Man Made

The premise of Joel Stein’s memoir Man Made seems hilariously ill-advised, if not incredibly idiotic: the author subjected himself to various manly tasks and activities in an effort to be a dad to his newborn son. In a culture where metrosexuality is becoming more and more commonplace for the urban man, this “Stupid Quest for Masculinity” is both timely and relevant. Stein’s signature snide sarcasm and wit are on full display as he goes camping, renovates a house, watches sports, throws and hits a baseball among many other things he sees as quintessentially manly and which he has never in his life deigned to do. Though much of this is mined for well-deserved laughs, there are also some insights gleaned from his exploits that can apply to any modern man—whether he wields an ax in the forest, or a Mont Blanc pen in the boardroom. Not exactly a revelation, but more a gradual understanding that we are often the only person standing in our own way.

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