powerful use of contrasting our evolutionary heritage with the realities of modern demands.

Even if you are familiar with the work of David Buss or other similar content, I think you will enjoy this book. It was difficult for me to put down and I already had most of the information in it under my belt.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Schtinky VINE VOICE on November 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
Contrary to the title, men are not disposable. They are an integral part of our biological needs of the highest animals on the food chain. The male's capacity for mutation, a core element of evolution, is necessary for the survival of humankind. What Gilbert explores in this book is the necessity of both celebrating and utilizing the differences of gender.

Surprisingly, I found this book informative, intelligent, articulate, easy and entertaining to read, introspective, and astonishing in regard to celebrating gender. Gilbert infuses opinion but backs it up with fact. You will find yourself bristling in places and cheering in others as Gilbert reveres both male and female for what we biologically are.

Gilbert calls this a "how-come" book, not a "how-to" book, which is why I believe I found it so fascinating. He takes millions of years of evolution and transcribes it all into today's societal groupings, along with kudos and warnings for the directions humankind has taken along our evolutionary pathways. Nor does he condescend religion, although he categorizes it contrary to my personal belief. One of the more interesting facts is how today's youth is the least prepared in history for reaching adult goals.

In a nutshell, 'The Disposable Male' is a wake-up call of family values, not from a religious standpoint but from an evolutionary standpoint, reaffirming that bringing back the family is not just a right-wing religious fantasy or weapon to be used in politics. Darwin meets religion, and they shake hands and get along.

Are their evolutionary forces at work behind the denigration of our society, the high levels of depression, the soulless march of self-entitlement? Are we advancing our minds or denying our biology?
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66 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is an opinionated overview of some scientific literature relating to human behavior, intermixed with a conservative political agenda and some light-hearted humor. The book is divided into 4 sections: "In the Beginning" (a scientific history of the world, from the Big Bang to the evolution of humans), "The Rise of Humanity" (hormones and human behavior), "The World Today" (discussion of recent social changes), and "A Look Ahead" (possible futures). End material includes a short annotated list of books for further reading (8 books plus a list of interesting authors), and an index. There are no footnotes, endnotes, or other forms of citation of source materials.

I found the best part of the book to be the second section, in which Gilbert summarizes much research regarding innate human behavior relating to gender, romantic pairing, work, and child raising. While I found little of this information new, Gilbert does an admirable job of presenting it in non-technical language for general readers. Unfortunately, his complete avoidance of citation makes it impossible to check the accuracy or reliability of his points. He also tends to overlook facts that would not be supportive of his general thesis that women should be pregnant and raising babies while men are out gathering resources for the family. For example, after summarizing various statistics about how pregnancy and childbirth reduce risk factors for certain cancers, he states "Early pregnancy, multiple pregnancies, and breastfeeding are simply healthy. Childbirth carries risk, of course, but so does crossing the street or taking an aspirin. Not giving birth seems riskier still." Phew! I guess he's never heard of the term "maternal mortality.
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