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Iron John: A Book About Men (1990)

by Robert Bly

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,854177,476 (3.5)21
In this deeply learned book, poet and translator Robert Bly offers nothing less than a new vision of what it is to be a man.Bly's vision is based on his ongoing work with men and reflections on his own life. He addresses the devastating effects of remote fathers and mourns the disappearance of male initiation rites in our culture. Finding rich meaning in ancient stories and legends, Bly uses the Grimm fairy tale "Iron John," in which the narrator, or "Wild Man," guides a young man through eight stages of male growth, to remind us of archetypes long forgotten-images of vigorous masculinity, both protective and emotionally centered.Simultaneously poetic and down-to-earth, combining the grandeur of myth with the practical and often painful lessons of our own histories, Iron John is a rare work that will continue to guide and inspire men-and women-for years to come.… (more)
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» See also 21 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
This was a great book! I have often felt a sense of unfulfillment, a sense that perhaps I had not lived in harmony with my soul's longings or my real sense of purpose, and this book clarified why that feeling exists, both in myself, and in many men. I believe that reading and understanding this book has put me on a new path of discovering the real and true inner "men" and I embrace that journey of discovery with enthusiasm, thanks to the road map this book offers. ( )
  PaulLoesch | Apr 2, 2022 |
Slightly interesting in parts but mostly stupid. ( )
  CodyMaxwellBooks | Oct 30, 2021 |
Too mystical, too much reliance on shaky metaphors and mythological reinterpretations of bullshit. Also, one gets the impression that Bly is absolutely in love with himself; he'll present poems written by himself as evidence for his point, which would be sketchy under the best circumstances, but when combined with terrible poetry, it becomes unforgivable. Save yourself some time and skip over this one. ( )
  isovector | Dec 13, 2020 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/14214165
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
This was a great book! I have often felt a sense of unfulfillment, a sense that perhaps I had not lived in harmony with my soul's longings or my real sense of purpose, and this book clarified why that feeling exists, both in myself, and in many men. I believe that reading and understanding this book has put me on a new path of discovering the real and true inner "men" and I embrace that journey of discovery with enthusiasm, thanks to the road map this book offers. ( )
  Paul-the-well-read | Apr 18, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bly, RobertAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cumpston, CopenhaverCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ekman, AndersTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fairbrother, MaxCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harvey, MillicentPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Söderberg, LasseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Timmermann, KlausÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waldman, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wasel, UlrikeÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Noah, Micah, and Sam.
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We are living at an important and fruitful moment now, for it is clear to men that the images of adult manhood given by the popular culture are worn out; a man can no longer depend on them.
We talk a great deal about "the American man," as if there were some constant quality that remained stable over decades, or even within a single decade.
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In this deeply learned book, poet and translator Robert Bly offers nothing less than a new vision of what it is to be a man.Bly's vision is based on his ongoing work with men and reflections on his own life. He addresses the devastating effects of remote fathers and mourns the disappearance of male initiation rites in our culture. Finding rich meaning in ancient stories and legends, Bly uses the Grimm fairy tale "Iron John," in which the narrator, or "Wild Man," guides a young man through eight stages of male growth, to remind us of archetypes long forgotten-images of vigorous masculinity, both protective and emotionally centered.Simultaneously poetic and down-to-earth, combining the grandeur of myth with the practical and often painful lessons of our own histories, Iron John is a rare work that will continue to guide and inspire men-and women-for years to come.

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