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The Way of Men

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  4,478 ratings  ·  395 reviews
The Way of Men answers the question: “What is Masculinity?”

The so-called experts give the answers that suit their masters. They tell just-so stories to protect their ideology, their religion, their way of life. They look to women for a nod of approval before speaking. They give socially acceptable answers and half-truths.

If what they have to say resonates with men, it is o
Paperback, 170 pages
Published March 26th 2012 by Dissonant Hum (first published March 22nd 2012)
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Oct 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
Jack Donovan is bluntly honest, very precise, but not accurate. I agree with a lot of concepts in this book, like the way men view men - manliness is made of strength, courage, mastery, and honor - etc. However, his conclusions are misguided and frankly disappointing. This book was written by a trucker, and his disconnect with politics and economics show (not trying to bash - but the last two chapters elucidate this and really ruin the book for me).

Some abstractions are exaggerated - like women
Lord Falcon McSuave
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Horrible. This is what happens when a bro gets a thesaurus and learns about how to reference other authors. The first few chapters have some real insight, that's the only reason why I'm giving this book two stars. The rest of the book has some real jewels like the author's fear of capitalist-feminist world government conspiracy taking over, and how men should break up into self-sufficient gangs. I shit you not he says something like: why should men compete in politics if women can compete in it ...more
Michael Kalb
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book should take its place between the gun rack and self-defense books. While I will not give a full review, as I feel it should be read to full grasp this important piece, I will say that Mr. Donovan has once again hit many nails on the head with all the precision of a Bostitch pneumatic nail-gun. In this world of "politically correct" language and redundant male guilt, Jack not only slashes through the pervasive pantywastism, he gives a clear view in the difference between being a good m ...more
Zac Scy
Jun 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I try to read stuff that provokes me and challenges my assumptions. This is one of those books.

I found so many things annoying about this. Mainly the notion that men perhaps should rule because it's in our nature. That allowing females to occupy spaces where men traditionally and evolutionarily have been the "best".

I get that, for the longest time it's been that way and it has been beneficial for us as a species. Now, it's not been the best possible version of it because of, well, we've seen wha
David Donhoff
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What an outstanding book! The entire time you'll simultaneously say to yourself;
Geez... this is incredibly obvious & self-evident, and,
Geez... why is nobody else writing/expressing this against the cacaphony of anti-male dicrimination!?!?

It goes on the "must read" list for my son...
Dave  Johnson
Jun 01, 2016 rated it liked it
I debated what to rate this because I vacillated between love and hate with so many points in this book. At its core, it is an attempt to make an amoral analysis of masculinity, and ultimately fails to make a convincing argument.

I LOVED parts of this book. His discussion of the "perimeter" and his explanation of his four "tactical virtues" (four amoral, universal traits of masculinity) were great. I also found his description of viewing the state of society and its history through a lens of ma
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an essential read for anyone cognizant of the unsustainability of the cheap oil, infinite credit, and infinite "progress" paradigm.

If you see the end of that paradigm coming sooner rather than later then you need to get your hands on a copy of this book. On the other hand, If you believe the cultural and spiritual vacuum of modernity still has plenty of "life" left in it's undead corpse; and long for the day of it's demise (and would like to give it a push over the edge) than this book,
Nov 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
I tend to write shorter reviews of stuff I'm reading for my book group so I can share my opinions with real live people. I'm struggling to write a short review of this that expresses my vitriol at how moronic it is.
(Deep breath)
I see your entire book and raise you a single Wilfred Owen poem.
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Ok. This will be a hard review. On one hand, the ideas in this book were so so angry-boy-going -through-puberty with a love of philosophy as deep as the movies Fight Club and The Matrix (both good, but we all know that guy who thinks he's deep after watching). On the other hand, this dude was so outrageous and unapologetic that I had a couple of good laughs. Among these laughs was the chapter titled "The Bonobo Masturbation Society" which is basically just a big rant (and the rants seem to be Ja ...more
Trent Sartain
This book was...interesting. Though I thought there were some great insights into "The Way of Men", I found myself disagreeing with the author more and more. For every 1 or 2 sentences of brilliant insight, there were 2 or 3 of intolerant nonsense that would be better suited for a Trump rally. It's worth a read for sure, but I can't say I'd recommend it to many.
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Simplified, Jack Donovan's book can be distilled down to two major points. The first half of the book explores the difference between being a good man and being good at being a man. When the circle of civilization is small, it is more important to be good at being a man and it is from these origins that manhood--in its most essential form--is derived. The author identifies four virtues that have defined masculinity and helped human civilization survive from its beginnings. Yes, he essentializes ...more
Jul 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
My first 1 star review...

