“Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men” by Stephen Mansfield

Mansfield's Book of Manly Men: An Utterly Invigorating Guide to Being Your Most Masculine SelfMansfield’s Book of Manly Men: An Utterly Invigorating Guide to Being Your Most Masculine Self by Stephen Mansfield

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The contents opens with a classic picture of an old-fashioned Sherlock-style pipe. If that doesn’t bring forth older images of manliness, other than the enlarged mustache on the cover, I am not sure what will. But does the rest of the book live up to the hype and expectations?

The Publisher calls the book “witty,” ”compelling,” and “shrewd,” citing it as being “about resurrecting your inborn, timeless, essential, masculine self.” The book has been receiving an average of 4.5 star reviews, asserting that while the “Western world is in a crisis of discarded honor, dubious integrity, and faux manliness,” and for men in general it “is time to recover what we have lost,” Mansfield presents “timeless maxims and stirring examples of manhood from ages past, Mansfield issues a trumpet call of manliness fit for our times.”

No content shall be given away with this review, but to finish the synopsis, the author reviews four manly maxims for men to adopt, different components of being a manly man, fifty quotes for manly men, ten books for manly men, and ten movies for manly men. In all, Mansfield presents what appears to be a compendium on being manly. That’s right, man, no carry forth.

Is the book worth reading? That’s a great question indeed. Retired Lt. General William G. Boykin and former commander of Delta Force believes it is. As Boykin states, “few personalities in the Bible are more recognized for their manly qualities…” Boykin drafted the entire foreword for this book on the belief that it is not prevalently clear what it means to be a manly man in today’s American society, and that the modern feminist movement has done significant damage to the self-esteem of men. This may or may not be true, but it does lend investigation to the matter.

The book certainly leans heavy on the Christian faith, which should be expected coming from a Christian Publisher. Irregardless of content, however, the readability of a book does not depend so much on content as it does style, at least for me. Plenty of reviewers have already covered the point of content. But is it an enjoyable read?

Reading the experiences of Mansfield, at first I was a bit shocked. The content was not necessarily Christian, but at the same time, it was. I had thought about how this would impact a review, but realized that it needed to mark a good thing. Mansfield is being authentic in his storytelling, including the less “Christian” experiences. While some could argue this is to market to a secular audience, I believe it is more about how the Christian culture does not always intertwine with a manly one. And I believe that can be a good thing. After all, the Christian church has historically slammed masculinity.

As far as readability, I am engaged. Mansfield is connecting. He is reliving his experiences and tying it into his narrative. And that makes this a book worth reading.

Disclosure: I was contracted to write an honest review in exchange for a reviewer copy of the product. The opinions stated in this review are solely my own.

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Disclosure: I have received a reviewer copy and/or payment in exchange for an honest review of the product mentioned in this post.