"The Way of Men" by Jack Donovan is one of those books that if there ever was to be a "Manosphere Bible" it would be a "must" to be included, just as the Book of Matthew or Exodus. It encapsulates some of the key tenets of being a man in today's world, and compiles and succinctly presents millennia of wisdom from our forefathers. I would consider it to be "required reading" for anybody out there traipsing upon this realm of the internet and not to procrastinate in going to buy and read this book.
Of course, it was only until now I read it, but my procrastination and hypocrisy aside, the above paragraph is 100% true. This is an ABSOLUTE MUST-READ book.
The reason is simple - it provides men of all ages an explanation of what it means to be a man.
At first this may sound a bit esoteric, even a bit effeminate. Who asks themselves "what does it mean to be a man?"
But without answering this very basic and fundamental question, most men are condemned to wander this world and waste their lives. It is a question that needs to be answered because it not only identifies you in respect to this world, but explains to you your basic function here. This book not only answers that vitally important question, but provides guidance, context, and wisdom about how to live your life given that you have the answer to that question.
From here Mr. Donovan goes into the four basic traits of what it means to be a man:
I did not particularly like this part of the book in that through empiricism and age I (at the risk of sounding arrogant) "already knew it." But this does not lessen the part of the book's value to younger men or men who have yet to find their way in life. Jack goes into logically-supporting detail as to what each is and how men can attain those traits.
From there the book goes into what I would consider it's general premise:
That men, and thus our psyche, have largely evolved outside of civilization. And that with the relatively recent advent of civilization the purpose of men, the way of men, is becoming obsoleted no matter how hard our frontal lobes may try to adapt.
This results in a BRILLIANT comparison of true masculinity that was required (and thus gave men their true purpose in life) in pre-civilization days to today, where technology and the state have largely replaced men, and we now go vainly looking for "substitute masculinity." Specifically, there are three forms of substitution:
Simulated Masculinity - Sparing, rolling, UFC, sports, etc.
Vicarious Masculinity - Watching sports, war documentaries, playing video games, etc.
Intellectualized Masculinity - Focusing on yourself, self improvement, within the confines that society allows
But regardless of how men cope with their obsolescence, it doesn't change the fact that they aren't wired to do so, and that the civilization that has replaced them is flawed and not feasible in the long term. This has resulted in an identity crisis for men, as well as a full blown assault on maleness and masculinity. What worked in the past and allowed civilization to form was manliness, strength, and men. However, now that civilization exists, technology serves our every need, and the state has supplanted men when it comes to women, there is nothing for men to do but play video games, read about WWII and jerk off to porn. Worse still is the criminalization on all things male and masculine by various political forces as their obsoleted skills are not only no longer needed, but a threat to those in power. And making matters even worse, the masculine skills of foresight, logic, and common sense makes the collapse of society perfectly predictable to most men, but because of democracy and civilization, they are powerless to do anything about it, rendering them "Mythical Cassandras" and causing untold amounts of frustration and insanity.
But Jack Donovan knows civilizations collapse. No empire lasts forever. And Rome did fall. And in preparation for that, his book becomes instructional.
His last few chapters focus on what can be done despite an insane, and largely, anti-male civilization. Working out, finding purpose, finding agency, etc. However, the very last chapter is titled "How to Form a Gang," in that a gang was the original unit of society that not only survived in a non-civilized world, but is the origins of the way and meaning of men. This was particularly useful and insightful in that it spoke directly to my experiences that I was happiest NOT when I was richest or had the most amount of money, but when I was absolutely my poorest, but had the most amount of male friends in the exact same horrible environment I was in. Yes, food was an issue. Yes sleep was a problem. But the mental sanity that came with having my own crew and own team is one no amount of money or financial stability can replace. And it is this last chapter that explains why that is.
So if you are confused or need guidance. If you are a young man looking to understand your place in this world, or an old man who could never find it. Or you still have a lot of questions about society, where it is going, and why certain groups of people seem hell-bent on villainizing you, I cannot recommend enough that you read The Way of Men.
You can find Jack Donovan's website here.