The Male Ego

Willard Gaylin, Author
Willard Gaylin, Author Viking Books $23 (304p) ISBN 978-0-670-83588-1
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-14-014439-0
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Psychoanalyst Gaylin believes that the centuries-old male roles of protector, provider/hunter and procreator no longer instill pride. In his diagnosis, modern man, trapped in an obsolete, maladaptive emotional system, seeks an ego-boost elsewhere--in sports, in sex-as-performance, or in the narcissistic reassurances of ``male jewelry'' such as trophy wives, corner offices and membership in exclusive clubs. In a revealing, unsettling probe, utilizing clinical case material, Gaylin ( Rediscovering Love ) puts forward unfashionable views. Men, he contends, have an omnipresent fear of showing cowardice, a phenomenon that he says is rare in women. Yet he rejects the ``primal man'' extolled by the men's movement as a dangerous anachronism. Gaylin finds men everywhere sinking into depression, self-directed rage and feelings of helplessness or failure. Citing our culture's lack of male rites of passage, he sweepingly calls for a redefinition of manhood in achievable terms, a task he leaves to others. (Oct.)
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