Men's Issues

Best Self Help for Men: Father-Son Relationships, Masculinity and Male Socialization

Men are "wired" differently than women, and are socialized differently, too. A friend who is an avowed feminist told me he never believed there was much to the nature side of the nature-nurture question until his second child (a son) was born. Read more »

Recommended Self Help Books on Men's Issues

Awakening from the Deep Sleep: A Powerful Guide for Courageous Men by Robert PasickAwakening From the Deep Sleep: A Powerful Guide for Courageous Men

Psychologist Rob Pasick challenges men to wake up from the condition of distance and isolation that results as they are confined to the stereotyped male attitudes and behaviors American society expects of them. He offers pragmatic and helpful ideas to help men identify and trust emotion, to connect comfortably with other men, and to approach sexuality in relationships with women with clearer eyes. 1993, HarperCollins

The Book of Guys by Garrison KeillorThe Book of Guys: Stories

"Guys are in trouble these days. Years ago manhood was an opportunity for achievement and now it is a problem to be overcome." The Book of Guys features 22 very funny stories about "ordinary guys, gods, heroes, and dim bulbs," told in the friendly conversational style of silver-tongued master storyteller, Garrison Keillor. In one story a group of men are drinking whisky in the woods and singing mournful songs. One of them says, "I ain't no misogynist or chauvinist, but I got to say, women are getting awfully impossible to please these days . . . I quit playing softball and deer hunting and took up painting delicate watercolors, still lifes mostly, and tossing salads and learned how to discuss issues and feelings and concerns and not make jokes about them. And they're still angry at me. A guy can't win . . ." A very funny book for men and women. 1994, Penguin Books

Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys by Dave BarryDave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys

For thousands of years women have asked themselves: "What is the deal with guys anyway? What are they thinking?" The answer of course is: virtually nothing. But that has not stopped Dave Barry from writing an entire book about them. A humorous, tongue-in-cheek expose that explains men to themselves and women. 2000, Ballantine Books

Finding Our Fathers: How a Man's Life Is Shaped by His Relationship with His Father by Samuel OshersonFinding Our Fathers: How a Man's Life Is Shaped by His Relationship with His Father

This self help book examines the hidden struggle faced by millions of men: how to reconcile their childhood images of their fathers – and of all men – as silent, stoic breadwinners with the life they want to live now: embracing two-career marriages, closer ties with their children, and greater emotional awareness. Harvard psychologist Osherson shows you how your “unfinished business” with your father affects your relationships, your children, friends, and bosses – and how it can lead to a profound sense of loneliness, vulnerability, and rage. Osherson shows how you can resolve the inner conflict of the father-son relationship and develop a new sense of strength and purpose in your family life and career. 2001, McGraw Hill

Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man by Sam KeenFire in the Belly: On Being a Man

Sam Keen writes that men are on a spiritual journey into the self and must define their identities by letting go of seeing women as approval-giving mother figures. He encourages men to move beyond the modern rites of manhood: alienating work, war and performance-oriented sex to find meaning in a deeper vision of masculinity. 1992, Bantam

Freeing the Angry Mind: How Men Can Use Mindfulness and Reason to Save Their Lives & Relationships by C. Peter BankartFreeing the Angry Mind: How Men Can Use Mindfulness and Reason to Save Their Lives & Relationships

This self help book doesn't seek to help you "manage" anger at all. Rather, it strives to offer you a real cure for anger, one based on deep introspection about the connection you share with other human beings. The book helps you learn to supplant anger with compassion, reaction with mindfulness, and self importance with self awareness. 2006, New Harbinger

I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression by Terrence RealI Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression
Terrence Real

Many men may hide the reality of their depression from themselves as well as from family and friends. This unacknowledged depression may lead men to hurt the people they love most. Real tells his own story of depression as the son of a depressed father and as a father of young sons. This self help book teaches men how to acknowledge their pain and restore healthy relationships. 1997, Scribner

Man Enough by Frank PittmanMan Enough: Fathers, Sons, and the Search for Masculinity

Psychiatrist Frank Pittman believes that masculinity is passed from father to son, yet is often interrupted by elements of masculinity which get in the way: macho posturing, fear of intimacy, and homophobia. This is a hopeful self help book emphasizing men's need for community, mentors and the delights of fatherhood. 1994, Perigee Books

The Myth of Male Power by Warren FarrellThe Myth of Male Power

This self help book attempts to highlight areas in which males operate in a disadvantage -- without claiming that women are responsible for their plight. Psychologist Farrell stresses economics, pointing out that the 25 worst types of jobs, involving the highest physical risk, are almost all filled by men. He also considers warfare in which virtually all of the military casualties are men; the justice system, where sentences for males are customarily heavier; and sexual harassment, which has become a one-way street. He concludes with helpful advice on "resocializing" the male child, adolescent, and adult. 2001, Berkley Publishing Group

Raising a Son: Parents and the Making of a Healthy Man by Jeanne and don eliumRaising a Son: Parents and the Making of a Healthy Man

In this wide-ranging volume the authors explore both sides of the nature versus nurture argument. They believe that testosterone is the root of male development and behavior, and they also emphasize the need boys have for strong male role models. What the authors do best is to illustrate how both mothers and fathers need to set limits for their sons and enforce those limits when necessary. 2004, Celestial Arts

Real Boys: Rescuing our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood by william PollackReal Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood

Dr. Pollack dismantles what he terms "The Boy Code": society's image of boys as tough, cool, rambunctious, and obsessed with sports, cars, and sex. These stereotypes, he argues, thwart creativity and originality in boys, and he offers suggestions to parents and caregivers on how to help boys repair their fragile self-esteem, develop empathy, and explore their sensitive sides. 1999, Owl Publishing Company

The Seasons of a Man's Life by Daniel LevinsonThe Seasons of a Man's Life

The first full report from the team that discovered the patterns of adult development, this breakthrough study explores and explains the specific periods of personal development through which all men must pass. He describes a number of stages and transitions in the lifecycle between ages 17 and 65. He describes each stage and the developmental tasks to be mastered for successful adjustment at that stage. A classic self help resource. 1986, Ballantine Books