This book infuriated me, it spews a load of bull crap about aggression, tribes and men working in packs to overthrow others by means of tribal war. Absolute bollocks, leadership is skewed, I highly doubt the author of the book even knows who Sophocles is, let alone what the cause of the Peloponnesian war was, not to mention the battle between Achilles & Hector or how Agamemnon abused his women.

This book would be cash to a beggar, water to the dehydrated man, fire to the
Diner Ismail
Mar 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Possibly one of the worst books I've ever read. Donovan has some very outdated thoughts on what a man should be, haven't learned anything useful from this.
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
The Way of Men is probably the biggest letdown I've read this year. From its cover design to the subject matter to the title of the work and even the freaking name of the author, everything about it screams 'exciting'. I was fully prepared for it to be thoughtful, offensive, intense, but not - of all things - boring. The Way of Men suffers from the same problem as Might Is Right or The Ego and Its Own: Halfway into the book, you already feel like you have finished it, and yet it keeps dragging o ...more
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Way of Men is chock full of ideas about masculinity and the modern man. I have to say that I would rather be celibate and live as a Buddhist monk than live the life of a physically average, average personality guy in a sexless marriage with an unpleasant woman that allows herself to physically dwindle -- and augment, per se -- all to hell.

Nothing frightens me like the idea of living the standard beta American materialist life. Treeless suburb; overweight wife; unfulfilling career; kids that
Vlad Calus
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've started this book expecting to read on how to become a better man.

Instead, I read about how to create a better community of men.

Why is our nature different from the men in the primal era? Our activities now and then are totally different, which is completely alright. Unfortunately, it makes us weak. Men aren't getting more rational. They're getting more fearful. They're giving up more and more control.

The technological progress made men less actionable, use technologies instead of huntin
Јас Лично
Jan 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shallow logic, analysis to fit the stereotype. What a waste of time.
Po Po
Jan 12, 2020 rated it did not like it
Should have been titled The Way of Assholes.

Pseudo-intellectual garbage. He references Hobbes, Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates in order to lend some credibility to his “arguments” but he only succeeds in confirming his idiocy.

I’ll give him credit for being entertaining - like the morbid way a train wreck or a car crash with multiple fatalities is ...entertaining.

Might even be seen as a call to arms or MANifesto for the whiny and insufferable man-child who feels so victimized he has to endure the
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Men and women don't want the same things subconsciously or emotionally (just look at what they find as the most attractive sexual partner and how that's different from who they want to marry or spend there lives with) They might want the same thing rationally but allot of the human behavior is NOT a rational choice for example if someone upsets you or someone attracts you , most of that is not a rational choice.This book explores part of the "male" nature that is behind the rational mind but tha ...more
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: calibre
This is a short book, but about an important topic. I've encountered it couple of times recently that my female friends and colleagues never considered (and afterwards couldn't believe) that men can have different values, experiences, and activities that give them satisfactions. They were also really surprised by the kind of communication we use when no females are around (for example that we do not apologize to each other, that admission of a mistake/wrongdoing is enough etc.). I think this boo ...more
Thomas Threlfo
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
This four star rating is for the first 80% of the book, more or less, which had some fascinating theories about what men respect in other men, based off thousands of years of what we actually needed in other men to survive. He (almost always) does a great job of avoiding trying to draw any moral or value implications from this, and the few times he forgot to do that are what caused me to take away one star.

I didn't like the last few chapters on the economy and so on, as they started to sound a l
Victor Finn
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A seminal book for our times. The message is just as potent in 2019 as it was when this book was first released all the way back in 2012 and in many respects it is unrivalled. The Way of Men is, to this very day, THE ultimate manosphere text. I would dare anyone to say there is another book that matches it in succinctness and brilliance.

