on November 3, 2011
We live in a society dominated by a vast array of media influences. Over time it has eroded godly principles and values that once existed within our culture and robbed both men and women alike of their true identities. Thanks to the power of worldly entertainment we've seen the compromise of Christian values throughout our academic environments and workplaces, youth crimes have escalated and societal issues have continued to grow. William J. Bennett does well in his book "The Book of Man" in reclaiming the identity of man. The role that man is privileged to play in our world is excellently conveyed by providing excerpts of great men throughout history and their great sacrifices and advancements. Examples include Plato, Ronald Reagan, Pericles, Winston Churchill, and countless more. The broad scope of what encompasses being a man covers areas such as warfare, his nature in the workforce, sports and leisure activities, government involvement, family dynamics, and most importantly his responsibility in prayer.
I have found that his selections of excerpts in this rather large book are of great quality for daily reading; in fact I intend to read it from the very beginning again and take it as a reflectional read each day. There's so much content that reading twice or three times wouldn't be enough to grow weary of it, the different variety of writers in these excerpts keep it fresh with vibrant life. I have to admit that as a young man myself I have found this book not only instrumental to further understanding the great responsibility and expectations that come from being a man but also inspirational. It has motivated me to strive for better living, challenged me to step outside of my comfort zones in bravery, and has served to inform me of how men in general have forgotten their purpose in this Universe. William J. Bennett makes it no secret that this book is established upon a Christian worldview, but he doesn't make it so clear that it scares nonbelievers away. In fact it's just the right dose for nonbelievers to enjoy and even be drawn into the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I would recommend this book to any man whether young or old. In words I rarely use for a book "I love it" doesn't seem to do it justice; I highly encourage this book to any of those in need of guidance on their path to manhood. You will NOT be disappointed.
Now I've received this complimentary book from Thomas Nelson Publishing House through the Book Sneeze program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.
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.
on December 17, 2011
It seems that our society is full of negative examples of what it is to be a man, or a woman. We've lost sight of the character traits and virtues that allow us to honor God in our lives. I am a new mother, and I long for my son to grow up to be a man of character. I want him to be a man after God's own heart like King David. It is the parent's responsibility to train their children in the way they should go. I believe that The Book of Man will help parents in this endeavor. Filled with examples of men, both contemporary and historical, The Book of Man gives clear meaning and a framework of what it means to be a man. My husband and I have enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading it with our son as he grows. It is a welcome addition to our library.
I highly recommend this book to parents of boys and young men.
(I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review.)