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The Ultimate Man's Survival Guide: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Manhood Hardcover – April 14, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Frank Miniter is the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide[trademark] to Hunting and an award-winning outdoor writer. He is the executive editor of American Hunter magazine and is a former senior editor of Outdoor Life magazine. Miniter is also the ultimate man. He has run with the bulls of Pamplona, snowshoed the Klondike, hunted Russian bear in Kaleria, and has survived everywhere from the Amazon to the streets of Manhattan. He lives in New York.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing; 42072nd edition (April 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596985704
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596985704
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alan Peterson on June 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A guy who lives with a poodle probably needs a book about being man more than most. I've hunted and fished all my life. I can start a fire with flint and steel. Lettered in football and soccer. Have travelled to Nepal, Paris, and Siberia (in December). And...fathered three children. But, the poodle can put a significant dent in the manly armor. I wanted Miniter to point out the one thing that could undeniably establish my manly bona fides.

Having enjoyed Miniter's previous book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Hunting, I looked forward to this latest. Just the title was enough to insure a read. I didn't know what to expect except for a laundry list of manly activities and events to accomplish with teeth-clenched knives, torque wrenches, and duct tape all shaken not stirred. How to escape an attacking alligator. Check. How to find North without a compass. Check. How to choose a cigar. Check. How to throw a curveball. Check. 100 Manly Movies. Check. If you're looking for checklists, Miniter's book provides significant ones. However, the most important thing that Miniter's book provides is the provocative thesis that real manhood is much deeper than hunting, boxing, tying a bow tie, or rescuing damsels in distress.

The key to The Ultimate Man, is found in the chapter about heroes. Miniter posits that heroic conduct is not a single life-saving moment spawned by desperate need but should be an entire life based on developing and sticking to a moral code of conduct. He's hit the nail on the head--and not just for defining heroism. This is the essence of true manhood. In today's fatherless, entertainer obsessed world, genuine examples of moral, self-disciplined manhood are rare, indeed.
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Format: Hardcover
OK, so this book is proudly a throwback to the qualities the world admired in a man decades back. Good! Maybe the world is ready for more John Wayne and less Johnny Depp. Although, I think Depp can be a fine actor, he isn't the kind of male icon Wayne was. Despite decades of reculturalization and de-manning, the fact is that men do want to be men. In older times, they learned how to be men from, drum roll please ... other men. Mothers teach their boys a lot of wonderful values and life lessons, but there are things men need to learn from men despite what some women say about men, fish, and bicycles.

This book is divided into six parts:

1) Survivor - you learn about what to do out in nature if you need start a fire, if you are threatened by animals, if you need water, if you are injured, and much more.
2) Provider - You learn about rifles, hand guns, hunting, dressing deer, and fishing.
3) Athlete - How to throw a baseball, shoot a basketball, boxing basics, throwing a forward pass, the golf swing, soccer, some track and field, and climbing.
4) Hero - Codes of honor and conduct from the Texas Rangers, the Marine Corps (a small typo on page 115 show's that perfect editorial skills isn't necessarily needed by a true man - they have the possessive of the Marine Corps and Marine Corp's). the Bushido Virtues, a guide to running with the bulls in Pamplona, how to put out a fire, standing up for justice, how to ford a stream, help someone being electrocuted, how to fight wild animals, and much more.
5) Gentleman - this section seems dated to me. I don't are a fig about cigars, pipes, wine, whisky, or mixed drinks, but maybe you do. That information is here.
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Format: Hardcover
In the current age, this is a much needed antidote to the cultural feminization of men.

While there is certainly nothing wrong (and lots right) about femininity for women, the American society has been on a crusade to attack masculinity in many ways. That starts with quests to prescribe Ritalin for boys in school for acting like boys and it goes on from there.

Frank Miniter has put together a book that helps to counter this trend. It is divided chapters entitled as follows: Survivor, Provider, Athlete, Hero, Gentleman , and Philosopher. Each one of these has some great content. Here are some examples:

Survivor - emergency gear, navigation, how to make a fire without matches, first aid, and dealing with predatory creatures.

Provider - shooting (firearm and bows), setting a snare, and field dressing game.

Athlete - lots of sports basics and knots. I think the section on knots is one that could and should be expanded a lot for future editions.

Hero - Heroic codes, chivalry, stopping a dog fight, defending the weak, and self defense (another part that should be lengthened).

Gentleman - How to tie bowties and Windsor knots, Gentleman's 20 Rules of Conduct, How to Set a Table, as well as the author's thoughts on vices such as smokings cigars, alcohol, and gambling.

Philosopher - Great moral codes, self improvement, self reliance, and more.

Included throughout the book are portraits of various great men throughout history. There are also two well done appendices that cover '100 Movies Men Should See' and '100 Books Men Should Read'.

I have little quarrel with most of the contents although I personally think that some of Miniter's views on vices is a bit silly.
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