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Becoming a Barbarian

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,042 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Becoming a Barbarian is a follow-up to Donovan's cult hit, The Way of Men. Good, modern, "civilized" Western men today are expected to think like "citizens of the world" – obligated to everyone and no one. Natural, meaningful tribal connections have been substituted with synthetic, disposable consumer identities. Without a sense of who they are and what group they have a p ...more
Paperback, 164 pages
Published March 15th 2016 by Dissonant Hum
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Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, outlaws, wpww
Very powerful words, another instant favorite. A must have for any heathen library and for those with a tribal lifestyle and mindset. Highly recommended.

"All of our life stories are a collection of highs and lows, of victories and defeats, of struggles and of overcoming. Without conflict, no life story is worth telling. Without conflict and struggle, the answer to the question "What happened?" is "Nothing."

Like Odin and Thor, we know we will die, but unless we fight, we are already as good as d
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5 out of 5 stars. He gets some things right and has a few good ideas but even though to a degree this is cloaked in pseudo Odinism there seems to be an obvious Lavey and Might is Right influence that i picked up on while reading this. Lavey was an entertaining oddball nerd that shouldn't be taken too seriously.

But most importantly there is no way I'm stamping a No Girls Allowed sign on my clubhouse door as he seems to be suggesting when he talks about building small networks and tribes. At th
Aug 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
One of Donovan's main assumptions is that if something doesn't benefit him, it's no good. It's important to have your tribe, so they can reciprocate when the rest of the world won't. It's a cop out and denies personal responsibility. That being said, Donovan's understanding of history is tenuous at best and clearly has no idea what "empire" is (even though he spends copious amounts of time explaining about why it's bad).

Further, the author fails to understand culture, which he claims needs isol
Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very thought provoking book. I resonate with his idea of "Not my people. Not my problem."

His discussion of the often-used word "we" was quite instructive as well. His listed questions one should ask himself to really determine true inclusiveness are telling. Many people are including themselves in groups with the word "we"...groups that likely would not accept the individuals who are using the inclusive language.

One final's a small part of the end of the book, but Donovan provides a
Justin Brown
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Absolutely necessary reading for any modern man.
Cesar Hernandez, LC
May 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
As always, Mr. Donovan presents a very compelling book with a clear and challenging message: "Not my people, not my problem".

I have to admit that I found some parts of the books very unsettling, and I do think that Mr. Donovan wanted it to be like that. Becoming a barbarian means going against modern society, to stand for what you really value, but first, you must clear up your mind and defined what is what matters to you. Define your people, your values, your territory, the territory that you s
Mar 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: self-improvement
I've spent the better part of the past two years reading any book I could get my hands on. Almost every person I spoke to recommended Jack Donovan's "The Way of Men" as a great place to start to have the discussion of modern masculinity. As you can see in my previous review, I found the book to be sophomoric at best.

Mr. Donovan has some great ideas about tribes and building a group of men to hold yourself accountable and continue to grow as a man. However, that is mired by his clear hatred for f
Wilfredo Rodríguez Dotti
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
First of all I must say that this is a necessary reading for every modern man, this book contains many observations on the decline of society, the decline of masculinity over time due to the plague of modernity and how things work in the actual world. It's instructive in many aspects, and on a personal level I have been able to verify through my own experience (by the hard way) some things asserted at first hand.

It's a thought provoking book, politically incorrect and goes beyond the typical mal
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting book to be sure. A lot of ideas you don't normally hear. From the dangers of moral universalism to the challenges of manhood, Donovan covers a lot in a very short book. His main focus seems to be against what he refers to as the "Empire of Nothing", or the postmodern West. While he values the West's advances, like the Internet and air conditioning, it's lack of principles seem to baffle him, and lead to his idea that men should become, essentially, outcasts from society at large i ...more
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The first two chapters of this book are near perfect and encapsulate pretty much all the reasons for my frustration with the world.

Not finished yet, but giving 5 stars simply for the first dozen or so paragraphs.

"A man who has earned his place in a group of men knows who he is. A man who knows who his “we” is doesn’t have to wonder “who he is.”

He doesn’t have to meditate on every dendrite of his own spiritual snowflake to “find himself.” He doesn’t have to find himself because he knows where h
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Jack Donovan strikes again!

This book scrubs away all the PC garbage rhetoric that is spoon fed to us by our leaders and the complicit media/commercial engine that feed them. The message in this book is simple: take care of your own by any means necessary and stop acting so high minded with regard to those you perceive as "other" or "they" because "we" if "we" can even be defined easily all are biologically programmed to identify a certain way. It's so easy these days to hate each other inst
Martine Carlsson
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was a good read but the last chapters were a bit too much. Maybe they are too much related to Donovan's own experience.
I think that the writing is not as good as in the Way of Men, the word choice (too much thesaurus it sounds unnatural) but also how he expresses his thoughts. I agree with him - that family comes first and that you have to protect your loved ones at any cost - but it's because I took the time to "translate/analyse" his thoughts, otherwise some parts could be offensive. If yo
Earl Pike
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it
A very non pc call-to-arms for floundering western men. I reject a large portion of his thesis because I believe he misunderstands empire and patriotism. This is an alright follow up to his much better "Way of Men". The book starts off very well but fades quickly and becomes repetitive and needlessly verbose. I enjoyed the attack of the weak western man but not the view of the US as an evil empire and Law enforcement/military/first responders as poor stewards of a violence monopoly. ...more
Caspar Vega
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"The Universalist man accepts responsibilities that could only be fulfilled by an omniscient god. As such, he is both obnoxious and a failure." ...more
Will Coggins
Oct 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thomas Achord
Donovan makes the case that manhood demands in-group tribalism over against out-group universalism or globalism. Feminine traits are marked by inclusion, welcoming, defenselessness (not that they can't defend themselves but that they don't like it), tolerance, compassion, etc. The corollary to what Donovan argued in his first book as true manhood requiring one to band together with a small group of men pursuing excellence, strength, expansion, dominance, is that manhood is in-group tribal and ou ...more
Bastard Travel
Feb 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
I was hoping for something a little more Conan and a little less American History X.
I'm not sure whether it's more a manifesto or a screed, but Jackie D seems like a frustrated little fella, trying to shun identity politics by becoming more fervent and declarative in his own identity politics. One of those "no true king" dealies.

