Customer Reviews for

The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Great book

I've read several of William Bennett's books and have several of them as a part of my personal library including, "The Book of Virtues" and "The Moral Compass". So when I saw his new book "The Book of Man" I jumped at the chance to read and review it.

As in his previ...
I've read several of William Bennett's books and have several of them as a part of my personal library including, "The Book of Virtues" and "The Moral Compass". So when I saw his new book "The Book of Man" I jumped at the chance to read and review it.

As in his previous books, he stories, letters, poems, etc. to illustrate and bring the life the themes of the book. It's challenging and motivating. I have greatly enjoyed it and am now passing it on to my brother so he can read it as well.

The book is broken down into topics sections including:

Man in War
Man at Work
Man in Play, Competition, and Leisure
Man in the Polis
Man wth Woman and Children
Man in Prayer and Reflection

The stories are well written and presented. I like the way that each story stands on its own and is short and easy to read. I like to read books like this a little at a time and take time to think and reflect on what I just read.

Personally, I feel the world of today is so lacking in the way of values and this is one of the main reasons I like Mr. Bennett's books, as it brings back a touch of the way things used to be, with a stronger sense of morels. I can see how this book may not be appealing to all in that way, but it is something so needed.
It's very nicely presented and makes a great gift book.

posted by Angela_Nic on September 27, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

THE WORST BOOK! False Conclusions, Unworthy Heroes, Horrible Author

This book is supposed to be about "What it means to be a man" by giving examples of men for our boys to look up to as heroes. The author gives us about 500 different stories of men from ancient history to modern day politicians, athletes, celebrities, etc. He says, thes...
This book is supposed to be about "What it means to be a man" by giving examples of men for our boys to look up to as heroes. The author gives us about 500 different stories of men from ancient history to modern day politicians, athletes, celebrities, etc. He says, these men present an ideal of manhood. He tells us that our boys should follow these examples of "real men" and learn how they should live and the things to which our boys should aspire. The author lists these men as examples worth emulating - as heroes to be honored by our boys. I was SICK and DISGUSTED when I read the list of men William Bennet holds up as heroes. What is Bennett's standard for picking these men as heroes? "Every community, even Sodom and Gomorrah, has one individual in it who might be identified as worth admiring." No wonder this author picked non-Christians and unethical men to represent the "heroes" in this book. This is the LAST book anyone should hold up as an example for their sons.

Bennett's heroes include Shakespeare, Colin Powell, Alexander the Great, Winston Churchill, Navy Seal Creed, William the Conqueror, Ronald Regan, Plato, Homer, Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Thomas Carlyle, "Pistol" Pete Maravich, A.G. Spalding, Leo Tolstoy, Buster Douglas, Davy Crockett, Aristotle, John Locke, John F. Kennedy, Charles Dickens, Robert Morris (current day pentecostal megachurch pastor), Abraham Lincoln, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, George Washington, and more.

I found much of what the author had to say as mindless ramblings, lacking logic and any conclusive purpose. Example: The author starts the introduction by giving us a statistic: "In 1954, 90% of American men worked. Today, that number is 80%". Instead of considering the many possibilities for this decline, such as unemployment, immigration, retirement, and other factors; the author immediately jumps to the conclusion this decline is due to laziness and men leaching off the government. While laziness is certainly a factor, the author doesn't even consider that it might not be the only factor. He portrays this as a direct correlation.

Next, Bennett takes an even bigger leap - "In 1970, 80% of men 25-29 were marriaged, but in 2007, only 40%". He immediately blames what he calls a decline in marriage on the fact that there are too many aimless men! When we all know that men and women are getting married later and later in life these days due to educational and career-oriented goals! This author is SOOOO far off base, it's ridiculous! I feel like this author misses the point time after time.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for this review but I did really give my honest opinion

posted by mirandi on October 23, 2011

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  • Posted September 27, 2011

    Great book

    I've read several of William Bennett's books and have several of them as a part of my personal library including, "The Book of Virtues" and "The Moral Compass". So when I saw his new book "The Book of Man" I jumped at the chance to read and review it.

