Top critical review
23 people found this helpful
Illuminating, yet uncomfortably misandric.
on September 23, 2011
There are a lot of things about this book that are really great. The actual cultural history of manhood in America is fantastic, and his identification of the cultural ideals of Heroic Artisan, Genteel Patriarch and the Self-Made Man are particularly helpful concepts for making sense of it all. I've never seen it anywhere else. The first half of the book focuses on this, and was quite absorbing and illuminating. It explained, in my opinion, the Tea Party movement as well as right-wing Libertarians. The problem really shows itself in the second half of the book (almost seeming like a different person wrote it) where he loses his objectivity and replaces it with misandry instead of what is really needed in order to understand the subject (the American white male and his culture) which would be empathy. I think there's probably a way to point out the absurdity of some of the beliefs of white men's culture without being so nasty about it, and I feel that approach kept him from really getting to the core of the subject matter (which would have done a lot more to point up how people can change the problems with men's culture in the US). If I could give the first half 5 stars and the second half 2 stars, I would.