The way Donovan book frames the crisis of masculinity as the push-pull between the wildness of the gang and the domesticity of the civilization is perfect. But
Halvor (Raknes)
This is an important book for any man concerned with preserving and developing manhood. It deals with the essential question of "how to be good at being a man" as opposed to the less controversial "how to be a good man". It analyses and lists the essential qualities that manhood can be broken into ('Strength', "Courage", "Mastery", "Honor"), virtues among many virtues which a man can have but which in contrast to many others define manhood.

The book argues that the original Way of Men was and con
Marc Rocket
Dec 01, 2018 rated it liked it
I didn’t want to like this book and yet some parts were worth reading twice.

Is this book a one or a five? I’m not sure. The basic premise is that global forces are conspiring to eliminate the manly aspects of being male. I don’t agree. There is no conspiracy against men. The world is ever changing and societal roles that are becoming less gender specific. The author confuses what is with what should be. The author does not like change.

There were many parts of this book though that I consider e
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
All men should read this book. It explains the difference between being a good man and being good at being a man....most times people are one or the other. We need to strive, especially in modern times, to be both because we are drifting towards what the author describes as “a masturbatory bonobo society” in which we don’t take anything seriously anymore, including sex and meaningful activities. Whether you are progressive or a conservative, you should read this book-everyone has something to le ...more
Swann Polydor
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Bonobo Masturbation Society chapter is well on point. I could not give it 5 stars because it's not a piece of art, but I came to agree with a lot of content from this book about the feminization of our society, and I surely plan to make my fair share of work toward building a more meaningful one.
May 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the beginning of this book and certain parts of the later chapters. The explanation of manliness was insightful, but the connections were a bit far fetched imo. Overall an easy read with valid points on accepting "toxic masculinity" as something positive and the difference between being a man and being a good man. However, I wouldnt recommend to most.. reason being it can easily offend sensitive people. Also, there were some random misspelled words.
Nate Riggle
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book. The best men are good men. But also good at being a man. Addresses a lot of duplicity in modern views on what a man should be. Lots of complexity in certain parts. He gets into the weeds with a weird monkey analogy that I thought didn’t translate very well. Has a few statements that seem like they are there for shock value. This book is a great expose that you can not strip a man of what makes him a man and expect the world to not suffer in some way. Explains what many men fail to pu ...more
Oct 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
I'm a bit disappointed given that The Art of Manliness speaks of it approvingly. The discussion about the manly virtues are good but the conclusions are wanting. The author's dependency on evolutionary theory in discussing what it means to be a man seems to restrain him to account the totality of what it means to be a man and contradicts the virtues that he extols in the first half of the book.
Abhidev H M
To certain extent it's really nice for the author posts concerns like the possibility of feminism at the end of the day being handmaiden of capitalism. But the author himself foresee why this could be a let down, "But don't take my word for it, I'm a right-wing sexist.". Sometimes he sounds like a right wing loner yelling his frustration off.
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Jack Donovan has been writing and speaking about masculinity, masculine philosophy and spirituality for over a decade. His foundational book, The Way of Men, has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide and has been translated into French, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Polish.

Donovan is an occasional speaker and often appears on podcasts to discuss masculinity and the challenges faced by men who want

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“Men cannot be men—much less good or heroic men—unless their actions have meaningful consequences to people they truly care about. Strength requires an opposing force, courage requires risk, mastery requires hard work, honor requires accountability to other men. Without these things, we are little more than boys playing at being men, and there is no weekend retreat or mantra or half-assed rite of passage that can change that. A rite of passage must reflect a real change in status and responsibility for it to be anything more than theater. No reimagined manhood of convenience can hold its head high so long as the earth remains the tomb of our ancestors” 38 likes
“It’s tragic to think that heroic man’s great destiny is to become economic man, that men will be reduced to craven creatures who crawl across the globe competing for money, who spend their nights dreaming up new ways to swindle each other. That’s the path we’re on now. What a withering, ignoble end…” 31 likes
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