    As in his previous books, he stories, letters, poems, etc. to illustrate and bring the life the themes of the book. It's challenging and motivating. I have greatly enjoyed it and am now passing it on to my brother so he can read it as well.

    The book is broken down into topics sections including:

    Man in War
    Man at Work
    Man in Play, Competition, and Leisure
    Man in the Polis
    Man wth Woman and Children
    Man in Prayer and Reflection

    The stories are well written and presented. I like the way that each story stands on its own and is short and easy to read. I like to read books like this a little at a time and take time to think and reflect on what I just read.

    Personally, I feel the world of today is so lacking in the way of values and this is one of the main reasons I like Mr. Bennett's books, as it brings back a touch of the way things used to be, with a stronger sense of morels. I can see how this book may not be appealing to all in that way, but it is something so needed.
    It's very nicely presented and makes a great gift book.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    THE WORST BOOK! False Conclusions, Unworthy Heroes, Horrible Author

    This book is supposed to be about "What it means to be a man" by giving examples of men for our boys to look up to as heroes. The author gives us about 500 different stories of men from ancient history to modern day politicians, athletes, celebrities, etc. He says, these men present an ideal of manhood. He tells us that our boys should follow these examples of "real men" and learn how they should live and the things to which our boys should aspire. The author lists these men as examples worth emulating - as heroes to be honored by our boys. I was SICK and DISGUSTED when I read the list of men William Bennet holds up as heroes. What is Bennett's standard for picking these men as heroes? "Every community, even Sodom and Gomorrah, has one individual in it who might be identified as worth admiring." No wonder this author picked non-Christians and unethical men to represent the "heroes" in this book. This is the LAST book anyone should hold up as an example for their sons.

    Bennett's heroes include Shakespeare, Colin Powell, Alexander the Great, Winston Churchill, Navy Seal Creed, William the Conqueror, Ronald Regan, Plato, Homer, Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Thomas Carlyle, "Pistol" Pete Maravich, A.G. Spalding, Leo Tolstoy, Buster Douglas, Davy Crockett, Aristotle, John Locke, John F. Kennedy, Charles Dickens, Robert Morris (current day pentecostal megachurch pastor), Abraham Lincoln, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, George Washington, and more.

    I found much of what the author had to say as mindless ramblings, lacking logic and any conclusive purpose. Example: The author starts the introduction by giving us a statistic: "In 1954, 90% of American men worked. Today, that number is 80%". Instead of considering the many possibilities for this decline, such as unemployment, immigration, retirement, and other factors; the author immediately jumps to the conclusion this decline is due to laziness and men leaching off the government. While laziness is certainly a factor, the author doesn't even consider that it might not be the only factor. He portrays this as a direct correlation.

    Next, Bennett takes an even bigger leap - "In 1970, 80% of men 25-29 were marriaged, but in 2007, only 40%". He immediately blames what he calls a decline in marriage on the fact that there are too many aimless men! When we all know that men and women are getting married later and later in life these days due to educational and career-oriented goals! This author is SOOOO far off base, it's ridiculous! I feel like this author misses the point time after time.

    I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for this review but I did really give my honest opinion

    6 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    life lessons from historical heroes

    "the book of man" is very hard to put down! william bennett shows how men and male figures can make a difference in the lifes of their familys and their communitys through the many storys and speechs of famous and not so famous male figures through out history and our united states. through this great book their are many great life lessons to be learned from the special people presented here for the first time.this book will make a great gift for someone special and will truly motivate alkot of individuels to make a difference in the lifes of others as well as their community.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2011

    Great Book

    Highly recommend it. I read it even though many previous reviews were so low. Makes me wonder if they really read it or just posted based on what their own anti-Christian beliefs.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Book of Man, Readings on the Path to Manhood ... 5 Stars!

