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Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey Into Manhood and Back Again

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Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey Into Manhood and Back Again Cover

ISBN13: 9780670034666
ISBN10: 0670034665
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A journalist's provocative, spellbinding account of her eighteen months spent undercover will transform the way we think about what it means to be a man.

Following in the tradition of John Howard Griffin (Black Like Me) and Barbara Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed), Norah Vincent absorbed a cultural experience and reported back on what she observed incognito. For more than a year and a half she ventured into the world as Ned, with an ever-present five o'clock shadow, a crew cut, wire-rim glasses, and her own size 11 1/2 shoes — a perfect disguise that enabled her to observe the world of men as an insider. The result is a sympathetic, shrewd, and thrilling tour de force of immersion journalism that's destined to challenge preconceptions and attract enormous attention.

With her buddies on the bowling league she enjoyed the rough and rewarding embrace of male camaraderie undetectable to an outsider. A stint in a high-octane sales job taught her the gut-wrenching pressures endured by men who would do anything to succeed. She frequented sex clubs, dated women hungry for love but bitter about men, and infiltrated all-male communities as hermetically sealed as a men's therapy group, and even a monastery. Narrated in her utterly captivating prose style and with exquisite insight, humor, empathy, nuance, and at great personal cost, Norah uses her intimate firsthand experience to explore the many remarkable mysteries of gender identity as well as who men are apart from and in relation to women. Far from becoming bitter or outraged, Vincent ended her journey astounded — and exhausted — by the rigid codes and rituals of masculinity. Having gone where no woman (who wasn't an aspiring or actual transsexual) has gone for any significant length of time, let alone eighteen months, Norah Vincent's surprising account is an enthralling reading experience and a revelatory piece of anecdotally based gender analysis that is sure to spark fierce and fascinating conversation.

Review:

"The disguise that former Los Angeles Times op-ed columnist Vincent employed to trick dozens of people into believing her a man was carefully thought out: a new, shorter haircut; a pair of rectangular eyeglasses; a fake five o'clock shadow; a prosthetic penis; some preppy clothes. It was more than she needed. '[A]s I became more confident in my disguise... the props I had used... became less and less important, until sometimes I didn't need them at all,' Vincent writes. Gender marking, she found, is more about attitude than appearance. Vincent's account of the year and a half she spent posing as a man is peppered with such predictable observations. To readers of gender studies literature, none of them will be especially illuminating, but Vincent's descriptions of how she learned, and tested, such chestnuts firsthand make them awfully fun to read. As 'Ned,' Vincent joined an all-male bowling league, dated women, worked for a door-to-door sales force, spent three weeks in a monastery, hung out in strip clubs and, most dangerous of all, went on a Robert Bly — style men's retreat. She creates rich portraits of the men she met in these places and the ways they behaved — as a lesbian, she's particularly good at separating the issues of sexuality from those of gender. But the most fascinating part of the story lies within Vincent herself — and the way that censoring her emotions to pass as a man provoked a psychological breakdown. For fans of Nickel and Dimed — style immersion reporting, this book is a sure bet." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Norah Vincent is a true freethinker and independent journalist in the European manner, challenging prevailing assumptions in academe, politics, and media." Camille Paglia

Review:

"An extraordinary human document, rich in empathy and insight." Bruce Bawer, author of A Place At the Table

Review:

"A fascinating, original and often hilarious long day's journey into the world of men." Christina Hoff Sommers

Review:

"Vincent's chapter on dating is the most fascinating in this otherwise unspectacular memoir....Self-Made Man is one of many books in which the hype exceeds the delivery." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"Writing from the perspective of a gay woman who had a view of the male world that women don't get to see, Vincent finds unexpected complexities in the men she meets and in herself as well." Booklist

Review:

"An often humorous, incisive, and fascinating account." Library Journal

Synopsis:

Narrated with exquisite insight, humor, and empathy, the author uses her firsthand experience--the 18 months she masqueraded as a man--to explore the many remarkable mysteries of gender identity.

Synopsis:

A journalist’s provocative and spellbinding account of her eighteen months spent disguised as a man

Norah Vincent became an instant media sensation with the publication of Self-Made Man, her take on just how hard it is to be a man, even in a man’s world. Following in the tradition of John Howard Griffin (Black Like Me), Norah spent a year and a half disguised as her male alter ego, Ned, exploring what men are like when women aren’t around. As Ned, she joins a bowling team, takes a high-octane sales job, goes on dates with women (and men), visits strip clubs, and even manages to infiltrate a monastery and a men’s therapy group. At once thought- provoking and pure fun to read, Self-Made Man is a sympathetic and thrilling tour de force of immersion journalism.

About the Author

Norah Vincent left her job as a nationally syndicated opinion columnist for the Los Angeles Times to research this book. Her work has appeared in The New Republic, the New York Post, The Village Voice, and The Washington Post, among other journals, and she has appeared on numerous radio and television talk shows.