The opening had some real frothy incel vibes, and his readiness to use "like religion! or race!" as lines of demarcation for picking teams were a red flag or six.

I ma
May 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Warning: If you're a male feminist or a somesuch house elf the book won't persuade you, just confirm your existing biases. Plus you'll feel immediate desire to skitter away, embrace the rejuvenating warmth of motherly womb, and purify yourself in the waters of Lake Estrogennica.
In short, Donovan reiterates the points he makes in WoM, with pieces of addenda here and there. It gets a bit heavy and pulpit-y on the "feminism is controlling your braaains!" side to the point of it sounding like a cons
Chris Hansen
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not my people, not my problem

Donovan puts the focus back where it should be - on your ‘tribe’ of people, the people that really do matter - and away from the amorphous mob that liberal humanist society tells us we should care about. If everything is important, or everyone is important then nothing and no one is important. The human mind can only comprehend relationships with about 150 people, even though one might recall a few thousand names. Anything bigger than 150 is “them”. Donovan tells us
Matt Wakulik
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Truly an original piece of it's time that not many have written about or tried to explain , but Jack Donovan hits the nail on the head here. You did an exceptional job explaining what tribalism is in the modern era as related in past historical cultures and civilizations. He gets straight to the point about how groups of people have always survived and maintained success in their own groups and circles using a sense of self-identity and unity.

What I've noticed with almost every single review on
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book can feel provocative, extreme, but makes quite some sense in the way it describes the existential despair felt by many men in the west.
It has the potential to shatter your ideas about society, patriotism, humanism... It is taking a stance that is the complete opposite of what is expected from civilized men: do not love and treat everyone as you wish to be treated; only do so for your close inner circle.

Here are two quotes from the book:

...within a few generations, any living culture wi
Dan Briscoe
May 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
thought over all that it was a pretty dull book, often I would sit and think that the author was trying to convince the reader that he was the hyper masculin alpha male and all other thought processes or practaces were wrong unless you happen to be female. it came across as an effort to convince himself that he is a capable male able to survive anything life could throw at him in a world filled with cctv and corrupt politicians.

there were one or two good ideas and theories but to attempt to just
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent follow-up for the book The way of men. This book emphasizes on how to create a subculture that goes in accordance to your own values without accepting the garbage that is seen in mainstream culture while taking advantage of the technological innovations of modern society while striving to build an identity of your own and finding those that share your values without falling in the hypocrisy of being "everyone's friend" even if you don't agree with their views. A must needed refreshment ...more
Friend of the Devil
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Barbarians
In BaB Jack Donovan offers a dystopian view of the first world and a revolt against it with a variant of modern tribalism as the solution. JD makes cogent arguments and interesting conclusions from his view on the crisis of modern masculinity versus a world that wishes to negate it. Not to get too involved in his theories and argumentation (better decided for yourself), I'd say that anyone interested in masculine and extreme forms of counter- or sub-culture should consider this quick read as wor ...more
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Okay I used one of my Audible credits and listened to this book and I must say a lot of good information in this book. It will surely trigger some feminist but the message is clear. As a man do not go along with what everyone else is doing and men should branch out and start their own tribe. This has already started with the Manosphere. More and more men are waking up out of their sleep walk and are really starting to see how things really are. If you got Credits or even buy it, the book is wort ...more
Michael Vaughn
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It Revolutionized my worldview!

In this book, Jack Donovan breathed life into my political and personal philosophy. He gave me what I was missing in my world view and that is tribal identity. It’s deeper than national identity, race, ethnicity, or where you’re from. It’s much larger than you as an individual. It’s about you and your tribe. I will be forever grateful for Donovan contributing the missing piece to my spiritual puzzle.
Blake E
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah G
Aug 31, 2020 rated it did not like it
Dear God. Incel's manifesto. I thought this book might be okay, but holy crap the ridiculous misogynistic diatribe about how women have ruined society by gaining the right to vote etc was too stupid to handle. I truly feel sorry for men that are so sad in their own lives and with themselves that they target and blame women for not only all their personal problems, but the worlds problems as well. i am SO mad I wasted an audible credit on this book. ...more
Mar 22, 2021 rated it liked it
While I didn’t agree with everything inside this book and certain ways of the authors points of view - I still believe there is important wisdom here ...mainly the importance of us men recapturing our own identity and true nature - not what society or others says it should be

Remember to have the balls to be ourselves and courage to be and voice our true nature ...

To Our Continued Success!
Justin Smith
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I think this is worth reading for the criticisms of humanism but the solutions given go too far. It's basically the philosophy of Sons of Anarchy. I also find it surprising he never mention's family, the one group of people who you actually are beholden to more than anyone. You would be a monster if you choose a stranger over a family member in a trolley problem situation. ...more
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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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