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Man-Making - Men Helping Boys on Their Journey to Manhood Paperback – February 3, 2012
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From the Author
There is currently an epidemic of under-male-nourished young males across the planet.
No matter how unprepared for man-making you may feel, the man you are today CAN make a difference.
You wouldn't be reading this if you hadn't heard the man-making call. Please don't ignore it!
If you have any question about your ability to have a positive impact in the life of a young male or males, please contact me via the man-making website.
You got this far for a reason, and the young dudes need exactly what you have to offer.
Thanks for caring,
From the Back Cover
The Man-Making book is a practical and inspirational guide for men. It shows them how to awaken and apply their instinctive and natural man-making skills. In these pages, every man, regardless of his level of commitment to this work, will find something he can do to support a boy or boys on their journey to manhood.
As a man reading this book, you will:
- Realize (remember) how adolescent boys desperately need older men in their lives.
- Recognize that you already possess all the knowledge and instinctual talents needed to move young males toward successful manhood.
- Learn about five levels of involvement and a broad range of easy man-making actions that make a positive difference in boys' lives.
- Discover the many ways your life and others' will be positively transformed when you use your natural skills as a maker of men.
Visit the Man-Making Website to learn more.
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Top customer reviews
Man-Making is a short book, but every page of it advances the author's goals of moving men toward preparedness and willingness to help make men out of boys. No one other than men, Hipp writes, can do this job. And of course in many ways it is necessary for men other than Dad to foster the process. Validation by males outside the nuclear family is a desperate need for adolescent boys. The author correctly notes that even most grown guys find it very wonderful to receive a blessing from an older male. Hipp asks the male reader to recall the gifts they received from a mentor, as nearly all of us had some sort of mentor experience, however fleeting it may have been.
Hipp does a lot of things well, extracting some of the very best quotes from authors such as Michael Gurian and William Pollack, and distilling down to a couple pages a deft summary of the alarming boy crisis our society currently faces. The author also coins felicitous phrases such as "the natural forces of masculine gravity," which, he tells us, will take care of the rest once an adult male "moves a little in the direction of" a young man.
Since most men are, sadly, still seeking initiation and/or the approval of other men, it is common for men to set up roadblocks to getting involved with boys. Common fears and concerns that help keep adult males from mentoring boys are first raised, then confronted, and finally paths forward are provided the reader.
The many brief real-life testimonials Hipp provides are uniformly fresh, gut-pleasingly real, and illuminating. One of the most important gifts we can give boys is simply to see them as they are. Even this may take a little conscious effort as many of us are so used to being the enforcers. If we can move further and provide a boy with a blessing, just a few words can have a huge, often lifelong impact.
I loved the author's examples of one (man)-to-many (boys) man-making. Hiking, woodworking, basically any excuse for a bunch of males to hang and do stuff together. Several out-of-the-ordinary ventures earn mention, such as curling, driving lessons, and even Guys Read, a website-based initiative to get boys interested in books.
Scouting earns three richly deserved and all too rare (these days) pages of description. I learned for the first time about DeMolay, an organization founded in 1919 that has helped mentor thousands of boys including Bill Clinton, John Wayne, and Walter Cronkite. Several wonderful stories are provided of unruly boys who receive the attention they so badly crave and avoid depression, instead becoming mentors for their younger peers.
Chapter Five addresses one-on-one man-making, perhaps the most powerful form male mentoring can take. Hipp notes that "consistency of contact is more important than occasionally doing something spectacular." The author also addresses topics that are all too easy to forget or miss, like how to properly end a relationship with a boy. (Discuss the transition together and make a mutual choice to end things if appropriate.) Hipp stresses the great value of honoring and blessing boys at important times such as birthdays, graduations, school awards, and the day he receives his driving permit. Even brief encounters can be life-changing.
E-mentoring is discussed and rightly recommended only if the mentor does not feel ready for face-to-face work with one or more boys. One memorable story relates how a mentor went on a hunt with his mentee and after a kill, smeared deer's blood on the boy's face in an unforgettable gesture of acceptance. Even paintball, which I personally detest, is discussed as a valid option, and rightly so. Official programs including Big Brother receive their due.
Informal initiations such as converting a birthday party into a coming-of-age celebration are discussed, as are formal rite-of-passage programs. My only real concern with this book is the surprising lack of attention paid to the rich territory lying in between the formal and the informal, such as rites of passage organized by men's groups. I personally have been connected with some rites of passage through my own men's group and I know that they can be literally life-changing for participating boys. It would have been great if Hipp could have devoted a chapter to advising men on the rudiments of organizing such events.
Certainly a lot of the hard-won lessons my group inadvertently learned through the rites we organized could have instead been absorbed prior to our first initiation if we had had a guide available. Without this, the book feels incomplete to me. I find it a bit disturbing that with the large number of men's books out there, seemingly no one has written a how-to guide for organizers of boys' rites of passage. Perhaps it is a bit unfair of me to critique the book for what it does not offer, when what it does give us is so valuable.
Anyway, Hipp does give a much-appreciated mention to a formal rite of passage program co-created by some dear friends of mine from the Mainely Men men's gatherings. I loved reading again the following priceless list of five lessons to be communicated to young men through initiations: Life is hard. You are going to die. You are not all that important. You are not in control. Your life is not about you.
Earl Hipp has done us all a huge service with this modest yet powerful and potentially life-changing book. If you are of the adult male persuasion, please read it, and then get to work man-making if you are not already involved somehow!