No matter your age or stage in life, there are always opportunities to grow. To make that growth possible, many people turn to books for guidance and support.
If you are exploring Masculinity, or know someone looking for guidance stepping into manhood, then this list of six Masculinity Books is for you.
These books will help you understand your Masculinity and how it relates to other people around you. They explore different aspects of being a man, including fatherhood, relationships, violence, and sexuality. You can learn more about yourself by reading these great pieces of literature!
This list of Masculinity Books is in no particular order. They are all worth reading, and you should take your time with each one to reflect on what resonates most with you
King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by R. Moore and D. Gillette
King, Warrior, Magician, Lover comprises four parts:
- An examination of the masculine psyche
- An exploration of archetypes (King, Warrior, Magician, and Lover)
- Practical exercises for balancing these energies in everyday life
- An extensive resource section
The author’s message is clear: Men have forgotten who they are and how important they are to their families, communities, and the world.
This book is a “must-read” for all men, no matter what stage of life you are in.
The book helped me see into the different aspects of myself, giving me a clearer picture of my psyche, and completely changed my worldview. This book was a big inspiration for the HeroRise Masculine Archetype system. Its exploration of the Masculine Psyche was truly revolutionary for its time.
As I did further studies in Masculinity and Jungian Psychology (where archetype’s originated from), I found some problematic aspects to this book.
I find the role of the King to be exaggerated and high-handed. Robert Moore presents the psyche as a hierarchy with power in the center, never quite sitting with me.
The book is fantastic, but don’t take it all as absolute truth. Use this book as a primer for exploring your relationship with Masculine Archetypes.
Learn More about the four Masculine Archetypes in another article I wrote.
Masculinities by R. W. Connell
The book Masculinities explores the academic history of Masculinity. Connell argues that there is no single concept of Masculinity, but rather many different masculinities, each with its own set of power dynamics. R.W. Connell focuses on the shifts that Masculinity has undergone, pointing out its ever-evolving nature.
The book is incredibly dense and slow reading, and many people will find it hard to read. The information is presented through the lens of an academic. If you are looking for a book that simplifies Masculinity or can help you know where to go in your life, this is not the book for you.
This book is for the academic study of Gender and history. If that interests you, then this is a fantastic reference book.
I learned a lot from this book. I had heard of the Mythopoetic movement and men’s right’s but never got an in-depth account of how and where the movements came from.
I highly recommend the book because it does a great job pointing out how power, racism, poverty, and social status have affected the way culture views and utilizes Masculinity. We mustn’t just read self-help books but also read historical accounts to help us understand the social context of Masculinity.
Iron John: A Book About Men by Robert Bly
The book Iron John explores Masculinity through an old Grimm’s fairytale of a boy that frees a wild man—using it as a metaphor for a man’s initiation into manhood.
This book is one of the most referenced and read books in men’s groups. It inspired a renaissance in men’s work when it first came out in 1990 and birthed the Mythopoetic movement.
The book does a great job of helping men make sense of their own lives and how they can be better fathers, brothers, husbands, sons, and so on.
It’s a fantastic tale of the male journey and an intriguing read.
I recently reread the book through a group course on the Mythic Masculine Network. I gained a lot through myth and storytelling, but there are some underlying “problems” with the book.
Robert Bly seems to downplay or straight avoid talking about the feminine. Also, his version of Masculinity seems to be very narrow. It’s presented in a very prescriptive matter (This is the REAL way) while also discounting how different cultures have developed various initiatory rites of Masculinity—making it feel culturally insensitive.
There are a lot of unique concepts within this book that help men. I would recommend it, but with the caveat that I don’t believe in many of the underlying assumptions in the book.
The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida
The Way of the Superior Man speaks more to the spiritual aspects of Masculinity. David Deida’s definition of Masculine and Feminine polarity has been incredibly influential.
This book is beneficial when dealing with intimacy issues and sex addiction. It explores how to utilize and transform sexual energy in relationships. It’s a practical guide for living a masculine life of integrity, authenticity, and beauty.
The book explores Tantra and Masculinity in a unique and powerful way.
The author, David Deida, paints a specific and stereotypical canvas of how men and women interact. He makes broad statements about how men should behave in relationships with women without references to scientific studies or anecdotal evidence from his clients.
Some of the gender concepts feel dated and based on cultural assumptions, but there is still lots to be learned from this fantastic book.
On the Warrior’s Path by Daniele Bolelli
The Warrior archetype is one of the most misunderstood. It’s hard for modern society to understand how it fits into today’s society. This book by Daniele Bolelli explores the philosophical aspects of the Warrior—giving great depth to the psychological effects and needs of the Warrior in our culture.
The book is not inherently about Masculinity, but I think it touches on a subject that many men shy away from.
It’s a highly engaging book filled with stories and an intriguing look at what it means to have a warrior’s spirit.
When I picked up this book, I had no idea what to expect. I thought it would be vague concepts and ancient stories. Instead, it was a deeply introspective look into what a warrior is and the spiritual path it brings to the practitioner.
I have worked with most men with the Warrior archetype and need to understand it from an intellectual place. This book is highly unique in its approach and content.
How To Want What You Have by Timothy Ray Miller
This book isn’t specifically about Masculinity, but I think it can aid with one of the most destructive effects of modern society.
Timothy Miller explores what the root of our desires is through cognitive behavioral therapy. He looks at the harmful effects of being driven solely by our material desires and gives tangible steps you can take to find inner peace.
An endless “need for more” has poisoned masculinity. It ultimately hurts us, our loved ones, and our planet. This book gives tools and techniques to find enjoyment in everyday life.
This book came to me at a significant time in my life. I moved through a tough break-up and found this book gave me hope and a newfound presence.
My mind is always “future thinking,” and I have a habit of missing the current moment. This book gave me deep insights into finding inner psychological peace through enjoying “what is here” and not getting lost in “what I wanted.”
I believe the world would be a much better place if everyone had read this book.
Reading books is a great way to learn and grow. I am the man today because of the wisdom of these authors.
This list of the top six masculinity books is a good starting point for readers curious about men’s sexuality, intimacy, or masculine theory.
- King, Warrior, Magician, Lover – Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette
- Masculinities – R. W. Connell
- Iron John: A Book About Men – Robert Bly
- The Way of the Superior Man – David Deida
- On the Warrior’s Path – Daniele Bolelli
- How to Want What You Have – Timothy Miller