'The stereotypes about manliness':
Harvard prof Harvey C. Mansfield's new book 'Manliness'
gets quite a trashing
in the NYT. Though I suspect without reading the book that it's not all that good, the outright dismissal of Mansfield's arguments by reviewer Walter Kirn reminded me of that old Harvard elephant in the room: Larry Summer's comments about gender differences. ... I guess there are certain topics you're just not supposed to tackle, clumsily or not. Still a lot of readers, one of whom identifies himself as a student of Mansfield, give the book good reviews in the Amazon comments section. ...
-- Reader No. 1:
there are 'certain topics you're just not supposed to tackle?' Also, why do think Mansfield's book is not all that good without having read it? Here's an interesting sampler
from a few years back. There's a thoughtful review of Mansfield's book by Janet Daley in today's WSJ of the same title. (Sorry no link, it's paid.) Daley takes the author seriously, unlike Kirn's review, which I would submit as Exhibit A as to why elites aren't taken seriously by folks outside of their circle."Response
-- Sometimes you just have a gut instinct you won't like a book. ... I had a similar gut reaction to 'American Vertigo,'
which I hoped would be good but got confirmation pans from people whose opinions I respect (see 'padding out a term paper'