Reading List (Update): on Manliness

By | April 20, 2019

[April 20, 2019] It’s been since February when I posted a book review last and, yes, I have been remiss but unintentionally so. Fortunate for me, I live in a community with strong military veteran’s organizations, so there is always a long list of reading material … with strong recommendations. The book I’m reviewing today is by Dr. Harvey Mansfield, professor at Harvard University and a “really smart dude.” Well, not my description of this man’s intellect but let’s just leave it and say that he would be the smartest person in the room – any room – that he occupies. He thinks in ways that I don’t, and so that is why I appreciate what he writes and says.  His book on the idea of manliness is a bit unique.

Professor Mansfield has written several insightful books. I recommend them all to include some of his translations. The Prince is one everyone should read.

Manliness, Harvey C. Mansfield, 2006.

This is an often overlooked book, written more than a decade ago but just a prescient then as now. Dr. Mansfield believes that the West is headed, recklessly, toward gender-neutrality without knowing what it means or what outcomes will occur. The risks, he notes, should be studied more carefully. The book is about feminism and how it has changed the world. Mansfield’s criticism (both good and bad) stems from his careful study of it as a movement. He does this by using Nietzsche, Hobbes, Locke, Kant, Hegel, Rousseau, Plato, and many more.

Dr. Mansfield is a provocateur, and his cause is manliness; which he sees as courageous and responsible in an environment of risk. To read him requires concentration and an open mind. I have spoken to two college professors who refuse even to talk to me about the book because they found it so “anti-intellectual.” That description, however, is unfair because Mansfield writes in such a clear, logical manner. It does turn some intellectuals off because Mansfield is so blunt and accurate. Professor Mansfield believes that a gender-neutral society means your duties, rights, and place in society is not determined by your gender. But the philosophy of gender neutrality means that manliness is “quaint and obsolete.” It is these very psychological qualities of courage, responsibility, and confidence that convey the good side of manliness. Manliness stands in the way of a gender-neutral society, and that is the problem Mansfield so eloquently lays out in his book.

Overall, an exceptional book and highly recommended.

To go to the full Professional Reading list, simply click on this direct link:

Side Note: Please remember and take a look at Tom Copeland’s reading blog. His website, which I highly recommend, can be found here:

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

18 thoughts on “Reading List (Update): on Manliness

  1. Mikka Solarno

    Nice blog you have here Mr. Satterfield. The topic of ‘manliness’ is something I’ve been interested in for years. Thank you.

  2. Len Jakosky

    To be helpless, self-indulgent, or wasteful, will turn the boy into a mighty poor kind of a man, just as the indulgence in such vices by the men of a nation means the ruin of the nation.

    1. Shawn C. Stolarz

      How true. Thanks for your great comment. I see, today, many boys being drugged because they are “aggressive”. This just means they are not like their sissy teachers who are like the eunuchs of the ancient days.

      1. lydia truman

        You guys are great. That’s why I come to this blog every day to read this type of comment. You made my day, Shawn.

    2. Willie Shrumburger

      Shawn, great comparison. I think I’ll steal your idea.

  3. Otto Z. Zuckermann

    The same qualities that mean success or failure to the nation as a whole, mean success or failure in men and boys individually.

  4. JT Patterson

    “When people are bored, it is primarily with themselves.” –Eric Hoffer
    This is his way of showing that real men don’t need no help.

  5. Yusaf from Texas

    Manly manliness. What a concept? The PC crowd has certainly done damage to the image of manliness. That is why so many boys are given drugs to ‘calm them down’. How sad. In the future, we will look back on this time and shake out heads in disgust at the medical doctors, teachers, and parents who participated in this travesty. The damage is yet to be known. I hope these boys get their revenge later.

    1. Douglas R. Satterfield Post author

      Yusaf, this is why I highly recommend this book. We need an antidote to the irresponsible idea that manhood is evil and should be neutered (like my neighbor’s cat).

  6. Janna Faulkner

    About time we started to look closer at the great benefits of ‘manliness.’

      1. Greg Heyman

        He’s trying to argue it so he won’t get criticized. Patronizing little twit. His wife probably bosses him around and he likes it.

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