    Boys need heroes if they are to become good men . they need to know about men who have lived good and noble lives; working, staying sober, keeping their word, not taking advantage of women, and supporting their children. New York Times Best-Selling author William J. Bennett has written a big book of inspiration detailing the lives of men (both ancient and modern) who are worth knowing. And why they matter. This is an important book, one that I highly recommend to parents, grandparents, family members, and teachers and to those of us in the community who care about what we are teaching our young men. Selections are taken from literature and history; men at work and at play; men whom the author admires . imperfect men who nonetheless have lived admirable lives. Keep this book handy, read it often, and share the words within whenever possible. The Book of Man goes on my list of the top ten books I have read recently. Thank you Mr. Bennett. This book was provided by the publisher for review, my thoughts are my own.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    Book of Man

    "Book of Man" isn't really what I expected it to be, though that doesn't mean that it wasn't a good book. I expected this book to be more of a guide to the dos and don'ts to raising young men in our society today. In contrast, this book was really more of an anthology of stories about strong men. William Bennett using this book to profile influential, strong men who have had an impact on history. I think that this book offers up many potential role models for young men today - men who have shown courage, virtue, and dedication to a cause. While it doesn't offer up much advice on helping to raise young men today, it does hold a treasure trove of honorable men, with some great stories about their impact on history. I enjoyed these readings, and think that any parent would be able to appreciate the qualities that Mr. Bennett picks out of these men and presents to us. Highly recommend this one.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2011

    Book of Man

    As a response to the lack of leadership and true manhood in today's society William Bennett as compiled a collection of stories The Book of Man is broken down into 6 sections...

    Including:

    Man in War
    Man at Work
    Man in Play, Competition, and Leisure
    Man in the Polis
    Man wth Woman and Children
    Man in Prayer and Reflection


    The Book of Man upholds a traditional, moral and religious view of man, even though many of the selections are from men who are not specifically Christian or even religious. I would recommend this book for people that work with men and boys such as counselors, teachers, etc. I would also recommend this book for men that want to take a look at what manhood looks like throughout history and today.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    book of prayers/thoughts from non-christians & republicans

    This book is supposed to be about finding men for our sons to look up to as heroes. As Christians, even the idea of suggesting our sons have heroes might make us balk - we aren't really into encouraging our sons to idolize sinful men. But let's just say, you were going to pick 5 or 20 or 50 men to hold up as good examples of strong morals and strong character. If that is the goal of this book, it failed SERIOUSLY. I don't think many of us would ever advise our sons to idolize any man and especially not the ones Bennett picked for his book: past presidents, politicians, athletes, rulers/murderers, etc.




    I think Bennett's goal was to find some famous men from history (some old and dead, some still alive) and display for us their thoughts and prayers. For this, Bennett could have picked ANYONE in all of history. Maybe his point is not so much that the men he picked are known for great character, but that all men can show thoughfulness from time to time or at least at some point in their lives. So Bennett focuses on showing us prayers from these men's lives.




    I just felt this book is SO UNCHRISTIAN. Half these heroes are unchristian, some pagan-worshipping, money-cheating, sleezebags! Why would we want to hear about their prayers? Ugh! How can this pass for a Christian book? This is more of a worship/idolize/make heroes of your politicians/government/rulers kind of book. This book is also very pro-republican, so democrats will hate it. Bennett puts up around 5 republicans as heroes and no democrats.




