This book invites--no, demands--a response from its readers. It is impossible not to be drawn in to the provocative (often contentious) discussion that Harvey Mansfield sets before us. This is the first comprehensive study of manliness, a quality both bad and good, mostly male, often intolerant, irrational, and ambitious. Our "gender-neutral society” does not like it but cannot get rid of it.
Drawing from science, literature, and philosophy, Mansfield examines the layers of manliness, from vulgar aggression, to assertive manliness, to manliness as virtue, and to philosophical manliness. He shows that manliness seeks and welcomes drama, prefers times of war, conflict, and risk, and brings change or restores order at crucial moments. Manly men in their assertiveness raise issues, bring them to the fore, and make them public and political--as for example, the manliness of the women’s movement.
After a wide-ranging tour from stereotypes to Hemingway and Achilles, to Nietzsche, to feminism, and to Plato, the author returns to today’s problem of "unemployed manliness.” Formulating a reasoned defense of a quality hardly obedient to reason, he urges men, and especially women, to understand and accept manliness, and to give it honest and honorable employment.
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Harvard government professor Mansfield delves into philosophy, literature and science to define manliness and to argue that it should have a place in an increasingly non-gender-specific society ... Read full review
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abstract Achilles aggression ambition American animal Aristotle authority Beauvoir become better Betty Friedan chapter civilization claim consider courage Darwin democracy democratic depend desire Discourses on Livy domination equal evolution fact fear female femi feminine Feminine Mystique feminism feminists Firestone gender neutrality gender-neutral society give Hegel heroes Hobbes Hobbes's honor Ibid idea independence individual John Wayne justice Laches less liberal liberty liness live look Machiavelli male manly assertiveness means modern ness Nietzsche nihilism nurture one's opposed patriarchy perhaps philosophers Plato political polymorphous perversity psychology rational control reason regime requires risk roles Roosevelt Rousseau rule scientific scientists Second Sex seems sense sex differences sexism sexual Simone de Beauvoir Socrates speak species speech stereotypes superior Tannen Tarzan theory things thought thumos tion Tocqueville transcendence truth ture unmanly Verena warriors willpower woman womanly women women's movement
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