Do you also feel like modern young men have turned into weak and cowardly crybabies? Do you believe that modern men have lost the understanding of masculinity, with its values of self-reliance, strength and personal responsibility? Do you regret the destruction of the nuclear family by man-hating feminists, forcing many boys to grow up without a father? Then you are not alone.
Art of Manliness Review
Brett and Kate McKay observed the same with great concern. That’s why they founded the Art of Manliness website back in 2008, so they could help young men to grow up and rediscover the lost virtues of manliness. AOM quickly grew into a successful online men’s interest magazine. The McKays bundled the best tips and advice into a book with the same name, while also hosting a podcast series wherein Brett discusses many interesting topics.
The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man offers pieces of wisdom to motivated young men, instructing the reader on several practical techniques and the importance of self-reliance, discipline and personal responsibility. You know, those typical traditional values and skills that any good father or grandfather would normally pass on to you. Overall, this is an excellent book to give to a teenage boy or even a young twenty-something-especially those without a father figure who could give them the necessary guidance and direction.
Each chapter within is named after a distinctive manly role (the gentleman, the father, the lover, the leader, …) and discusses the virtues of each of these aspects. The practical tips on men’s style, grooming, etiquette, dating, and manly values, will help transform you into the best version of yourself-a respected and responsible manly member of society.
The book has a distinct retro style, mimicking the look and feel of the AOM website. Clearly written, each page offers concise advice and contains some tongue-in-cheek humor as well. The Art of Manliness encourages you to behave like a 19th century gentleman and rediscover their concepts of manliness in the process. I agree that many good values and skills of the older days have been lost. It would definitely benefit society were they to be reintroduced. I like technological advancement, but I admit some things were just better “in those good old days.” For example, it’s due to the book (and website) that I converted from electric shaving to the traditional wet shave with a safety razor and brush. Try it and feel the difference. I never want to go back to the modern way of shaving.
You can buy The Art of Manliness through the AOM Shop for $18.99. You can also purchase the Art of Manliness Collection Boxed Set (priced at $29.99) which includes this book as well as The Art of Manliness: Manvotionals.
Here are some examples of what’s discussed within:
- Three ways to tie a tie.
- Shave like your grandpa.
- Band of brothers: making and keeping strong friendships.
- Stop hanging out with women and start dating them.
- Balance work and family.
- Give your son a right of passage.
- Five traits of leadership.
Sounds interesting, right? That’s because it is.
There’s just one problem I have with The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man.
The book puts women on a major pedestal, practically encouraging you to treat girls like a goddess. It is implied that you have to play “Mr. Nice Guy” who has to cater to a girl’s every whim. This no longer works in modern times, so this behavior should not be recommended to any modern man.
What’s the point of being a gentleman anyway, when there hardly are any worthy ladies around who still deserve such a treatment?
The Art of Manliness initiative is useless without its female counterpart, teaching girls to become that very rarest of specimen nowadays-a feminine, well-behaved and worthy woman. Until then, if women refuse to be the best version of themselves, they sure as hell don’t deserve the best version of yourself.
Many women nowadays dump their husbands and boyfriends, leech of welfare and alimony, and spend most of their time partying, twerking and drinking. Simply put, they’ve changed into loudmouthed, degenerate feminists who’ve forgotten the values of true femininity. Instead of bettering themselves and complementing men, women want to compete with men-and generally fail at it. Once these women become older and finally decide to settle down, they are surprised that men want nothing to do with them.
That’s why I do not agree with much of the dating and love advice in this book. It’s too outdated and old fashioned, as if it’s stuck in the previous century. The social dynamics between men and women have changed. The sooner men understand this and adapt to the new reality, the better.
The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man provides many practical tips which every young man should learn and apply, ranging from grooming to male virtues. There’s no doubt that any male teenager who applies the book’s advice will set himself upon the path of success. I also found the retro feel and humor to be cleverly done.
However, other sections and advice in the book felt too outdated and out of touch with reality, particularly when discussing male-female relationships. I therefore question whether the old fashioned style of gentlemen still has a place in our modern day society.
To conclude my Art of Manliness review: would I recommend this book to others? Yes, I would. And I have already done so in the past. But The Art of Manliness offers its greatest value to teenage boys or young men in their early twenties. Of course, the book can also offer useful knowledge to a lost thirty-something who needs to regain some self-discipline and guidance on life. I still re-read a chapter now and then before bed.
More personally, The Art of Manliness was an introduction to conscious self-improvement for me. This book enabled me to discover other mindset, masculinity and self-improvement authors, like Victor Pride and Mike Cernovich. These great guys have truly helped to open my eyes. But I will never forget that it all began with Brett McKay and his work. For that, I will always be grateful.
Take care of yourself.