    This book is HUGE! So thick and so large - larger than your Bible by far! This book is for sure for the adult. And not at all made for our sons - they would have zero interest in reading it. It is long and SOOO BORING! I had to force myself through the pages. Luckily, the prayers/thoughts are short as Bennett rushes through like 500+ men's prayers and thoughts! I kept wanting to put it down and go read something else. I didn't care about these men! I don't want to know George Bush Jr's scripted prayer for the departed! I don't want to read it! He didn't write it anyway! I don't want to read his father George Bush Sr's prayer at his inaugural address either! I don't want to know what pagan-god-worshipping Alexander the Great did! I don't care about Plato's view on life! I don't want to read about their lives! Especially the sleezy politicians! Or the murderous historians! Or the jocks/athletes! Ugh! And the worst part, I truly did NOT find values, morals or good character in almost ANY of these prayers/thoughts. They added nothing to my life but wasted time reading painful thoughts.




    Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher for this unbiased review. I am giving my honest review, as positive reviews are not required.

    1 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2011

    honesty

    The writer below me asked this question - What's wrong with using Jesus, the apostles, or the forefathers? I will give you an answer to that. As much as you hate it, not everyone in America is Christian. I want factual role models for my kids. I do believe you left two reviews.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    Author makes non-Christian men of questionable character into idols for our boys

    This book is about the character of men and how our kids/sons/boys need men with strong characters as role models. Bennett believes these boys need to model themselves after real life "heroes". The hope of this book is that people can use this book to turn boys into men of strong character - a worthy goal.

    The subject of the book sounds interesting, especially considering Bennett is the author of a famous book called the "Book of Virtues". The biggest problem I have with this book is that Bennett chooses real life public figures, like Presidents of the United States, politicians, military personnel, athletes and many other famous men. When picking ideal "heroes or idols" for my son, these are the guys who would be at the BOTTOM of my "hero" list. These are the most money hungry, dishonest, sleezebags in society. Sure some of them show SOME bits of character from time to time - but then so does everyone, even criminals in jail! Why should we ever encourage our kids to idolize these public figures? Their OVERALL character (in general) are terrible! And some/most are not even Christian! I don't get this book at all. Very disappointing.

    Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from the publisher but I am giving my honest review.

    1 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    When I see substantial "men" or "boys" are m

    When I see substantial "men" or "boys" are missing themselves in this highly seductive world and pursuing instant yet temporary pleasure and excitement, I believe this book will be one of the maps that guide "boys" come out from "the island of the lost world" go toward manhood. Personally, I do not think this is a magic book for you (parents or teachers) let your son to read it alone so that he will be a "man" in the future, suddenly. In fact, there is not such book in this world. This book, however, contains abundant tools (such as profiles, stories, letters, poems, essays) to assist you to guide your children to be a better men in the future. Since there are lots of examples in the book, it should not an surprise for me to disagree with few of them. Moreover, I do not think it is necessary to agree with or to practise all the characteristics stated in the book in order to be a "man".
    The important thing is to be inspired and then to find one or two appropriate models for practising. Lastly, I believe "women" or "girls" shall read this book as well to know what are the characteristics of "real men" are, so that they will make a better decision in choosing the right man.

    END
    (p/s: I received this book free-of-charge in exchange for my honest opinion.)

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  • Posted August 7, 2012

    This is the kind of book that you read more than once during you

    This is the kind of book that you read more than once during your life and out of order. The one to stay on the shelf and every time I hit a new willingness to take in hand, flip through and read a few dozen random pages. William Bennett was able to come together dozens of articles, poems and life stories of great men on great men. About every action and every element of your life that must be correct to be a good person, so that your life has a sense of being, and that every opportunity is aproveitada.Coisas even trivial and should be obvious, but that all people should listen at least once in their lives, to make sure that they follow the right path.

