Manthropology: The Science of Why the Modern Male Is Not the Man He Used to Be
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Manthropology: The Science of Why the Modern Male Is Not the Man He Used to Be

3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  128 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Featured in The Wall Street Journal and on ABC’s Nightline, Manthropology is an entertaining and surprising look at manliness



Anthropologist Peter McAllister set out to prove once and for all that man today is the best man who has ever lived. But to his disappointment, in nearly every category he examined modern man was beaten by his ancestors.

Manthropology, then, is a look...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published October 15th 2010)
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Robert Dormer
Clearly, modern day man has declined far when compared against his ancient ancestors, at least physically. This book does a good job of supporting this argument with a wide range of sources, but there are definitely some head scratching factual inaccuracies that detract from the enjoyment. Nothing major, at least as far as I can tell, but lots of small details that, if you catch them, give you some niggling doubts as to the overall soundness of the book. Cat muscle is the strongest in the animal...more
Sally906
I purchased this book for my husband who has a science degree in anthropology, archaeology and earth science. He really enjoyed it, although felt that some of the supporting arguments were a bit tenuous. I, however, didn’t have any preconceptions or scientific knowledge and so read it in order to learn something I may not have known before. One of the cover blurbs described MANTHROPOLOGY as "…smart, informative, surprising, and entertaining…" and it certainly is all of those things. Far from bei...more
Bpw White
Given the lack of accurate information recorded in today's times about war etc, to base an entire book on random "facts" from thousands of years ago, seems like a stretch.

As an example, the majority of north koreans will tell you that Kim Jong Il scored 6 holes in one in his first full round of golf (a myth-building story he spread widely). In 500 years, it will be easy to find many primary documents that all agree that KJI did this... But to assume that makes it true, is a joke. So all of the...more
Philski
The information in the book is interesting.

The jist of how he frames the information, however, is somewhat disingenuous. Every chapter is set up as "modern man" v. "historical man" with modern man losing in every respect. Which is fine. But in some chapters he is drawing from individual aspects of 10 or 20 different cultures to declare "modern man" losing - however not all of those 10 to 20 different cultures have all the attributes - so he takes 10 cultures, each having a different attribute, p...more
Neil White
This book was a perfect case of an interesting enough theory with pretty awful execution. I stuck with it until the end, hoping McAllister's rambling attempts and cleverness and pick-and-choose anecdotes parading as evidence would amount to something, but it really didn't. At least, not very much. McAllister's basic theory is stated right there in the subtitle - the modern male is not the man he used to be. Ok, so what does that mean? In this case, it means nearly 300 pages of cherry-picked anec...more
Jim
There were some interesting factoids and practices taken from a wide range of time periods, locations and cultures. The main problem was that the central conceit--that modern man doesn't stack up to earlier man when it comes to bravery, toughness, etc.--didn't support a book-length piece. And the author never considered the possibility, along the lines of Steven Pinker's recent book (I forget the title) that possibly things are just getting better. E.g., this book basically takes the position th...more
Jennifer
Ok book, fun factoids and information throughout. Sometimes the comparisons were very tenuous and seemed disjointed.
Miroku Nemeth
I have always been curious about the dubious claims of the postmodern male to manhood in light of what I have studied of man throughout history in literature and the many accounts, archeological, historical, anthropological, etc. of the deeds of prowess in a multiplicity of roles that those who came before us achieved. An interesting and humorous study, if a bit sad. Following on my review of Robert Bly's "Iron John" this weekend, experiencing the breadth of reporting on what constitutes "manhoo...more
Bill
I'm about halfway through this book and not sure I'm going to finish.
Parts are very interesting, but it's the overall hypothesis that ends up getting in the way. The author has collected some fascinating stories and facts, but the attempt to bend it all back to support the premise often feels forced.
But it's an easy book to read in small doses. And the structure is not complex, so skipping around for tidbits works, too. Not a serious anthropological text, but doesn't pretend to be, either. If yo...more
Baldwink
I am currently reading this book and I find it very amusing. It seems like a lot of research has gone into this don't know how accurate it is but it's so damn funny that I keep reading. Some of it is pretty brutal but laced with humor. Maybe it's funny to me because I'm a woman, and it does not threaten my masculinity, just a guess but the reviews I have seen kind of seem like it.
Magdalene
Excellent read, and Mcallister is quick to point out the possible flaws in his research (the sort of honesty in research that is typically avoided). Quirky, witty, vivid and interesting topic. He's not a man-basher... more than is necessary.

Intriguing, and a great non-fiction piece for a typically fiction reader. (Sucks to be a traditional Korean man, though. :| Eek.)
Brian
Had a hard time getting through this. It lacked any real organization among the sections se facts were interesting but they most were mentioned in passing and lacked depth and foundation. I was excited to read this and ultimately found myself disappointed.
Deborah
Men had no clue, women liked to think they know and now the scientific verdict is in - every man in history, back to the dawn of our species, did everything better, faster,stronger and smarter than any man alive today.
Nicholas
not bad--but sadly, another book that read like an extended GQ article. my big takeaway: for their own sake, i should probably make sure my future (male) children have to hunt lions before they turn 14.
Bud Smith
A pedestrian look at modern man compared to ancient man. Not a lot of actual science, but enjoyable to read for it's broad scope of our society vs. Old time civilizations.
jen8998
Not serious but entertaining comparison of modern man to the ancients.
Dieter
The first half of the book is great. The second half is just filler.
Adam AdamBoBattam
Not very scientific, but enjoyable
Eric
Interesting and funny at times. It nearly gained and even lost a star in my review because the book really started falling apart for me in the last few chapters. But the author does a humorous job of taking isolated examples and comparing them to other isolated examples in the past.
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