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Man They Wanted Me to Be

Nonfiction: Autobiography & Memoir
Unabridged   6.75 hour(s)
Publication date: 05/14/2019

A Big Other Most Anticipated Small Press Book of the Year

Man They Wanted Me to Be

Toxic Masculinity and a Crisis of Our Own Making

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684572489
Digital Download ISBN:9781684572496


The author of The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore turns his keen eye to our current crisis of masculinity, using his upbringing in rural Indiana to examine the personal and societal dangers of the patriarchy.

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Product Description

Based on his provocative and popular New York Times op-ed, The Man They Wanted Me to Be is both memoir and cultural analysis. Jared Yates Sexton alternates between an examination of his working class upbringing and historical, psychological, and sociological sources that examine the genesis of toxic masculinity and its consequences for society.

As progressivism changes American society, and globalism shifts labor away from traditional manufacturing, the roles that have been prescribed to men since the Industrial Revolution have been rendered as obsolete. Donald Trump's campaign successfully leveraged male resentment and entitlement, and now, with Trump as president and the rise of the #MeToo movement, it's clear that our current definitions of masculinity are outdated and even dangerous.

Deeply personal and thoroughly researched, The Man They Wanted Me to Be examines how we teach boys what's expected of men in America, and the long-term effects of that socialization—which include depression, shorter lives, misogyny, and suicide. Sexton turns his keen eye to the establishment of the racist patriarchal structure which has favored white men, and investigates the personal and societal dangers of such outdated definitions of manhood.


"A contributing writer for Salon continues his examination of Trumpian America through the lens of gender expectations and their discontents . . . Pop sociology and journalism meet in a powerful . . . argument against things as they are." ―Kirkus Reviews

"This book exposes the true cost of toxic masculinity―depression, suicide, misogyny, and a shorter lifespan for men―and takes aim at the patriarchal structures in American society that continue to uphold an outdated ideal of manhood." ―Kate Scott, Book Riot

Author Bio

Jared Yates Sexton is the author of The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore. He is a contributing political writer at Salon, and his political writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Republic, and elsewhere.