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  • Posted July 22, 2012

    “The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood” c

    “The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood” compiled by William J. Bennett is more than just a book. It is an education in history, patriotism, principles and above all “marketing”. I used the word marketing because one look at its exquisite hard cover, scarlet spine and the majestic design on its front cover is enough to make you want to have it in your collection! However while the beauty of most superbly jacketed volumes are only skin deep, “The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood” delivers till the last page.
    It is a compilation of writings that causes one to pause and consider the many facets of men and the decisions and revelations men have had throughout history. It covers a variety of spaces that men occupy from war to leisure, sports and politics. To name just a few of the many men whose lives and wisdom and examples he draws from in this book, there is: Winston Churchill, Colin Powell, Alexander the Great, William the Conqueror, Benjamin Franklin, Theodore Roosevelt, Robert Louis Stevenson. In short every selection is meant to teach a different attribute of manhood.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    The Path To Manhood

    I bought Bill Bennett’s TheBook of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood at the beginning of the year when I resolved to read 12 books, one for each year. Well, 3 months later I’m 300 pages into this 900 page behemoth, but I’m enjoying it. Those of you who listen to his show or have heard him speak know jovial and optimistic he is-a true happy warrior. His books are always interesting and inspiring.

    He looks at man at war, work, play, in the polis, and with women and children. In war men exhibit the virtue of “sacrificing one’s self for liberty, happiness, and the state.” In productive labor he finds what’s necessary for the good life. In leisure men still exercise perseverance and determination but through activities that bring pleasure. In each of these sections Bennett takes examples from a variety of sources including poetry, novels, biographies, stories he heard on his radio show, and even the Bible. The anecdotes explore the multi-faceted nature of the different categories of life and provide a unique lesson in each story.

    Bennett is a philosopher who believes in the importance of virtue and you can sense that from his writing. Manhood is nothing without virtue. There is nothing inevitable about becoming a man. It is more than just being a male. It is a moral pursuit in which you build character in every part of life. A man recognizes his responsibilities and lives up to his obligations, pursues excellence in everything he does, stands up for what is right, protects the defenseless, loves his family and country, and sets an example, among other things. You’ll find yourself simultaneously aware of what you lack and inspired to develop the character traits that are put on display in the book.

    There isn’t a man for whom this book wouldn’t be informative and inspiring. Young men, in particular, need to read this book so that they know that these qualities of manhood are not quaint notions of a bygone era. They are relevant for today, especially in these postmodern times full of indifference and cynicism. I believe we've been getting an important lesson in what a difference it makes what kind of men we have leading our country and if more men pursuing the kind of virtue Bennett writes about then there is reason to hope for the future of our nation.

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  • Posted April 22, 2012

    Some of these reviews here are so blatantly biased and many even

    Some of these reviews here are so blatantly biased and many even got the book free from the publisher. This is a compilation about men. I don't believe Bennett argues these men should all be heroes - and I think the genius of the book is he let's us decide the things we should share, as fathers, with our children (and boys).
    Apparently, some of you got frustrated because you tried to read the book cover to cover. It is not meant to be read this way. The book is about great STRUGGLE which occurs in manhood and if we do not teach our men coming of age about struggle and solid decision making, then, some of them will turn out like some of these characters.
    I agree with some reviewers that the author throws out some stats without an in depth search of why these things may be true, but I don't think that is his intention. He wants us to THINK about why they may be true. This book may have a mixed message for some, may be unchristian to others, BUT THERE ARE STILL LESSONS HERE!!!!!!!!! Especially for people willing to seek them instead of just be critical of the text.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    William Bennett compiled a collection of writings about man and

    William Bennett compiled a collection of writings about man and war; work; play, sports and leisure; in the polis; with woman and children; and in prayer and reflection. In order to enjoy this book, you absolutely must enjoy reading a variety of authors in praise of each of these areas. Most of the authors are very well known; some of the most interesting articles are by writers who are more obscure.

    Without doubt, some of the pieces included are some of the most eloquent ever written. Almost without exception, the authors are men, so this is really a book about men by men. Reading article after article about man and war, for example, can be a little daunting after a while.

    I doubt that this anthology is meant to be read cover to cover, but it is a fine resource of writings by men about men. It is thorough and well presented.

