The Descent of Man


We recommend this…

perhaps for anyone interested in culture and society, but especially for cis men who feel limited by the ‘rules’ for how to ‘be a man’.

A quick summary

The Descent of Man is a small book of big ideas – a readable, funny and relatable mix of Grayson Perry’s personal experiences, observations and hopes for the future. He suggests a rethink of what it means to be a man – a rethink that would liberate men to live full, contented, connected lives. Perry has insight from years of enquiring into gender and masculinity, and he has distilled that down into this vital and powerful book.


Publisher’s description:

A breeze of a read, makes you see our male-manufactured world a little differently (Matt Haig)

GRAYSON PERRY FOR KING AND QUEEN OF ENGLAND. Imagine how BRILLIANT our country would look if he was (Caitlin Moran)

Grayson Perry has been thinking about masculinity – what it is, how it operates, why little boys are thought to be made of slugs and snails – since he was a boy. Now, in this funny and necessary book, he turns round to look at men with a clear eye and ask, what sort of men would make the world a better place, for everyone? What would happen if we rethought the old, macho, outdated version of manhood, and embraced a different idea of what makes a man?

Apart from giving up the coronary-inducing stress of always being ‘right’ and the vast new wardrobe options, the real benefit might be that a newly fitted masculinity will allow men to have better relationships – and that’s happiness, right?

Grayson Perry admits he’s not immune from the stereotypes himself – as the psychoanalysts say, ‘if you spot it, you’ve got it’ – and his thoughts on everything from power to physical appearance, from emotions to a brand new Manifesto for Men, are shot through with honesty, tenderness and the belief that, for everyone to benefit, upgrading masculinity has to be something men decide to do themselves.

They have nothing to lose but their hang-ups.

Additional information

Format Paperback
Weight 124 g
Dimensions 196 × 131 × 10 mm
Book Author

ISBN 9780141981741

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