In September, 2016, Templeton Press published an interesting book entitled Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis by Nicholas Eberstadt, a long time fellow of the American Enterprise institute.. I had a particular interest in the book for numerous reasons. I have worked with leading researchers on men’s issues for over two decades, and am well aware that this is one of the country’s most serious, overlooked, and sensitive (i.e. politically correct) problems. On a more personal level, I spent a significant amount of time with a young man who fits closely the parameters described in this work. This individual voiced many of the grievances of these millenial men without work, and many are legitimate.
Many of his comments went beyond the scope of this book, and speak to the reverse discrimination that many young men are experiencing. The recent election is an example of the way women’s issues are focused on almost to the complete exclusion of men’s issues. Further, while the behavior of Donald Trump received intense scrutiny and criticism, and deservedly so, the serious character issues of Hillary Clinton were reported as being issues to voters without being objectively analyzed in a thorough fashion. They talked about her credibility gap, but not in detail. They did not deal with issues of competency and bias, such as her almost exclusive focus on injustices against women. They also failed to address the power structure in the Democratic party which tolerated a candidate over whom potential criminal charges hung, and whose track record of achievement is far from sterling.
Thus this book in my opinion, however competent and important, is just the tip of the iceberg. However, one of the strong points of the book is its accessibility. Many books based on research are laborious and cumbersome, and overly technical. This book is not an easy read, but neither is it beyond the reach of the informed layperson.
There is a dispassionate quality to the book in that it seeks to explore the statistics carefully and then arrive at objective conclusions that are free of ideology. The book’s agenda is to report on a problem, rather than to polemically lay blame.
Frankly, I found that I needed extensive time to digest its conclusions, because they were somewhat different than I had expected. In many cases I felt that the book did not address cultural biases towards women sufficiently, but that is a subjective assessment.
The author’s previous book was entitled “A Nation of Takers”, so it is obvious that he disapproves of the welfare state mentality and finds it to be a root of the problem faced by the men and society.
This book is highly recommended because it pinpoints some very disturbing developments in society that have serious socio-economic ramifications. After the author makes his case, two other commentators offer a response to the author’s conclusions, and then the author offers his own rebuttal. It is interesting to get perspectives, and it helps you formulate your own perspective.
The strength of the book is its thorough and dispassionate research expressed in accessible language, and the reasonable conclusions that are drawn. The author does not assign blame to any one group, but makes a good case that the sociological trends identified are serious, and that continued neglect of these by policy makers and the populace as a whole will lead to even more negative consequences.
I found this book both enjoyable and informative, and hope that many persons will both read and respond to this book. More information is available from templetonpress.org.