I’m going to turn this book review over to my handsome husband Jonathan! When we were discussing the importance of reading self-improvement books from time to time, he expressed interest in this newly published book by Stephen Mansfield. I requested a copy for review, and then set my husband to work on reading and commenting on it for ya’ll. Enjoy!
I wanted to read this book to grow as a man and as a father. One of my favorite books about being a Christian man is Wild at Heart: Discovering The Secret of a Man’s Soul By John Eldredge. Wild at Heart epitomizes the way that men think and feel, goes over the struggles men face and how to overcome them, and guides young men on the path to manhood.
It’s one of my favorite books to such a degree that I had my wife and I read it while we were still dating!
So when I requested Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men, I was hoping to find something similar.
About the Book
Book description from Amazon.com:
Witty, compelling, and shrewd, Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men is about resurrecting your inborn, timeless, essential, masculine self.
The Western world is in a crisis of discarded honor, dubious integrity, and faux manliness. It is time to recover what we have lost.
Stephen Mansfield shows us the way. Working with timeless maxims and stirring examples of manhood from ages past, Mansfield issues a trumpet call of manliness fit for our times.
“My goal in this book is simple,” he says. “I want to identify what a genuine man does—the virtues, the habits, the disciplines, the duties, the actions of true manhood—and then call men to do it.”
My Thoughts On The Book
The core of Mansfield’s book of Many Men revolves around the 4 Manly Maxims. According to Mansfield, in order to be a manly man, you must have the following attributes:
1) Manly men do many things.
2) Manly men tend their fields.
3) Manly men build many men.
4) Manly men live to the glory of God.
Mansfield then goes on to different qualities that manly men must possess like honor, humor, and integrity to name a few. He gives 16 real life examples for these qualities with famous men like Winston Churchill – a man of Legacy; Booker T. Washington – embodiment of Humility; and Theodore Roosevelt – the avatar of Wildness.
Not only did Mansfield quote Eldredge often and pull on many of the lessons in Wild at Heart, but I was happy to find this book is of the same caliber, with a unique approach of case studies of manliness.
Mansfield gives more of a historical view to manliness, learning lessons through observing real individuals in history. I liked that he used modern and current characters as well as old and ancient to convey these timeless messages. I found it interesting learning the history of these remarkable men that give such valuable lessons regarding the lost art of becoming a true “manly man”.
I really can’t think of anything I didn’t like about the book… Except maybe his movie recommendation in the appendix. It was missing some serious man movies: Gladiator, Braveheart, Finding Nemo. (Gingi made me put that last one.)
Overall, this book is extremely well written, engaging, entertaining and it did not disappoint. These are the types of lessons I would like to pass on to my future son and I hope I can talk some of my friends into going over this book with me in a small group once we are settled in Lemoore.
Some Inspiring Manly Quotes
Mansfield is heavy on inspirational quotes in his book, and I picked out some of my favorites that he includes:
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it… the brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandella, from Long Walk to Freedom (1995)
“These virtues are formed in man by his doing the actions… the good of man is a working of the soul in the way of excellence in a complete life.” – Aristotle, from the Nicomanchean Ethics
“We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and then bid the geldings be fruitful.” – C.S. Lewis, from The Abolition of Man (1943)
“Virtue is a state of war, and to live in it we have always to combat with ourselves.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau, from Julie, or the New Heloise, (1761)
“The small man gossips. The average man lets him. The greater man stays silent and allows what is said of him to make him greater still.” – Stephen Mansfield
“Fathers are to sons what blacksmiths are to swords. It is the job of the blacksmith not only to make a sword, but also to maintain its edge of sharpness. It is the job of the father to keep his son sharp and save him from the dullness of foolishness. He gives his son that sharp edge through discipline.” – Steve Farrar, from King Me: What Every Son Wants and Needs from His Father
“If a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.” – Martin Luther King Jr. from his speech in Detroit, Michigan (June 23, 1963)
[Disclaimer: There are no affiliate links in this review. I am an independent product reviewer. I only review products I am truly interested in. I don’t accept payment for reviews. The products I take the time to jabber on about are either items I have personally purchased, or the product has been provided for review after me incessantly nagging for a sample. All of my reviews are unbiased regardless of how the item was obtained.]
I would highly recommend this book to others!
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