Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men

16 Jan

book - manly menOf all the books on manhood that I have read in 2013, “Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men” is by far the best… and one that I would highly recommend if you are still looking for a present for a friend (or have a son who is coming into his teenage/young adult years). This book presents a solid, Christian defense of manhood and offers an honest criticism of the failings of many men—particularly those who revel in permanent adolescence or aggressive machismo.

At the outset, Mansfield introduces what he considers the four essential manly maxims:

  • Manly men do manly things
  • Manly men tend their fields
  • Manly men build manly men
  • Manly men live to the glory of God

Here we see the focus of this book: Mansfield wants to outline the importance of action, responsibility, brotherhood, and godliness. Each of these elements is an aspect of to what it means to be a man, far more so than the presence of barrel-sized biceps or epic Duck Dynasty beards.

In the second (and largest) section of the book, Mansfield points to the lives of figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Rudyard Kipling, G.K. Chesteron, Booker T. Washington, and Witold Pilecki to demonstrate different aspects of manly character. I found these portraits really intriguing and their life stories excellently illustrated the character traits of integrity, quest, honor, legacy, restoration, forgiveness, humility, and many more. The wide array of these qualities pieced together a really complex and compelling vision of manhood. Mansfield shows time and time again how struggles and suffering turned men into godly examples.

The last section of the book—which is short, but really interesting—is an appendices looking at fifty quotes, ten books, and ten movies that the author finds particularly important in encouraging godly manhood. This section wasn’t mind-blowing, but many quotes are worth putting up on the wall of your home office or sharing with your men’s group.

Simply put: This book offers a treasury of wisdom to reflect upon and life stories that will inspire you to new heights. This book is a great addition to any man’s library! I highly recommend it.

(This book was received free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review)

215635_3474090052643_48750391_1Dave Wonders is the Founder of More Than A Beard, and contributing writer.  He is a man of faith who currently serves as the Midday Host at 104.3 The Pulse.

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