Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Book of Man

_225_350_Book_498_coverThe Book of Man – Readings on the Path of Manhood
By William Bennett
Published at Thomas Nelson

About the book

New York Times best-selling author William J. Bennett uses stories, essays, historical vignettes, and contemporary profiles to explore and explain what it means to be a man. Fashioning men has never been easy, but today it seems particularly tough. Boys need heroes to embody the everlasting qualities of manhood: honor, duty, valor, and integrity. Without such role models, boys will naturally choose perpetual childhood over the rigors of becoming a man—as many women, teachers, coaches, employers, and adults in authority can quickly attest. Have we forgotten how to raise men, how to lead our boys into manhood? In The Book of Man, Bennett charts a clearer course, offering a positive, encouraging, uplifting, realizable idea of manhood, redolent of history and human nature, and practical for contemporary life. Like his classic, The Book of Virtues, Bennett uses profiles, stories, letters, poems, and myths to bring his subject to life, defining what a man should be, how he should live, and to what he should aspire in several key areas of life.

Who is Dr. William J. Bennett?

Dr. William J. Bennett is one of America’s most influential, and respected voices on cultural, political, and educational issues. Bill Bennett studied philosophy at Williams College (B.A.) and the University of Texas (Ph.D.) and earned a law degree from Harvard. Host of the top-ten nationally syndicated radio show Bill Bennett’s Morning in America, he is also the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute. Former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (1981-1985), and Secretary of Education (1985-1988), and first director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (1989-1990), Bennett is a regular contributor to CNN and has contributed to America’s leading newspapers, magazines, and television shows. He is the author and editor of seventeen books, two of which—The Book of Virtues and The Children’s Book of Virtues—rank among the most successful of the past decade. He, his wife Elayne, and their two sons, John and Joseph, live in Maryland.

My Thoughts

Many homeschoolers know about The Book of Virtues and its companion The Moral Compass, but did  you know that William Bennett released a new title – The Book of Man.  This new title from Bennett includes stories, historical writings as well as profiles of men who have  shown honor, duty, valor, and integrity in their lives.    In this time and age, it is essential that our sons learn from great men on how to become  a courageous man in the current culture.   This book will give plenty of examples for them.  

The book is divided in six sections: Men at War, Men at Work, Men at Play/Competition/Leisure, Men in the Community, Men with Women and Children and Men in Prayer and Reflection.   Six part of a man’s life that is very important according to the author.   This book is intended to help your middle/high schooler to think and reflect on what he has read in order to help him to become the type of man that God intends him to be.  Through the book, you will have the opportunity of reading about men from the past and present who bring a great picture of what it means to be a man.    Also, in each section you will also have the opportunity to read and reflect on scriptures.

However, I must say that I disagree with the order of how the book is presented.   The book start with stories at war.   I have nothing against shaping our sons to be ready to fight for their beliefs, for the people they love as well as for their country, but I think the chapter could have been placed somewhere else in the book.     Another point that disappoints me is that the book is mostly based on stories from an American point of view.   I have nothing against the USA but there are boys around the world who would benefit in reading about great men in their own country as well.   If the book would have been more of an international flavour I think I would have enjoyed it a bit more.   Mind you there are stories about men from the past that have marked history like Leo Tolstoy, Pierre Curie,  and a few others but the majority of the stories are based on US great men I find.  

So if you live in the US and have sons in your family, this book would be a great addition to your personal library.  I would also strongly recommend to purchase to book itself and not a digital one.   I find it is the kind of book that required to be picked up, hold up in your hands and read together as a family to stir discussion.  

The Book of Man is available at your favourite bookstore, even

Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Nelson for sending me the above mentioned product in the e-pub edition for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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