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The Book of Man, by WIlliam Bennett: A Review

When I saw the title and brief description of "The Book of Man", and noted it was written by former politician William Bennett, I had zero interest. I later saw a clip of him promoting the book, and the short clip consisted of him complaining. He complained about feminism. He complained about the emasculation of men. He even complained about the fact that a woman was taking over as CEO of Hewlett Packard. Or maybe it was IBM.  At any rate, I'm not a big fan of complaining, especially professing Christians complaining that the world is against them and their values. So my interest in the book went to less than zero.

But then, by chance, I went back and read a more thorough description of the book. I found it wasn't 500 pages of one man's complaints about cultural changes. It is, in fact, nothing like what I thought. The Book of Man is a collection of essays, observations, true stories, and anecdotes about men. About the character of a man. About how the bar is raised for men. About how a man can best benefit those around him, starting with his wife and children, but extending far beyond that.

This isn't the type of book to be read straight through, although you certainly can choose to do so. To me, it's more of a coffee-table book; something you can go back to and take in small bites, as needed. I'm finding parts that I would love my sons to read. Others for my daughter to read, to help her know that she needs to have high expectations for any man who wants to be part of her life.

My take: my complete misunderstanding about what The Book of Man is about almost kept me from enjoying an excellent read. Now that I have it and have gone through it, I highly recommend it. One doesn't need to be a Braveheart-loving, feminist-hater to benefit from this book.

I only hope that the publisher (Thomas Nelson, who provided me a free review copy through their Booksneeze program) will find a way to communicate what this book is really about. I'm guessing I'm not the only one who didn't get it the first time around.


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