The Male Ego

The Male Ego

by Willard Gaylin
     
 

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What's the matter with men today? From homicidal macho posturing to weekend drumming marathons, American men are in crisis, and showing it. This landmark work by Willard Gaylin, the best-selling author of Rediscovering Love, traces the origins of that crisis to the fragile center of masculinity - the much-misunderstood male ego. Men's identities are dangerously bound… See more details below

Overview

What's the matter with men today? From homicidal macho posturing to weekend drumming marathons, American men are in crisis, and showing it. This landmark work by Willard Gaylin, the best-selling author of Rediscovering Love, traces the origins of that crisis to the fragile center of masculinity - the much-misunderstood male ego. Men's identities are dangerously bound by rules that they themselves have made, driving them toward goals that are almost unattainable. In The Male Ego, Gaylin examines the ways in which that contradiction erupts in men's everyday lives: in the pervasive fear of impotence and the paranoid terror of "being screwed"; in the irrational displays of phallic power that endanger our streets and vulgarize our work spaces; in the use and abuse of women as "male jewelry." Gaylin shows how an embattled sense of manhood infects our language and corrupts our political life; how it poisons relationships between the sexes and why it ultimately results in most men feeling a failure in their own eyes. At a time when so many men are struggling, not just with women but with their own deeper selves, The Male Ego presents a compelling case for redefining manhood and relocating traditional sources of male pride.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Psychoanalyst Gaylin believes that the centuries-old male roles of protector, provider/hunter and procreator no longer instill pride. In his diagnosis, modern man, trapped in an obsolete, maladaptive emotional system, seeks an ego-boost elsewhere--in sports, in sex-as-performance, or in the narcissistic reassurances of ``male jewelry'' such as trophy wives, corner offices and membership in exclusive clubs. In a revealing, unsettling probe, utilizing clinical case material, Gaylin ( Rediscovering Love ) puts forward unfashionable views. Men, he contends, have an omnipresent fear of showing cowardice, a phenomenon that he says is rare in women. Yet he rejects the ``primal man'' extolled by the men's movement as a dangerous anachronism. Gaylin finds men everywhere sinking into depression, self-directed rage and feelings of helplessness or failure. Citing our culture's lack of male rites of passage, he sweepingly calls for a redefinition of manhood in achievable terms, a task he leaves to others. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Gaylin is the psychiatrist author of the popular self-help books Feelings ( LJ 12/1/78), The Rage Within ( LJ 11/15/84), and Rediscovering Love (Penguin, 1986). In The Male Ego , he provides an up-to-date definition of manhood presented in terms of man as the protector, provider, and procreator. He feels that manhood is based on genetic and cultural influences and is given its successive shapings in adulthood by emotion and imagination. He also states that ``in all cultures, courage is the one incontrovertible virtue associated with masculinity.'' The author provides examples from traditional and primitive cultures but hardly discusses American black and Hispanic manhood roles. Still, this is one of the best of the current crop of books on the male experience. Recommended for most libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/92.-- Del Cain, V.A. Medical Ctr. Lib., Bedford, Mass.
Booknews
Psychoanalyst Gaylin (Rediscovering Love) explores the male experience and presents evidence of a critical deterioration in the pride and self-confidence of American men. In a culture which no longer provides distinct means of support for the male ego, the answer, according to Gaylin, lies not in role reversal or in the "feminization" of the male, but in a gradual blurring of the gender roles with the eventual emergence of men and women still different but equally worthy of respect. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670835881
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/28/1992
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
20.00(w) x 20.00(h) x 20.00(d)

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