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As I started to read this I was initially put off by some of the hyperbole and accusatory language made me uncomfortable, and I was convinced that my values (relatively open to dispensatory charity and a passionate ethical vegan) would be at odds with what Jack was proposing. As I started to delve further into the book I was able to start grasping some of the larger concepts that were being presented, and came to a point where I was interested in asking Jack what he thought being a "good man" would entail, as I felt I would need something to replace ideologies he was dismantling inside my own mind. Reading to the end I finally had the revelation of what Becoming a Barbarian is actually about: I can still be a good father, a compassionate partner, and someone who moral uses about right and wrong. It is merely being able to make the choice of who to be those things for. It is the essence of pragmatism to realise that we cannot change the world for everyone, not would everyone let that happen. But we can change the world for those we hold close, for those we care for, and those who we respect enough to hold accountable. A wonderful book, and I encourage anyone who views themselves as a "good man" to give it a fair go.
The follow up to "Way of Men" is a good successor but it doesn't quite hit the same heights. The core is the notion of Us vs Them and how to create a meaningful and strong group and sense of who the We is. The book goes quite a way down the path into doing this, but I'm sure that there will be may readers who are either feeling to isolated to form their own Mannerbund or who were expecting a more prescriptive look. The book also branches more into an Alt-Right worldview and Germanic pagan practices, both of which are interesting topics. However, they are both also topics that I have read similar things about elsewhere. The book is in general somewhat less original than Donovan's other works - although I think this may be a case of the people he inspired, and is inspired by, simply publishing related works. In summary, it's a very good short book. It doesn't quite meet the very high expectations resulting from the viral success of "Way of Men" but I'm happy to have bought and read it and I'll read it again in a few months.
To begin with, I'll get the negatives out of the way, of which there are few. This book seems rather short when compared to Donovans previous work. I will not belabour this point too much however, as Donovans writing style is both concise and to the point so that no words are wasted upon his pages. The brevity of this work is probably one of its strengths rather than its weaknesses, but I would certainly have liked to have some sections of the book expanded upon slightly more, specifically the following chapters: The Empire of Nothing, Becoming a Barbarian, and Caput Gerat Lupinum.
Other than its brevity, I cannot fault this book in any way. In his previous work "The Way of Men", Donovan established his writing style as being punchy, incendiary, and highly quotable. In this book he has refined that style to the point where each paragraph can almost stand alone as a succinct thought in which no words are wasted. The authors style of communication is one which I find admirable and highly enjoyable to read, as it stands very clearly apart from the work of other authors who drawl on and pack out their pages with unnecessary filling words. Donovans work, on the other hand, is Spartan in the sense that it is both Laconic and bloody.
Typing the authors name into any search engine will very quickly reveal that Donovans personal life is a very authentic representation of the philosophies that he espouses in his work. Thinkers and writers in this genre (if such a genre could be said to have existed prior to Donovan) often tend to be nothing more than thinkers and writers who rarely practice what they preach. But Donovans adherence to the code that he promotes is well documented on Facebook, Instagram, and his personal website. Although some readers will not gain any extra appreciation of his work by knowing that he does indeed practice what he preaches, I personally find it to be an important point when we approach the work of writers such as these.
To conclude, Becoming a Barbarian is an important work for anyone with an interest in such topics as Tribalism, Masculinity, Social Psychology, and even Heathenry (though this topic is used mainly as an illustration for the other points that Donovan discusses). Although I would have preferred if it were longer than its 160 pages, I cannot overly fault the author when his Laconic brevity is one of the main attractions to his work.
Excellent book. Would recommend to anyone interested in politics and human nature. It is one of those books that would change the world, if enough people were aware of it. One minor point: The publisher was somewhat negligent in their responsibility to proof read the book prior publishing. It contains a number of grammatical errors and sentences that don't make sense. There is no excuse for this - it should be the easy part of producing a book.
Interesting read. I found it thought provoking. I don't always agree with this guy, but he does make some good points. Content may offend SJW's and the people who say they care about everyone and everything.
Good material here....definitely controversial and won't be everyone's cup of tea. But, he hits the nail on the head about tribalism......us vs them.....those inside the perimeter vs those outside the perimeter. He makes many valid points about the globalist empire of nothing.
This book offers a look at why so many men in this age feel as if they are lacking a community. It focus on teaching men to find like minded brothers and embracing a lifestyle of loyalty to those brothers.