In a truly masculine fashion, Jack Donovan’s The Way of Men unapologetically breaks down the logistics of what it means to be a man.
A quick read that can be done in one sitting, I took about two weeks to get through it because I wanted to digest everything he had to say before I moved on to the next concept. Donovan has a way of articulating ideas that have always existed in a man’s head but have never been labeled or identified. A perfect example of this is the distinction he makes between being a good man and being good at being a man. He explains how our current society is so focused on the former as to have completely abandoned the latter, leaving men as unwilling slaves to the morality of those in positions above them.
He then proceeds to break down the four aspects of being good at being a man and leave an observant reader feeling a lack in the areas he’s never chosen to focus on. He helps the intellectual understand why he feels inferior for never choosing to focus on physical strength and also explains why a strong man can be unmanly without the mastery required to maintain control of his own life.
Donovan not only picks apart our current crisis of masculinity but explains how the critical aspects of manhood and patriarchy have existed in societies both ancient and modern. He focuses on the way of men being the way of the gang and how crucial it is to have male groups and relationships in order to cultivate true manhood.
This is not a how-to book. While Donovan has one chapter at the very end describing how modern men can form their own “gangs” to be able to recapture their lost masculine unity, it is primarily a descriptor of the necessity for these gangs. Donovan also makes repeated claims that we have to understand the mechanics of manhood before we can assign morality to it and leaves the reader to work out his own relationships between masculinity and morality.
This is a book that I recommend all men take the time to read. While Donovan focuses on our current cultural problems in regards to men he does so in a way that doesn’t come across as either whining or martyred. In fact, of all the “red pill” writings I’ve ever read, The Way of Men is the most realistically optimistic about how men can regain their footing. He doesn’t believe in an easy path, but he believes in a path.
In 50 years this may very well become part of the canon that helped men become men again in the 21st century.