The Mask of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships, and Live Their Fullest Lives

Lewis Howes. Rodale Wellness, $25.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-62336-862-3
Podcaster Howes (The School of Greatness) delivers a personal, thoughtful look at the effects of toxic masculinity on personal fulfillment and happiness in men. The book outlines nine “masks” society gives men to hide behind: stoic, athlete, material, sexual, aggressive, joker, invincible, know-it-all, and alpha. Howes draws on interviews from his podcast (also called The School of Greatness), with guests including Mike Rowe, Alanis Morissette, and Tony Robbins, and on his own experiences, particularly how the sense of emptiness he felt after the success of his first book prompted him to reconsider his traditionally masculine system of values. Howes writes, “I wrote this book in an excited sprint so that I could share what I was learning before I forgot any of it,” and his earnestness, enthusiasm, and imperfect grasp of the topic all come through (“Tony is a big guy, and yet he was tearing up in front of me about this memory”). But the good intentions and conversational writing style compensate for its shortcomings of focusing too narrowly on heterosexual men and including too many humblebrags. Howes conveys genuine excitement about combating toxic masculinity and the personal value he’s derived from researching and writing the book. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/06/2017
Release date: 10/01/2017
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