    I received this book for free in exchange for my unbiased review through the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze Program.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

    Great Book

    The world really needs more books like this . I have enjoyed reading this book greatly. I also recommend THE BOOK OF VIRTUES by the same author.

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  • Posted February 10, 2012

    My Review

    The Book of Man
    By: William J. Bennet
    (Author of: The Book of Virtues)
    I was a little skeptical of this book…well mainly because it was called The Book of Man. But I was in for a surprise! Even though it is centered on men, it is positively wonderful reading.
    This book is filled to the brim with short essays, profiles, speeches and poems. I enjoyed them all.
    I believe my favorite parts were the Profiles. They were about different men doing their duty in the job force and at home. Basically short biographies! Some of the men were: Alvin York, Red Falvey, Coach Ken, etc. I found out about many new heroes that I never even knew existed! All the profiles were very interesting, and I found myself wanting to know more about the person they were written about.
    On the other hand, this book is rather large and if you are not an advanced reader you may find that it becomes monotonous! I therefore recommend this book for 13+. But if you enjoy reading *it is a couple thousand pages long* Go for it! I also will recommend that you read it in segments.


    Thank you for reading my review * And don’t forget*, reading is healthy for you!

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  • Posted January 29, 2012

    The Book Of Man By William J Bennett

    This big fat book is a superb encyclopedia for boys (and men). It covers various expectations that this society (at least the past few generations) has with them and what can be done to meet those expectations.

    In many ways this book is something like 'Chicken soup for men'. It gives story after story about real people, fictional characters, poems, speeches and more, trying to answer one simple quetion "What makes a man?"

    New York Times Best Selling Author William Bennett starts with a very interesting article which proves that boys today are clueless about what they are supposed to do (or not supposed to do) when the grow up. Due to various reasons, William Bennett feels they don't get enough guidance on this topic and become confused young men and suggests this book as a reference reading giving them pointers about some great men.

    This book is devided into 6 major sections: Mam in War, Man at Work, Man in Play, Sports and Leisure, Man in the Polis, Man with Woman and Children, Man in Prayer and Reflection. Each section provides around 100 pages of reading material, all of them short and sweet. Means, you can open this book in any page and start reading. Articles are coming from ancient world to the modern, giving a really great reading experience even for grownups.

    Hoping to see a similar book for girls (and women) soon!

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  • Posted January 12, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent for raising boys

    Do you have a son, nephew, or young boy in your life that you want to bring direction to?

    Do you, as a woman, want to know what defines the ideal manhood?

    Then ‘The Book of Man’ by William J. Bennett is a book I highly recommend for you.

    How do you raise a boy to become a man who a woman will look up to, or other men will respect? While this book isn’t a how-to book, it gives a variety of examples taken from many different sources, showing examples of what a man should be. Divided into six sections that deal with how a man should carry himself in life, through war, love, living amongst people, working, raising children, reflection and prayer, and at his leisure. Examples that range from accounts of military heroes, the Bible, literary figures, poetry, and famous speeches.

    In today’s world, many women are coming up frustrated by not having what is defined as a real man, be available. This is a great book for women to read to have examples of what a good man is.

    This is also a great book for parents to either read for themselves, or to read to their children. As most of the essays and sections are short, an evening discussion with growing boys, and an explanation of the content could be used as a helpful tool in rearing boys into manhood.

    William ‘Bill’ Bennett has done an excellent job in compiling different stories from various sources. I was quite surprised to read excerpts from Shakespeare, the Bible, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Jack London, Lord Byron, and other famous poets. Similarly, the Navy SEAL Creed, a speech by Colin Powell, Winston Churchill and even Sir Walter Raleigh, were included. The plethora of people showcased in this book is quite amazing in itself.

    I recommend it to everyone as just as a companion book of great speeches and essays, it’s an enjoyable read. And I can honestly say I love this book and plan to keep it on my shelf for years.

    Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of The Book of Man through Book Sneeze, in exchange for my honest review.

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