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Andrea Bussell

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Manhattan Institute

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"Kay Hymowitz has written a fascinating and important book—one that should be read by every man, woman, and man-child in America. So put down your Wii controller, click off the Tucker Max blog, and pick up Manning Up. You won't regret it." —A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically

Dudes, guys, geeks, hipsters: Are they men or are they boys? Influential social critic Kay S. Hymowitz shows why lots of people—especially young women—aren't so sure, and why that matters to all of us.

Men in their twenties and thirties are ground zero for two radical shifts in contemporary life: delayed adulthood and an increasingly female-friendly economy. Settling into their careers, marrying, and having children later than ever before, young people are carving out a new "preadult" stage of life.

Women are now the first sex among preadults. They are the majority of college grads, and are taking over new sectors of a recession-battered but still dynamic knowledge economy. From marketing to communications, design to nonprofits, a historic number of high-wage careers are not just open to women, but dominated by them.

And the men? From the outside, preadult men often seem like children, filling their leisure time with video games, Adam Sandler movies, indie bands, beer pong, and the company of inebriated women. But it's not all fun for men, and certainly not any fun for the women who would like them to grow up. With no clear life script, these men don't know what is expected of them either as men or as adults. In the past, dating in the early adult years was largely a means to an end—marriage and fatherhood. No more. Dating can mean a decade or more of miscues, bad breakups, and Match.com dead ends.

Meanwhile, marriage and parenthood can come in myriad forms or be skipped altogether. A biological clock tells women when preadulthood has to come to an end. Men? They have no pressing reason to ponder the sand in the hourglass. Why man up? Even when it comes to having children, women no longer seem to need them.

Thoroughly researched and bursting with radical implications for both present and future generations, Manning Up is the essential book for understanding the dramatic changes that are taking place in the lives of young people across the globe.

head_shotKay S. Hymowitz is the William E. Simon Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She writes extensively on childhood, family issues, poverty, and cultural change in America. Read full bio >

"Kay Hymowitz has written a fascinating and important book—one that should be read by every man, woman, and man-child in America. So put down your Wii controller, click off the Tucker Max blog, and pick up Manning Up. You won't regret it." —A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically


"Manning Up" describes the world of "alpha girls" and "child men" – the educated, ambitious young generation whose lives and fortunes have been largely shaped by the various successes of feminism. In her fascinating, brutally honest new book, Kay S. Hymowitz describes an unintended consequence of that movement: the creation of a huge generation of aging frat boys, men who have discovered - in the spray tanned, bikini-waxed wonderland of post-feminism – a shangrila they are only too happy to inhabit. Freed from the old tests of manhood, such as the ability to marry and provide for a woman and children, as well as from the double standard which impeded their access to easy sex with women of their own social class, they are biding their time, and leaving many of the best and brightest young women wondering, "where did all the good men go?" "Manning Up" is an important book for parents, educators and most of all, for today's young women.Caitlin Flanagan, To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife


"With spot-on detail and zero dogma, Kay Hymowitz has written a smart, incisive analysis of the woes troubling today's young men, oft saddled with the dreary label, 'adultescents.' Anyone interested in the state of the sexes will want to read Hymowitz's wise, accessible, and compassionate take." —Pamela Paul, author of The Starter Marriage


"Manning Up is an important portrayal of the disintegrating covenant that once existed between the sexes. And few can do this better than Kay Hymowitz. She untangles the complex forces threatening marriage for even the most privileged young Americans." —William J. Bennett


"Kay Hymowitz is a brilliant observer of cultural and social trends in America. Manning Up moves in a crescendo of accelerating energy from first chapter to last. Any reader who has ever wondered about changing gender roles and the purpose of marriage in the lives of our friends and relatives— or in our own lives—will be impressed and amazed. If you are between age twenty and fifty, reading this book may cause you to re-plan your own life. Whatever your age, it will certainly cause you to rethink our collective future." —Neil Howe, co-author of Millenials Rising: The Next Great Generation