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Reviewed by Marta Tandori for Readers' Favorite
Lessons From a Gathering of Men is a refreshing book by author Michael Taylor that examines the male psyche as well as today’s conventional social mores and how they’ve impacted today’s male. The book provides an open invitation for all men to redefine their masculinity by moving past the antiquated so-called ‘norm’ by creating a new masculine culture. Taylor states that in order to break away and fix our society’s toxic masculinity, men can no longer believe the following tenets that define manhood in our present culture: to be a man, you must be non-emotional and disconnected; to be a man, you must use sexual conquest as a gauge for manhood; to be a man, you must have status, position and power; to be a man, you must have money and material possessions; and to be a man, you must win at all costs and compete against other men. Sound familiar, boys? One answer is to join a men’s group and learn to do men’s work. By joining a men’s group, guys learn to practice congruence, be authentic, take responsibility, be open, feel their feelings, speak their truth, and practice skillful communication.
Taylor’s book talks about the importance of men’s work, which supports men in developing authentic connected friendships and relationships with other men while positively affecting men’s relationships with women, both personally and professionally. At the end of the book, the reader is introduced to various men, from all walks of life, who share the author’s passion for men’s work and who indicate the reasons why they ascribe to its benefits.
Well written, humble and insightful, Lessons From a Gathering of Men provides open and honest dialogue about society’s antiquated attitudes about men, and how these antiquated attitudes make for some very unhappy and dissatisfied males who feel they are locked into the role that society has cast for them. Taylor’s book rips through the façade and gets to the heart of the matter, which is that guys have feelings too, that it isn’t all about sex 24/7 nor is it all about the fancy toys or the sports car in the driveway. It’s about men learning to get in touch with themselves by stepping outside the box society has imposed upon them. Whether the book will influence the average male to change remains to be seen. However, from a woman’s perspective, Taylor’s book tells it like it is, both emotionally and spiritually, and provides a welcome wake up call to a whole lot of men who are dissatisfied with their lives!