The Code of Man: Love Courage Pride Family Country

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9780060087517: The Code of Man: Love Courage Pride Family Country

A worthy man is compassionate, decent, and gentlemanly toward others out of a sense of pride. He will not stoop to behave viciously, and he will not demean himself by acting cruelly ...

A man does not seek out a fight, but he will fight to protect himself, his family, and his country. A gentleman is silent unless he has something worthwhile to say. He is reserved, dignified, and mannerly ...

If "family values" is to mean anything more than a pleasing slogan, we must draw upon the wellsprings of the deepest ethical and religious traditions of American and Western civilization, both to hone our diagnosis of the current agony of manliness and, more important, to provide the healing balm of insight, compassion, rectitude, and guidance.

-- from The Code of Man

"In many ways," Waller R. Newell writes, "young men today are in deep spiritual trouble. But they are also yearning for a way back to the noblest ideals of American manhood." The Code of Man represents a deep and thought-provoking effort to help guide contemporary men back to those ideals, as embodied in what Newell calls the five paths to manliness: love, courage, pride, family, and country.

At the dawn of the twenty-first century, he argues, we have grown so concerned about the roles of sex and violence in our society that we have forgotten the older virtues: romance and eros, courage and patriotism, the blend of love and bravery it takes to raise a family. In The Code of Man, he exhorts us to look to the traditional virtues of the past for inspiration. Contrasting the time-honored lessons of traditional voices -- Shakespeare and Abraham Lincoln, Jane Austen and Teddy Roosevelt -- with the chaotic signals emanating from sources like Eminem, video games like Thrill Kill, and Goth culture, Newell illustrates how we have come to associate courage with violence, "transgression" with wisdom. Most disturbing, he argues, the essential triumph of Western culture may have left us with a building reserve of untapped aggressive energy, and no consensus about how to channel it -- a situation that threatens to weaken us at the core.

Seamlessly weaving together literary references from a diverse body of sources, Waller Newell offers an open-eyed look at what it means to be a man in America today, and a clarion call to recapture our traditions if we are to preserve our character as a society ... and avoid catastrophe.

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About the Author:

Waller R. Newell is a professor of political science and philosophy at Carleton University. A member of Ronald Reagan's presidential transition team, he is a longtime political and cultural commentator, and the author of previous books, including The Code of Man and What Is a Man?: 3,000 Years of Wisdom on the Art of Manly Virtue. A contributor to the Weekly Standard and other publications, he has been a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., and a John Adams Fellow at the Institute of United States Studies at the University of London.

From Publishers Weekly:

Building on his 2000 anthology What Is A Man?, Newell's latest book on "how to be a man" challenges the stereotypes about uncaring and belligerent bearers of XY chromosomes. Tracing ideas of manliness through the work of such Western writers as Aristotle, Homer, Jane Austen and Ernest Hemingway, among many others, Newell argues for a return to traditional ideas of manhood to inspire young men "to treat others-and themselves-with respect." He reminds readers that men need "the five main ingredients of a satisfying life": love, courage, pride, family and country. Through the ages, Newell writes, love meant sensitivity and nobility, while courage and pride were about "the struggle to defend and extend justice and to overcome our own baser instincts." Somewhere along the way, though, the image of the traditional "manly heart" was lost, and men turned to misogynistic machismo and senselessly violent behavior to prove their manhood. Newell insists that a balance among the five manly virtues is the key to reversing the contemporary man's detachment from loving-kindness and his tendency toward "brutal spasms of reactive violence" (such as the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine high school massacre and the 9-11 attacks). Those resistant to reducing men-and women-to a set of "natural" character traits take note, for this book certainly considers the Mars/Venus school of thought a flawed accomplice in undermining all that is positive about men and their potential contributions to a just and happy society.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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