Book Notes: "The Art of Manliness - Manvotionals" by Brett McKay

The Art of Manliness – ManvotionalsThe Art of Manliness – Manvotionals by Brett McKay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This work is an anthology from the team at The Art of Manliness, with the content organised around seven 'manly' virtues. Manliness in this case is defined by its opposite - childishness - and I would be lying if I were to say I had not learnt a great deal through the Art of Manliness website. Many of the excerpts were familiar, while others were real gems unearthed from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. At times, the identification of virtuousness with nationalism had me cringing and I could hear "We rule you, we fool you, we shoot at you" echoing in my subconscious. Then, without warning, Thoreau or Emerson would rescue me and I could take the best while leaving the rest of the conservative where it belongs. The book itself is well-presented in textured paper, with superb artwork and an interesting cover. The seven virtues work well as the organising principle of the book and many of the excerpts have given me glimpses of other works that I will read in full. This is an inspiring and entertaining read, and a good starting point for my reading journey for 2017.

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