Robert Bly writes that it is clear to men that the images of adult manhood given by popular culture are worn out, that a man can no longer depend on them. Iron John searches for a new vision of what a man is or could be, drawing on psychology, anthropology, mythology, folklore and legend. Robert Bly looks at the importance of the Wild Man ...Read MoreRobert Bly writes that it is clear to men that the images of adult manhood given by popular culture are worn out, that a man can no longer depend on them. Iron John searches for a new vision of what a man is or could be, drawing on psychology, anthropology, mythology, folklore and legend. Robert Bly looks at the importance of the Wild Man (reminiscent of the Wild Woman in Women Who Run With the Wolves), who he compares to a Zen priest, a shaman or a woodman. 'This book needs to be read, I believe, not as a dry work of scholarship to be judged coolly by the mind, but as the work of a poet struggling to convey an emotional experience and lead us to what he has found within himself' Guardian. 'Eclectic and unclassifiable. Iron John is a work whose mentors are the prophetic poets and crazies, William Blake and Walt Whitman' Sydney Morning Herald 'Important, timely, and powerful' New York Times.Read Less
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I found IRON JOHN very readable from the very beginning. I even read parts aloud to some women acquaintances and they almost "howled" in agreement. It's a great conversation starter for opening up "male" topics that are traditionally ackward.
Nov 26, 2007
Not my cup of tea
I belong to a book club of mostly women and this was a recent pick. I was very much looking forward to reading this "classic" . I even purchased a rare hardcover through Alibris assuming I would want a nice copy for my library. While it was obviously well thought out and researched, I felt it could have benefited greatly by an editor. I must strongly disagree with the other reviewer and warn potential readers that it is poorly written. In my opion, Mr. Bly often failed to reach his point. There were times where he seemed to drift in his writing. Many times I would become lost, wondering what he was talking about. I feel it would be helpful to any reader to first become familiar with arch-types as they are used greatly and I was not familiar with these and confused by references. Oddly, all the women appreciated the insights into the men of thier lives, I the lone man of the group wanted a bit more.
Aug 16, 2007
Best of Breed
Iron John is simply the best book about masculinity ever written. I first read this book as a 20 year old and have returned to it many times. It is a book that will grow with the man. It is rare to find a book that is ?pro? something without being ?anti? something else. Bly does not fall into the trap of pitting men against women. He talks about masculinity without degrading femininity, he simply avoids the topic and refers the reader to research femininity on his or her own. The style of the writing is very easy to follow. It comes off as neither too simple nor too academic. The allegories are easy to follow, the personal stories are relevant to the topic, and the author?s conclusions are reasonable. I would recommend this book for any man of any age. But I especially recommend this book to mother?s raising son?s without fathers.
Publishers Weekly, 1992-01-27 Bly redefines masculinity in a groundbreaking book that went to
Publishers Weekly, 1990-10-12 Today's sensitized male may be in touch with his ``feminine'' side, but, writes poet Bly, this ``soft male'' possesses little vitality and is hobbled by grief and anguish. To achieve real masculinity, Bly argues, men must cultivate a fierce tenderness to be found neither in the macho/John Wayne model nor in the ``interior feminine.'' Taking as his starting point the Grimm fairy tale ``Iron John,'' the author sets forth an eight-stage initiatory path whose steps include remembering one's psychic wounds, communion with a mentor or ``inner King,'' becoming a lover, reviving one's inner warriors and receiving a ``second heart.'' Bly avoids cant as he ransacks Jung, Freud and Reich; referents include Greek, Egyptian and Celtic myths, the Parsifal legend, Blake and Amerindian ritual. A wise and healing book full of fresh insights, Bly's odyssey will help men grapple with identity, fatherhood, relationships and such crises as addiction and divorce. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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