With humor, literary allusions, and a casual, unprepossessing style, Gottschall explores such related subjects as duels, bullying, English football, men’s “love-hate” relationship to war, and violent entertainment from gladiator games to MMA."
Joe Rogan, UFC Commentator
"A fascinating story...A great f***ing book."
"The Professor in the Cage [is] a riveting first-person account to the three years that the 40ish, physically unimposing English teacher trained to become an MMA fighter."
“The Professor in the Cage is not just Gottschall's story, but a look at the history of violence itself…. you read Gottschall getting smarter and smarter about his subject as he gets closer and closer to risking his life in the cage.”
Boston Globe, Best Books of 2015
"An out-of-shape English professor in a funk and on the brink of middle age leaves his office, walks across the street to a mixed martial arts gym to train, gets clobbered, does some clobbering, and learns a lot"
"Like Fight Club but for English Professors....When Gottschall finally enters a cage in Johnstown, PA, exhilaration, pain and confusion spatter all over the mat. I won't give away the outcome, except to say that the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat both make cameos."
Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University; and author of How the Mind Works and The Better Angels of Our Nature:
“What a charming and illuminating book! With scientific acumen and literary panache, Gottschall immerses himself, and us, in an ancient part of the male psyche. Among the many treats in this book are the history of recreational fighting, a limpid explanation of sexual selection, and a sympathetic portrayal of working-class men that’s worthy of a great novelist.”
Sam Harris, author of the New York Times bestsellers The End of Faith, The Moral Landscape, and Waking Up:
“Jonathan Gottschall has written a wonderfully honest, entertaining, and insightful book about violence, manhood, courage, and the wisdom that can be gleaned from getting punched in the face. If you’ve ever wondered why combat is a perennial source of fascination for us, and whether this fascination can be channeled toward truly productive ends, The Professor in the Cage is the book to read.”
The Art of Manliness, Best Books of 2015
"One of the best books I've read this year, and one of the best books on masculinity I've read...A fascinating and provocative argument...A great story."
The National Post, Best Books of 2015
English professor turned cage fighter Gottschall walks us through the psychology of violence in this fascinating mix of science, literature, and memoir.
Bryan Callen, co-host of The Fighter and the Kid podcast
"I read the f**k out of The Professor in the Cage! I found it fascinating because it's something I'm actually obsessed with: Why do men behave the way they do? Why do I behave the way I do?"
“Gottschall’s writing proves much smoother and easier to digest than the mayhem he undertakes in the cage. He buttresses his work, as all academics do, with 35 pages of endnotes and bibliography, attesting to the research he undertook to complement his road to the ring. The reader learns why animals fight, why women don’t, and why eye contact and facial expressions often win bouts before the bell rings.”
The Writer File
“An amazing story… Incredibly compelling, and a lot of fun."