Art of Manliness

Art of Manliness

Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man

by Brett McKay, Kate McKay
Publisher: How Books
Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Current Retail Price: $16.99
Not in stock

A real man is never a jerk. The Art of Manliness isn't about the lift on your pickup or how many pizzas you can eat in one sitting or the enormity of your belching. It's a subtle art that balances proper mustache-waxing with fist-fighting skills, the courtship of a lady with the cleaning of a fresh-caught fish. But it's not an overly delicate art—men get dirt under their nails, incur wounds and make enemies....they just know how to handle each situation.

The skills, character traits and virtues extolled here are not outdated. Many of those qualities defined a 19th-century English gentleman, but Brett and Kate McKay have adapted them for the 21st century. You'll learn to tell whether a girl likes you, how to fix a flat tire, and which bartitsu skills you'll need when it comes to fisticuffs with some oaf. Unlike books that tell you to shave daily and walk away from every fight, this one tells you how to be super cool and a nice guy without being "bad" or nerdy.

There's even advice on childrearing, like how to raise boys that aren't pansies and what to do with a colicky infant. And a list of 100 books every man must read. And how to start a fire without matches. And how to be adept at oratory. It's the compendium you needed in middle school to keep you from becoming a picked-on Trekkie, but it's here now to raise you from the half-man status, replace your atom tan with farmer's tan, and foster hair-growth on your cheeks and chest.

It's a narrow road between Cro-Magnon and epicene, but The Art of Manliness navigates it with confidence. This isn't a gag book, either—the McKays present a way of life vastly superior to that of so many males whose only virtue is to have none. A highlight is the lack of computer information; technology isn't shunned, but in an age when anybody can navigate cyberspace the McKays have opted to show the would-be gentleman how to shave with a razor and predict the weather like a mountain trapper.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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Exodus Rating
Summary: Refreshing defense of true manliness that is both really funny and dead serious.

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