Update: You can download a PDF of all of the chapter reviews here or keep reading to review them individually online. The links to each chapter entry are below.
A few weeks ago I decided to read and review Michael Foster and Bnonn Tennant’s book It’s Good to Be a Man. The posts included in this review were written over the last couple of weeks as I read through each chapter. I’d generally read a chapter a day and then wrote my thoughts about the chapter in review on the same day and posted them to friends on Facebook. Once finished, I decided to take the completed posts and put them up here where they can be publicly accessed.
On the whole, I can’t recommend Foster/Tennant’s book and as you go through the chapter-by-chapter reviews, you’ll see why. Although I offer heavy criticism of the work, I wouldn’t call this an exposé as my primary focus is not on the authors themselves but the arguments and claims they make that I find generally wanting. I don’t expect everyone to agree with my conclusions and since this set of reviews was a read-then-review effort chapter-by-chapter, a more complete review in summary that addresses the book overall may be something I’ll write later. I also included in this series of posts a couple of excursions about video games and other technological issues that Foster/Tennant comment on and in one case Douglas Wilson as well.
I didn’t read any other reviews of the book with the exception of a quick read of Alastair Robert’s review of Foster/Tennant’s book and another prior to reading the book and offering my own comments. For my part, reviewing two books in one shot isn’t fair to the writers and not every work lends itself to the sort of compare and contrast normally done when that’s the strategy. I wouldn’t call myself an expert in masculinity so I’m not approaching this as having read thoroughly either the requisite social science research, so-called red-pill secular masculinity literature, or more Christian considerations of the topic. I do have expertise in philosophy, theology, development, social science, technology, and interdisciplinary approaches concerning a variety of issues that likely make my contribution informed in a different way that is both unique and thought-provoking.
I’ve also not consulted with the authors in writing except to ask about their own qualifications especially as it pertains to methodology, something I address later in one of the posts. I hope folks find these reviews useful and offer them in the spirit of helping to steer young Reformed men toward a Christian understanding of what it means to be a man that may not be working with the same training and considerations that I might offer. In any case, enjoy.
Here is the full list of chapter reviews and other relevant material from beginning to end:
Just a closing note: I’ll likely spice up the theme and looks of this new blog as I go, though I like the minimalist approach because it forces you to focus on the text offered. Stay tuned!