100 books like Masculinity and Male Codes of Honor in Modern France

By Robert A. Nye,

Here are 100 books that Masculinity and Male Codes of Honor in Modern France fans have personally recommended if you like Masculinity and Male Codes of Honor in Modern France. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic

David S. Parker Author Of The Pen, the Sword, and the Law: Dueling and Democracy in Uruguay

From my list on dueling that explain why people fought duels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a social and legal historian of late 19th and early 20th Century Latin America, and the majority of my work is about the emergence of the middle class. I first got interested in researching dueling because I had the idea that the duel probably played a role in creating and enforcing a social dividing line between the upper elite and the middle class. But once I got immersed in the historical documents I realized how wrong my initial hypothesis had been, how little dueling had to do with social class, and how much it was about maintaining—or sometimes gaming for advantage—the norms of decorum in politics and the press.

David's book list on dueling that explain why people fought duels

David S. Parker Why did David love this book?

This is one of the books that inspired and provided source material for the musical Hamilton. Freeman is a Pulitzer prize-winning historian of post-1776 United States. This masterful history of the early American republic shows how dueling needs to be understood as politics by other means, as part of the mad scramble for power and prestige in the context of never-ending “paper wars” in the partisan press. They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but I’ll never forget how much the cover art captured my imagination, and how brilliantly it reflects what you will find inside.

This book is not just about duels; it also covers political alliances, gossip, insults, and elections.  But that is Freeman’s whole point, that they are all interconnected, and dueling is just one piece of a larger picture.

By Joanne B. Freeman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Affairs of Honor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A major reassessment of American political culture in the days of Jefferson, Hamilton, and Burr

"[A] landmark study of Hamilton and the founders."-Jeff Sharlet, Chronicle of Higher Education

"Demands the attention of everyone with a serious interest in the history of American politics."-Pauline Maier, Washington Post

In this extraordinary book, Joanne Freeman offers a major reassessment of political culture in the early years of the American republic. By exploring both the public actions and private papers of key figures such as Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr, and Alexander Hamilton, Freeman reveals an alien and profoundly unstable political world grounded on the…


Book cover of Politics of the Sword: Dueling, Honor, and Masculinity in Modern Italy

David S. Parker Author Of The Pen, the Sword, and the Law: Dueling and Democracy in Uruguay

From my list on dueling that explain why people fought duels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a social and legal historian of late 19th and early 20th Century Latin America, and the majority of my work is about the emergence of the middle class. I first got interested in researching dueling because I had the idea that the duel probably played a role in creating and enforcing a social dividing line between the upper elite and the middle class. But once I got immersed in the historical documents I realized how wrong my initial hypothesis had been, how little dueling had to do with social class, and how much it was about maintaining—or sometimes gaming for advantage—the norms of decorum in politics and the press.

David's book list on dueling that explain why people fought duels

David S. Parker Why did David love this book?

This study of Italian dueling from 1860s unification to 1930s Fascism makes a convincing case that the duel was not some holdover from an aristocratic past, but a modern phenomenon that arose out of liberal politics and a free press. The book covers Italy’s long and active debate about how to curb a practice that clearly violated the law but was rarely ever punished in practice. When I first read this book I was in the middle of my own research, and Hughes was the first writer who seemed to get everything right, or at least to have discovered for Italy the same things that I was finding for South America. A great window into dueling and an even better window into liberal Italy and its politics.

By Steven C. Hughes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Politics of the Sword as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Following its creation as a country in 1861, Italy experienced a wave of dueling that led commentators to bemoan a national “duellomania” evidenced by the sad spectacle of a duel a day. Pamphlets with titles like “Down with the Duel” and “The Shame of the Duel” all communicated the passion of those who could not believe that a people supposedly just returned to the path of progress and civilization had wholeheartedly embraced such a “barbaric” custom. Yet these critics were consistently countered by sober-minded men of rank and influence who felt that the duel was necessary for the very health…


Book cover of Pistols, Politics and the Press: Dueling in 19th Century American Journalism

David S. Parker Author Of The Pen, the Sword, and the Law: Dueling and Democracy in Uruguay

From my list on dueling that explain why people fought duels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a social and legal historian of late 19th and early 20th Century Latin America, and the majority of my work is about the emergence of the middle class. I first got interested in researching dueling because I had the idea that the duel probably played a role in creating and enforcing a social dividing line between the upper elite and the middle class. But once I got immersed in the historical documents I realized how wrong my initial hypothesis had been, how little dueling had to do with social class, and how much it was about maintaining—or sometimes gaming for advantage—the norms of decorum in politics and the press.

David's book list on dueling that explain why people fought duels

David S. Parker Why did David love this book?

