Cover Image: The (Young) Men We Need

The (Young) Men We Need

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Member Reviews

Brant Hansen's whit and humor shine in this follow-up to <i>The Men We Need</i>. The concepts are the same but the stories and explanations are more relatable to young men.

At times the format is a bit repetitive. I found myself skimming through the later chapters to get to the points (they were good ones!) that Brant was making. Brant is a good story-teller but I would have liked him to lean a little more into lessons he wanted young men to learn rather than telling stories.

4.5/5 stars

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This book was an easy read. As someone who is not really religious, I was worried I would find the links to the bible off putting, but the writer's tone and comedy makes the book interesting and engaging. The topic is an important one at this time and while I'm not sure I fully agree with everything that is suggested in this book, I think this book would provide a good conversation starter. It definitely makes you think about the expectation society puts on men and the support that might be useful for young men today. I think, if you're Christian, you would find this book useful and interesting and if you're not and you can get passed the religious links, you'd also find it an interesting read.

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Disclosure: I am not a young man. I am not even an old man. I am a woman. But I have spent the past four years working with young men, and it is important to me to read things that help me understand what I can never experience, so I wanted very much to read this book. And, while doing so, to think about the young men God has entrusted to me in various ways and how this might apply to and help them.

This book is full of good things for young men. Good wisdom. An approachable language. I would say that I appreciate that Brant knows his audience, but I've read other things by Brant, and this is just the way God naturally made him to communicate; it just also happens to work well for a book targeted to this group.

The book is very heavy on attracting women, treating women right, approaching women...and pornography. As a woman, I have always tried to convince myself that men are really more than women-seeking, pornography-tempted individuals, but here is yet another man targeting exactly these things, rather extensively, in a book for young perhaps I need to accept that men are apparently just wired this way. But still, there's something in me that says that perhaps if our culture wasn't talking about these things so much as a definition of "manhood," maybe it could be different. I don't know. I know Brant is trying to present a different perspective, but there's still a part of me that says...if we're talking about it, are we really putting ideas in young men's minds? In trying to say there's a better way, is Brant suggesting, somehow, that this is the way it IS - so that any young man who doesn't have these sorts of feelings and inclinations might somehow feel deficient and thereby go seeking them? Or is it truly so universal that no such young man exists? I don't know.

There's a glaring quietness in the book, something that is not addressed AT ALL, but I think is direly important for this demographic. Brant talks a lot about being a man for women and about being a man for God and about being a man for yourself, but in my experience working with this demographic, at these young ages, there is a lot of peer influence. That is - being a man for your bros. There is absolutely nothing in this book that addresses male friendship, navigating the social waters of being in a peer group, considering what your fellow young men might think of you or how they might influence you or how they might respond to your influence. I think this is a glaring oversight. Almost every dumb thing I have seen a young man do is because one of his bros convinced him to do it or because he thought his wannabe bros might be watching him. Young men perform for one another, at least as much, if not more, than they perform for women, and yet, on this very dominant social reality, this book is silent. I wish it were not.

I am thankful for the opportunity to read this and to reflect on the young men in my life and to think about the ways in which I engage them and encourage them toward more than their culture convinces them is right.

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A good book for high school and older Christian dudes. As a 40-year-old woman, I still took some things away from the book and there were many chuckle-worthy moments and jokes. Focusing on being present in your community and life and standing up for those who need help is a message that any person can take to heart. The author gets today's teens pretty well (at least from my aforementioned old female perspective).

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