cover image Boys Will Be Men: Masculinity in Troubled Times

Boys Will Be Men: Masculinity in Troubled Times

Richard A. Hawley. Paul S. Eriksson, $19.95 (208pp) ISBN 978-0-8397-1193-3

In the forest of books on the men's movement and male psychology, this unconventional look at the male experience stands tall. Setting aside prevailing concepts that men must conform either to the old-fashioned ``macho'' mold or to today's image of the sensitive ``new man,'' Hawley ( The Headmaster's Papers ) urges men to search their boyhoods for their masculine being. He illustrates the heroic and tragic aspects of maleness with the tales of Percival, David, Hamlet and other figures from myth and history. But the book's greatest impact rises from the engaging stories of boys Hawley has taught. Classified as funny, helpless, ``unworldly,'' evil or inspiring, these youngsters do not fit the usual notions of manhood. The author concludes by elaborating on the Jungian precept that men should embrace both the dreaming spirit of boyhood ( puer ) and the wisdom of old-age ( senex ). In quiet, direct prose and with great compassion, Hawley puts forth a compelling view of what it can mean to be a man. (Sept.)