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Updated July 10, 2020
Boxing and Masculinity: Fighting to Find the Whole Man
forthcoming as an eBook


This book makes a simple suggestion: You will be a happier man if you start to box. It follows up one of my first suggestions in Modern Masculinity, which is that men who want to find personal happiness in a world dedicated to shaming and attacking masculinity should take up a martial art. (Available in English and Spanish: Modern Masculinity: A Guide for Men , 2016. Translated as La Masculinidad Moderna: Guía Para El Hombre, 2017.)

This book is about my adventures as a boxer.

The first part of this book (chapters 1-6) describes how I got interested in boxing as a way to build masculinity and create myself as a whole man. The second section (chapters 7 to 11) describes various environments in which I took boxing lessons, ranging from fitness clubs to community centers. Each one showed me a different side of boxing.

The third section (chapters 12 to 18) outlines my progress through a series of boxing coaches. Some had a lot of experience in the ring, others very little. I learned from each one of them, and as I moved on, I discovered more about my manhood and my mission. I put aside basic fears and discovered the joy and freedom of being a beginner. I also look at some popular ideas about boxing as an agent of change and as a form of self-expression. I look at fear, and also at safety concerns and other matters that might be keeping you from climbing into the ring.

The last section (chapters 19-22) looks perceptions of boxing in the art of the famous American painter George Wesley Bellows (d. 1926) and explains why these dark views of the sport matter to boxers living one hundred years after Bellows was working. The book concludes with a chapter on Jack Dempsey, whom Bellows painted twice. Dempsey wrote a book about his own boxing experiences and is a wonderful model of a man who understood the importance of writing, something Dempsey grasped even as a boy of 7 who learned about boxing from his older brothers.

The book ends with list of books, articles, and websites that will help to guide your boxing adventures.

Other books by Allen Frantzen here.

Updated August 2019