A collection of writings on the male condition, an increasingly popular subject. This one has input from various kinds of men, some talking personally of their lives and families, others taking a more analytical approach. There is a sizable homosexual contingent and a leavening of therapists brooding over all the problems. Apparently, the American male suffers from isolation, masochism and has allowed John Wayne fantasies to distort his humanity. Whether or not one agrees that the stronger sex is in sorry shape, some of the articles and stories are stimulating. The material is best when someone is describing a work experience or a relationship in a clear, jargon-free moment. The historical and psychological analyses are less riveting. There is considerable alienation evident here, too, which represents a somewhat distorted view on the part of the writers presented: too often one senses a whining quality. The range is wide, however, with articles on how boys are raised, a strange one on circumcision, and one on a gay man's boss' complaints about his earring, clothes and voice. It is an odd mix, but a straightforward story like ""On the Job"" makes the rest worth the effort. This attempt to sum up the Angst of being male isn't successful. A sense of humor might have lightened the stolid sincerity in this effort.
Pub Date: June 21, 1987
Page Count: -
Publisher: Crossing Press (P.O. Box 207, Freedom, CA 95019)