Table of Contents

Self-Made Man 1. Getting Started

2. Friendship

3. Sex

4. Love

5. Life

6. Work

7. Self

8. Journey's End

Acknowledgments

Author Interview

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Vince, September 30, 2008 (view all comments by Vince)
This book was excellent. I think Mara is the closed minded person here. The book stated what it stated because of the FACTS that the author found to be evident. Mara, are you pissed because the author's findings did not support your "closed minded" point of view? Your review is just weird in light of the author's experiences and how she approached the problem. Yes, the author states her opinion at the end of the book and it doesn't agree with yours. She had the experience. So, her experience doesn't agree with your view of the world. Therefore the book must be wrong?!?! What is even stranger is that the author was initially closer to Mara's point of view until SHE lived as a MAN. Did you even read the book, Mara?

It is a great book! I liked it and so did National Public Radio. There is an interview about the book and the authors experience on NPR. It is a great book. If you are not closed minded then it may open your eyes to how the sexes look at the world differently, just be sure not to tell Mara that there is a difference between the sexes.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
Mara, October 5, 2006 (view all comments by Mara)
When I first read a Salon.com article slamming Nora Vincent and her book Self Made Man, I thought it was a case of a close-minded reviewer defaming what sounded to be a groundbreaking book. Alas, this was not true at all. This book deserved the bad review it received. Vincent finds no middle ground in between biologically determined male and female identities. In fact, at the end of the book, she states openly the universe is built upon immutable male and female archetypes. She relies heavily on stereotypes of masculinity. As distressing is the classism evident in the book: much of her ?fieldwork? patronizes the working class male communities she infiltrates. For a book that is marketed aggressively to LGBT community as a compassionate look at gendered experience, it reinforces the binary gender system that so many of us deplore.
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(16 of 25 readers found this comment helpful)
SavvyMiss.com, August 11, 2006 (view all comments by SavvyMiss.com)
"Who expects a person?man or woman?to be someone other than his or herself? The struggle to be someone she is not is as central to the groundbreaking 'Self-Made Man' as Vincent?s initial goal: To discover what it is like to be a man in a man?s world and, in the process, to uncover the difference between men and women...'Self-Made Man' ultimately makes you happier than ever to be a woman. With that newfound appreciation comes a better understanding of why men are the way they are. But never will we ever truly understand, as Vincent suggests, what it?s like to be a man because we never can truly be one." - SavvyMiss.com


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(9 of 16 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780670034666
Subtitle:
One Woman's Year Disguised as a Man
Author:
Vincent, Norah
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Gender Studies
Subject:
Sex role
Subject:
Male impersonators.
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20061226
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.26x6.34x1.07 in. 1.10 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General

Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey Into Manhood and Back Again Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Viking Books - English 9780670034666 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The disguise that former Los Angeles Times op-ed columnist Vincent employed to trick dozens of people into believing her a man was carefully thought out: a new, shorter haircut; a pair of rectangular eyeglasses; a fake five o'clock shadow; a prosthetic penis; some preppy clothes. It was more than she needed. '[A]s I became more confident in my disguise... the props I had used... became less and less important, until sometimes I didn't need them at all,' Vincent writes. Gender marking, she found, is more about attitude than appearance. Vincent's account of the year and a half she spent posing as a man is peppered with such predictable observations. To readers of gender studies literature, none of them will be especially illuminating, but Vincent's descriptions of how she learned, and tested, such chestnuts firsthand make them awfully fun to read. As 'Ned,' Vincent joined an all-male bowling league, dated women, worked for a door-to-door sales force, spent three weeks in a monastery, hung out in strip clubs and, most dangerous of all, went on a Robert Bly — style men's retreat. She creates rich portraits of the men she met in these places and the ways they behaved — as a lesbian, she's particularly good at separating the issues of sexuality from those of gender. But the most fascinating part of the story lies within Vincent herself — and the way that censoring her emotions to pass as a man provoked a psychological breakdown. For fans of Nickel and Dimed — style immersion reporting, this book is a sure bet." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Norah Vincent is a true freethinker and independent journalist in the European manner, challenging prevailing assumptions in academe, politics, and media."
"Review" by , "An extraordinary human document, rich in empathy and insight."
"Review" by , "A fascinating, original and often hilarious long day's journey into the world of men."
"Review" by , "Vincent's chapter on dating is the most fascinating in this otherwise unspectacular memoir....Self-Made Man is one of many books in which the hype exceeds the delivery."
"Review" by , "Writing from the perspective of a gay woman who had a view of the male world that women don't get to see, Vincent finds unexpected complexities in the men she meets and in herself as well."
"Review" by , "An often humorous, incisive, and fascinating account."
"Synopsis" by , Narrated with exquisite insight, humor, and empathy, the author uses her firsthand experience--the 18 months she masqueraded as a man--to explore the many remarkable mysteries of gender identity.
"Synopsis" by ,
A journalist’s provocative and spellbinding account of her eighteen months spent disguised as a man

Norah Vincent became an instant media sensation with the publication of Self-Made Man, her take on just how hard it is to be a man, even in a man’s world. Following in the tradition of John Howard Griffin (Black Like Me), Norah spent a year and a half disguised as her male alter ego, Ned, exploring what men are like when women aren’t around. As Ned, she joins a bowling team, takes a high-octane sales job, goes on dates with women (and men), visits strip clubs, and even manages to infiltrate a monastery and a men’s therapy group. At once thought- provoking and pure fun to read, Self-Made Man is a sympathetic and thrilling tour de force of immersion journalism.

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