122 of 131 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2009
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. And, says Miniter, men have a duty to shake off the fetters of apathy and fecklessness and become MEN. We have a duty and responsibility to teach our sons to become MEN. Men who do not crumble in the face of challenge; men who do not chose the easy path; men who are willing to govern or give up their vices; men who are willing to sacrifice their own comfort for the good of their wives, families, communities, and countries. I cannot help but wonder that the source of the economic and social catastrophes that have turned our world upside down is the lack of Miniter's "Ultimate Men." By the same token, our salvation will be in teaching and preparing a new generation of responsible, daring, and disciplined men. Miniter's Ultimate Man's Survival Guide is a great place to start preparing that new generation and reforming the old.
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
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. You also learn how to pick out candy, buy flowers, tie a Windsor knot and a bow tie, and some steps on playing winning poker (good luck with that!).
6) Philosopher - You see a true man is a thinker, too. The author talks about the four cardinal virtues: wisdom, justice, courage, moderation (you know, from Plato). You also get a tour of the Ten Commandments, Buddhism's Eight Precepts, Taosim's Ten Precepts, Ben Franklins 13 rules of Improvement, and more. There is also an article on the "10 Most Many Deaths of All Time.
The appendices tell you how to continue your manly education. For example, the author provides a list of 100 movies you should see.
Each section is nicely illustrated and has side articles about historic men who exemplified the principles being discussed in that chapter. I also want to comment on the nicely sturdy construction of the book. It will stand up to repeated use and that is appropriate for this book because you will want to refer to it again and again and give go through it with your boys.
Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI
54 of 66 people found the following review helpful
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. Although many of the areas covered were standard fare in the life education of young boys growing up when I was younger (at least in the West where such things as hunting, fishing, etc. were not only popular then, but still are), many of these are not commonly taught in the age of nonstop TV, video games, etc.
This would be a great gift for the men and boys in one's life. Although it is very good, I would really like to see the author double or triple its content for future printings.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2009
growing up as an outdoorsman and someone whom has travel to many places overseas I would have loved to read this book when I was a young man dreaming up the things I have done and will keep on doing. Do not get me wrong this book was a great read to see someone else's take on many things and how they learned their skills. I would give this book an 5 star for 14 - 20 year old readers and an 4 star for 21 years and older readers.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2009
This book jumped off the shelf as I was walking by. Now I find myself eating lots of bran so I can have more bathroom time with it.
Having said that, I have one MAJOR issue with it. In the section which details how to perform CPR, the sole focus is on airway management, with no mention of chest compressions. The American heart Association does not emphasize mouth to mouth resuscitation by bystanders any more, rather they emphasize continuous chest compressions without interruption for rescue breathing until the arrival of Advanced Life Support. If one were to include a pocket rescue breathing mask in a survival kit, then rescue breathing could be provided in the form of two rescue breaths after every two minutes of chest compressions. But today it is all about compressions.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2009
The Ultimate Man's Survival Guide is a wonderful book that every man should read. It is a great gift idea for Men as they reach different milestones such as graduation's birthdays etc. The book is a great read for men of all ages. It has information that every man should know. It explores what it means to be a man in today's society. The book covers different philosophies from great thinkers like Socrates, as well as give practical knowledge for every day life. I really loved the book. It gave me some new information and insight about being a man. It also reinforced many of my values and beliefs about what it means to be a man. Perhaps my favorite part of the book is the section at the end where it lists the 100 top manly books and movies. I was pleased to see that I had already read many of the books and watched several of the movies on the lists. There were also books and movies that I had never heard of before. Since reading the book and using it as a reference I have been exposed to some great works that I otherwise would never have enjoyed.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is a book that should be read by every father and given to every son as a basic guide to what qualities it takes to be a man. Every culture has had its own "right of passage" tests to insure their men develop the qualities needed to take on the responsibilities of adulthood. This book offers some basic guidelines to work for to achieve manhood.
This book covers survival skills, methods to be a good provider. Basic athlete skills, what traits are required of true heroes, the importance of being a gentleman, the various philosophical principles one should understand and follow, which is one of my favorite sections, and finally two incredible appendices that includes suggestions on how to continue your manly education. Appendix one gives you the 100 movies men should see, and appendix two includes the 100 books men should read.
While I agree with most of the movie and book selections, I would have added a number of other choices as well that every man should see and read. Nevertheless, this is a book that was a joy to read and this short review cannot do it justice.
In conclusion, this is a must read book for every man and for every woman who desires to understand what "rights of Passage" qualities are required for true manhood.
Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Predator Hunter: A Warrior's Memoir)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2010
Lots of things in here our dads took for granted that need to be spelled out to young men in this day of the metrosexual, overdressed, sissified male.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2011
I bought this book as a Xmas gift for my 2 sons. Lets hope some of what is in this book rubs off on them. Part how-to and part philosophical dissertation. For instance, Miniter tells/shows how to tie various knots he thinks a man should know, but then he goes on to explain why (in his philosphy) a man should know them.
If you want your son(s) to grow up into the kind of men I hope my sons will be; capable, without arrogance or cruelty, they could do worse than to read this book.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2010
Mr. Miniter's "The Ultimate Man's Survival Guide" was a refreshing read. The subject of reviving an interest in and re-educating our boys and young men in masculine basics cannot be stressed enough. Whether the art of self-reliance in the wilderness, or exercising a strong cultural embodiment of a laudable "manly" stature, every young man must be subjected to and have this teaching incorporated into his formative training. If not, we, as a society, are doomed to the on-going feminization and infantalization of our males.
Bravo, Mr. Miniter! I look forward to more of your work on this long-overdue discussion.
Author of "I Know You Know I'm Out Here!"