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A man's pursuit of happiness

Book Review – Man Down

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At Happyman.co we read a lot of books that we hope will be helpful to our community. Some of them are gold, others aren’t. We’re super picky so that you don’t have to be. Any book we recommend is hopefully going to enrich your life.

One such book is “Man Down: Why Men Are Unhappy and What We Can Do About It” by Matt Rudd. Matt isn’t a newcomer to this scene either, he’s an accomplished journalist from the UK that writes a regular column in a national newspaper on men’s happiness. He’s thought about and contemplated this area more than most, put simply, he’s probably the closest you’ll find to an “expert” in this field.

Man Down: Why Men Are Unhappy and What We Can Do About It

Man Down: Why Men Are Unhappy and What We Can Do About It by [Matt Rudd]
We recommend the paperback version so you can refer to it again in the future.

So what’s the book about? well, it’s not a self-help guide. Matt doesn’t profess to be a guru. He isn’t condescending either, in fact, one of the best parts about the book is that he writes it in plain English from a layman’s perspective. It’s very relatable. The chapters are:

  • Boys and School
  • Boys and girls
  • Men and childhood
  • Men and babies
  • Men and exercise
  • Men and health
  • Men and technology
  • Men and money
  • Men and … happiness

Each chapter draws on the author’s own lived experience as well as interviews that he has conducted with men that are going through mid-life. He doesn’t over analyse issues but he doesn’t just take a superficial view either. Instead he presents a well written, funny side of the equation that we often don’t see when lying awake in bed at 2am.

I’d be doing a disservice to you if I were to type out his findings because, without his method of delivery and the context behind it, the findings and message are likely to be distorted or lost. What I will say is that he points out a lot of things that I agree with like unhealthy competition, a skewed interpretation of success, patriarchal handovers from the ways boys are raised, anthropological hangovers deeply embedded in our genetics, and so on.

In sum, if you’re after an easy read that will make you feel less alone, then this is the book for you. It was published in late 2020 so it’s highly relevant and even manages a few reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic.

VERDICT = Highly Recommended 4/5 stars

The book is available from Amazon here.

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