Meditations for Modern Man

Wisdom From your Father

Non-Fiction - Parenting
169 Pages
Reviewed on 06/11/2022
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Author Biography

MICHAEL W. COOK is a multi-award-winning author across three genres: philosophy, mythology, and poetry. He is a 2022 winner of the Outstanding Creator Award, Firebird Book Award, Literary Titan Book Gold Award, and Literary Titan Book Silver Award.

Michael retired as a Major from the United States Air Force, received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland, and earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. He is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership (Ph.D.) from Liberty University.

As a history enthusiast who enjoys worldwide travel, he frames his writings of events and ideas in a historical context. He self-published fifteen travel books from his journeys in North America, Europe, and Asia. Michael is currently working on a childhood memoir about growing up in Downeast Maine.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite

Meditations for Modern Man: Wisdom From your Father by Michael W Cook, a retired Air Force major, is a collection of “maxims” that echo Marcus Aurelius Antonius’ (reigned 161-180 AD) sayings for his son. Mr. Cook precedes his volume by quoting G.K. Chesterton’s comments on the subject of opinion-forming. Cook then warns the reader that he/she might be “triggered” by some content or other in the book. Then in his introduction, he calls up John Adams’ quip that “facts are stubborn things.” Next, in his introduction, he says that many confusing arguments emerge from types of logical fallacies and goes on to list 15 such techniques designed to cloud our thinking. Finally, with the image of our often longings for parental wisdom, Cook goes on to present maxims for us to contemplate. He organizes his axioms under nine headings: Leadership, Morality, Logic, Facts, Liberty, Criticism, Character, Education, and Politics.

As I began to read these short sayings (one per page, a few longer than two sentences), I was reminded of Benjamin Franklin’s many proverbs. Some of Michael W Cook’s were easy to comprehend and hardly controversial, but as I went on, my head began to swim as if in Zen riddles. I discovered that I had better take each chapter at a time, followed by a significant break. It was difficult for me to apply some to specific, real situations. This contemplation time was, for me, the key to the pleasure of this book. Each maxim contained a wealth of consequences and will enhance our ability to navigate in a media intense world. Meditations for Modern Man: Wisdom From your Father by Michael W Cook is a worthwhile exercise in learning how to operate in our complex, politically challenging society.

Rodney Miles

Wonderful. Important. What a pleasant surprise, and I'm also surprised I'm the first (apparently) to review this important book. Concise and profound, filled with important maxims garnered over a lifetime and a career by Major Cook which are painfully relevant TODAY. Not just military strategy, in no way overbearing, but simple well-written truths vital for the facility of critical thinking in our population TODAY, which is sorely lacking. Rather than teaching how to hate your brothers, THIS is what we should be teaching our youth, to create a prepared, reasoning, confident generation. For the rest of us, we gotta start somewhere! Bravo, and hoping the author produces more like this.

Byron Tyler

Very Direct and Powerful. This book is not only helpful but the overall structure of the book is very organized and well presented. It's not only a fast, easy, & comprehensive guide,, but it's also Easy to follow and engaging as well. Overall this book is Fast-paced and engaging, Informative, Inspirational, and Powerful. This Would make a great gift and it's a great read.


Not a typical book of meditations. This book is so much more than a book that just contains a bunch of meditations. This is a book that asks you questions and provides answers on a variety of topics that you probably haven't asked yourself or thought much about yet. The questions asked fall into one of the following categories: Leadership, Morality, Logic, Facts, Liberty, Criticism, Character, Education, and Politics.

This book is not for everyone though. The content of this book can be quite harsh and unapologetically overbearing and quite challenging for some people. However, if you can stand it, then this book is for you.

Daniel B. Lyle

Nuggets of wisdom from an adult, moderately conservative perspective. This short, easy book attacks a huge, difficult question: "What is truth?" This book advocates and offers elderly advice: hard-won insights from having lived life for a while. I particularly like the initial brief overview of "logical fallacies;" how many people err in determining "truth." What is missing is the underlying basis as to why our biological minds make those assumptions. As a Ph.D. biologist who has written on this topic, we each see through the lens of our own hardwired mindsets. This book is written from what I perceive as a moderately conservative perspective. This is a totally appropriate viewpoint for the topic of the book, "Wisdom from your father." As people age, they naturally tend to change from wildly explorative youths to carefully protective adults to fearful seniors fearing death. As advocated in this well constructed short book, if wildly explorative youths were to listen to and value the experience of those of the prior generation, then they'd likely make better decisions for their lives. A lot of the short nuggets of experience presented here I found quite interesting and illuminating. I'm sure others will have the same experience. Although not stated in the introduction or preface, I suspect all readers will find at least a few of the "fatherly" statements to be wrong or offense, especially if one's brain is not wired as a moderate conservative. Knowing this "up front" will allow the reader to discard what's not useful to their own life while embracing the many insightful statements which are helpful to their own life. The author states in the introduction: "many of my Maxims are derived from exposing a failure in Logic." Yes, but whose logic? This is why from sincerely held differences comes war, evil, and exploitation: attacking illogical, wrong, "evil" people who deserve the worst. The "right" logic is mine. My own "elderly" advice is that "truth" is always multidimensional. Seen on one's present plain of understanding, "obvious" undisputable facts become fables at another level. An uncommon realization in us humans (for hardwired biological reasons) is that there is always a deeper, wider, higher, or more-substantial aspect to that which we label as "truth." This is why the pursuit of truth isn't arriving at an absolutist statement (which us elderly folks love to generate), but an ongoing, humble exploration. On one hand, this is incredibly difficult and scary. On the best level, it's a continuing adventur