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Sissy Nation: How America Became a Culture of Wimps & Stoopits Hardcover – February 1, 2008

3.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

New York Times contributing writer Strausbaugh (Black Like You) is fed up with the sissies of America. His distaste for our growing culture of fat, soft, stupid, fearful, whiny, infantile, narcissistic, fatalistic, group-thinking victims emanates from every page. Tracking the movement's origins to the conformist 1950s and its maturation during the Vietnam War-saturated 1960s and '70s, Strausbaugh satirically highlights what he perceives to be the major factors contributing to today's unmasculine man: conformity, religious fundamentalism and victimology. Strausbaugh seems to relish making politically incorrect and often crude analyses of America's cultural failures. His most provocative material concerns the treatment of real victims and grieving 9/11 families (his advice to alleged overmourners: Get over yourselves). His solution for ending the sissy epidemic is that offenders should simply stop their whining. Strausbaugh is too slap-happy at times, but effectively hammers home his point. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

“Impassioned yet brilliantly humorous” (London Evening Standard),John Strausbaugh is a contributing writer to The New York Times and lives in New York City.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books; 1st edition (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190526416X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905264162
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,477,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While the author makes some good points, he could have done so in a short essay. It is not the content that caused me to give it only 3 stars, but the presentation--a wandering, incoherent diatribe of endless short sentences that lacks organization. The book is short but a tough read with lots of sarcastic, sometime silly, snide comments whose tone makes it tedious. Some have commented that the book is a barrel of laughs. I don't remember even a chuckle. While I agree with much of the author's point of view, I wish there were a better spokesman for it than this guy. It took me about 6 Advils to finish the book and then I tossed it. Too bad.
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Format: Hardcover
I heard John Strausbaugh talk about his book on BookTV, which has become a new and valid medium in its own right. An author talking about his or her book is not the same as an audio book or a "reading". The written word is meant to be read, not listened to. It has its own kind of rhythm and texture. But an author giving a more or less spontaneous talk explaining what his or her book is about--as well as answering questions from the audience-- is very easy to listen to and follow, and you can actually get quite a good feeling for the book itself in as little as 30 minutes to an hour. [But even though I'm excited about this new medium, I'm certainly not praising the programming at BookTV, which in my opinion features too much material that is politically conservative or Republican-slanted.]

I thought the title "Sissy Nation" was a little silly, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the author's talk and agreed with everything he said. He's saying the same kinds of things as the social/cultural criticism in my self-published book (that no one has read), "Entropy and Alchemy", but in my opinion he doesn't go nearly far enough. It's not so much that we've become a nation of "sissies", but that we live in a huge technological society that not only coddles us but smothers us. Fitting into this huge society usually requires we play some minute role in it and relinquish our individuality. Instead of being autonomous, whole, and truly free individuals, we become part-time or weekend individuals. As a substitute for true individuality, we become obsessed with superficial self-expression. This is our attempt to escape the anonymity and uniformity that pervades the mega society we live in, one that has been created through a combination of population growth and technology.
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Format: Hardcover
I found this book fascinating, funny and VERY VERY scary. As a retired school teacher growing up in the 40's and 50's I have witnessed all of what he writes about. Just like the global warming naysayers, those that don't "believe" in the truth in his words are just putting their heads in the sand. The big question is how do we get the ball to stop rolling! Sadly, I think it's too late.

Retired School Teacher
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Format: Hardcover
Must say that I enjoyed John Strausbaugh's book a great deal. Seldom has common sense been so eloquent. YES, it is humorous, but far from satire -- this is a serious issue that the locksteping automaton sheeple are loathe to address (it "hurts their widdle feelings" and isn't "politically correct"). TRUTH is only objectuionable to those who fear it.

Strausbaugh boldly speaks his mind about "groupthink," politics, fundamentalism, obesity, anti-depressants, public education, the Interweb, and a number of other valid and timely topics . . . and I'm in agreement with over 90% of it.

HOWEVER, being a sheltered cityboy has insulated him from more than a few things, and I did note 2 glaring errors of fact:

1.) Strausbaugh naively lumps ALL gun owners in with mentally ill mass shooters and sociopathic gangstas who empty their Tec-9s over hurt feelings. He seems to think that Amerika would be a better place if everyone would just turn in their guns -- and blames "Joe Average" for supporting the criminal misuse of illegal firearms simply for refusing to waive his own 2nd Amendment right. He makes the "generic sissy argument" that the gun is a symbollic phallus used only to assauge one's feelings of inadequacy . . . riiiiight. I'M not a sissy. I own a gun because in MY neighborhood ALL the criminals carry illegal guns -- and there are about 5 shootings a week. They'll shoot you AFTER they've taken your wallet here. Not a nice place. I'm not about to let some smirking gangsta do whatever he likes to me and my friends just because HE has a gun and we don't. Grow up, John.

2.) Strausbaugh further posits that the "noble" illegal immigrants from Mexico simply want to earn pennies doing the jobs no-one else wants.
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Format: Hardcover
More self-flagellation for Western white guys? How many Men-Are-Jerks opuses can we withstand? Apparently, one more.
This book contains some of the best writing on the subject, however, it's something like an Elvis Presley movie soundtrack album: for every terrific song, there's three that are uninspired drivel - there are many great statements (such as those in the author's summation of the post-1969 space race) which are somewhat devalued by lines like this, in reference to our unnecessarily hgh-tech. common appliances: "It's not just the revenge of the nerds, it's the holocaust of the geeks". Meaning, those folks who apparently design stuff to be brought back to them when they don't work right.
Sissy Nation could have been chiseled down (1950s manufacturing expression) to a lengthy essay for The New Yorker or the New York Times Magazine. Remove some of that narcissistic excess that Strausbaugh himself rails against.
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