0 Stars: The Book of Man by William J. Bennett

Having a pre-conceived notion that William J Bennett was a man who knows about Christian morals based on his Book of Virtues, I predicted that I would love this book. I was so excited to be receiving from the publisher a book on the values that makes a man a real man. That being said, I was completely stunned and disappointed by this book and its glorification of un-Christian values. I did not find Christian morals or virtues in this book, but instead found the opposite! For those that care, the author demonstrates his political bias, with a completely obvious Republicans slant in interviewing about a dozen Republican presidents, generals and politicians. I don't see why these politicians would be held up as examples for Christian character.

The first section of this book glorifies war. Do we agree with Bennett when he writes "War promotes the highest virtues: honor, fortitude, service and sacrifice. The greatest moments of manhood are often found in battle"? We must ask ourselves: Fighting for freedom is one thing, but are most wars truly fought for freedom or are they fought for greed, human glorification, egoism, heroism and stealing material wealth from other nations? Bennett writes "Battle is the most significant competition in which a human can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base… duty is the essence of manhood. It turns boys into men." Is this true? Does war make our boys better men? Do they emerge from it, better off?

Bennett's own book interviews several Marines so that you can judge for yourself their motivations for joining the Marines and their Christian character. Donovan Campbell tells us that he "wanted others to admire him for his sacrifice", so he "joined the Marines". He describes his reasons for joining as "wanting adventure and to be in charge – be a leader - and not sit behind a desk and computer". "My thinking as a leader was, I need to make big decisions, show heroism and give an occasional great speech." And as a testament to his Christian character, he tells another story "One of my guys pulled me aside and pointed out how often I was using the cell phone (against clear orders, a few guys were sneaking using the emergency phone to call home every 2-3 days), when all the rest of the other guys were only allowed to call home once every 2-3 weeks. I felt about six inches tall." In Bennett's book, Marine Joshua Marcellino says “War isn’t what I thought it would be. It was boring. We marines are made to go after people. If you’re not killing someone or being killed, you’re not happy.” Are these the admirable Christian values you want your sons to adopt?

Bennett's book continues with Colin Powell justifying use of "hard military power" and the pagan Alexandar the Great justifying his blood-thirsty need for war "Does any man honestly feel he has suffered more for me than I have suffered for him? Show me your wounds and I will show you mine. I have sword cuts, arrow piercings, and bruises all for your sakes, your glory and your gain."

In this book, Bennett holds up politicians and athletes as examples of real men for our sons to admire. The majority of the men that Bennett includes in his book are either not Christian or we are not told of their religious perspective. Bennett holds up pagan and non-Christians as models for our sons. Christian morals are not addressed in this book. Self-centered, egotistical, masculine macho values are the main emphasis of this book.

My disclaimer - I received this book from the publisher free of charge but I always give honest reviews. I want you to be able to choose the best book based on stars because I know you have limited time and energy to read.

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