Iron John: A Book about Men

Iron John: A Book about Men

3.7 9
by Robert Bly

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The renowned poet and author of A Gathering of Men helps men identify with their masculinity through a positive and supportive format for today's world of role conflicts.


The renowned poet and author of A Gathering of Men helps men identify with their masculinity through a positive and supportive format for today's world of role conflicts.

Editorial Reviews

Curled Up with a Good Book 7/25/05
"A 'classic' of sexual politics...[Bly's] heartfelt analysis of the Iron John, story [is] a delight to read and an inspiration."
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
It is refreshing these days to read a book that does not lay the blame for America's collective ills on social injustice....Mr. Bly's book is important and timely....It suggests that a young man better forget about growing up unless he has the sensitivity of a Jung, the brains of an Einstein and the determination of a General Patton, plus a good dose of luck. -- The New York Times Books of the Century, Dec. 9, 1990
Library Journal
Poet Bly had a surprise hit and publishing phenomenon with this rich meditation on the application of folklore, archetype, psychology, and history to an enriched sense of manhood that goes beyond empty machismo.

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Meet the Author

Robert Bly is the author of many books of poetry. He is also a renowned translator, editor, and a founder of the Men's Movement. He lives in Minneapolis and in Moose Lake, Minnesota.

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Iron John 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a man that has been, in one way or another, confused and bewildered for most of his life, I found this book to be simply life changing. Robert Bly has shown me the key to what has been missing in most of the relationships that I have had throughtout my life. I was completely astouded and pleased to learn how past ancient cultures knew so much about the essence of manhood and how they passed it down through mythology, legends and fairy tales. At the same time it has made me sad that this knowledge has been mostly lost in our everyday modern lives. The book was difficult to read because Bly jumps from one metaphor into the next, sometimes without explanation. Possibly this was done to make you 'feel' the meaning of the book without thinking too much. At any cost, it is well worth the time for anyone who is trying to understand his place in this world as a man.
Telamon More than 1 year ago
I am not finished with the book just yet, but so far am finding it very difficult to follow. Every now and then it will flow easier for a little while though. Bly gives examples or analogies to help illustrate his point, but doesnt fully explain them and a lot of times I was left asking more questions instead of having a clearer answer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I personally feel as though this book is Robert Bly's way of broadcasting himself. He inserts his poetry, which seems extremely self-serving. I feel as though his book has generally good ideas, but they are swarmed with too wide a variety of examples without going deep enough into detail to explain each situation. The book is tough to understand because it seems all over the place. The concepts are important for society to be aware of: men needn't hide their inner 'wild man'. It's true, a man needs to feel free to express himself in ways nature intended him to. However, the book is too long for students and too short for the specialists. I think Mr. Bly fell flat on this attempt.
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
Looking through the lens of myth, poet Robert Bly concludes that the Industrial Revolution pulled families apart. He blames absent fathers who failed to initiate boys into adulthood for many of today¿s cultural woes, including passivity among men, unhappy marriages and the prevalence of gangs. Bly cites stories from the ancient Greeks through the Brothers Grimm to show that young men¿s struggle to achieve mature adulthood has remained constant throughout history. The myth of Iron John follows the development of a young prince from his early ties to his mother, to his maturation and entry into the world of his father. Mothers, says Bly, must relinquish their babies to enable their sons to grow up. Bly uses his ramble through literature to explore deep issues that play out in men¿s personal and work lives. His metaphoric, poetic language may be off-putting to concrete thinkers, but getAbstract recommends Bly¿s classic to men and women who are looking for insight into modern men¿s psychic drives and struggles.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have given away a dozen copies. The cover makes it look like a weird book, but it offers incredible insight into the confusion of being male in the modern world, while showing us the richness of folk lore long forgotten.
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