Covers some of the same ground as Joanne Freeman, regarding dueling, reputation, politics, and the press in the antebellum U.S.A. But what I really like about this book is how it makes those historical issues relatable to our contemporary era by drawing parallels and connections between the politicized press of the 19th century and present-day debates about free speech in social media. If modern Twitter warriors had lived in the 1800s, they would have needed to know how to handle a sword. 

By Ryan Chamberlain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pistols, Politics and the Press as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book argues that dueling should be looked at as a fundamental part of the history of journalism. By examining the nineteenth century Code Duello, the accepted standards under which a duel could be conducted, the author examines the causes of combative responses between journalists. Each chapter examines an aspect of this relationship from the nineteenth century until the present, including the connections between the ritualized aggression of the nineteenth century and the feuding among blog journalists today. A comprehensive bibliography as well as an overview of accepted practices under the Code of Honor as faced by nineteenth century journalists…


Book cover of Dueling: The Cult of Honor in Fin-de-Siècle Germany

David S. Parker Author Of The Pen, the Sword, and the Law: Dueling and Democracy in Uruguay

From my list on dueling that explain why people fought duels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a social and legal historian of late 19th and early 20th Century Latin America, and the majority of my work is about the emergence of the middle class. I first got interested in researching dueling because I had the idea that the duel probably played a role in creating and enforcing a social dividing line between the upper elite and the middle class. But once I got immersed in the historical documents I realized how wrong my initial hypothesis had been, how little dueling had to do with social class, and how much it was about maintaining—or sometimes gaming for advantage—the norms of decorum in politics and the press.

David's book list on dueling that explain why people fought duels

David S. Parker Why did David love this book?

I was hesitant to include this title because I’m not fully convinced by McAleer’s argument that the persistence into the 20th Century of violent pistol dueling in Germany signals a uniquely German mentality, an intensely caste-conscious and militaristic cult of violence “divergent from that of other Western nations” and “innately antithetical to classical liberalism,” or in other words, the exact opposite of what Steven Hughes describes for Italy. But the book is a brilliantly compelling read, and people have a right to make up their own minds.

By Kevin McAleer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dueling as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The question of what it takes "to be a man" comes under scrutiny in this sharp, often playful, cultural critique of the German duel--the deadliest type of one-on-one combat in fin-de-siecle Europe. At a time when dueling was generally restricted to swords or had been abolished altogether in other nations, the custom of fighting to the death with pistols flourished among Germany's upper-class males, who took perverse comfort in defying their country's weakly enforced laws. From initial provocation to final death agony, Kevin McAleer describes with ironic humor the complex protocol of the German duel, inviting his reader into the…


Book cover of The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire

Daniel Mangena Author Of Stepping Beyond Intention

From my list on to break through your blocks.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having brought myself back from the brink more than once, finally building a lasting, abundant life for myself; I know what it takes and I know how easy it is to lose your way. I am extremely passionate about helping others avoid the pitfalls, break through the self-imposed barriers and find their own version of abundance. It’s not just about money, though that’s certainly a component for a lot of people. It’s about bringing awareness to what your dream life actually looks like, getting precise about it, and then clearing you a path that leads inexorably towards it. I have walked that path myself and now, I want to help you do the same. 

Daniel's book list on to break through your blocks

Daniel Mangena Why did Daniel love this book?

What I love about The Way of the Superior Man is that it frames the traditional, ancient ways of looking at masculine energy in a way that those of us in the modern, 21st-century western world can relate to. 

This is not a book about being a man, or in any way exclusively for men. It’s about how we relate to the masculine energy that is inside of all of us. This is an important component of what I teach in Stepping Beyond Intention as well because it shows us how we relate to others and the world around us. 

It’s about getting you to see the interplay and polarity of energies that exist within you. Armed with that awareness, you’ll be able to better direct yourself at achieving your goals. 

By David Deida,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Way of the Superior Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Though much has changed in society since the first publication of The Way of the Superior Man, men of all ages still "tussle with the challenges of women, work, and sexual desire." Including an all-new preface by author David Deida, this 20th-anniversary edition of the classic guide to male spirituality offers the next generation the opportunity to cultivate trust in the moment and put forth the best versions of themselves in an ever-changing world.

In The Way of the Superior Man, Deida explores the most important issues in men's lives-from career and family to women and intimacy to love and…


Book cover of The Lost Boys of Zeta Psi: A Historical Archaeology of Masculinity at a University Fraternity

Seth Mallios Author Of Hail Montezuma! The Hidden Treasures of San Diego State

From my list on the surprising histories of college campuses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I find the archaeology of here to be just as interesting and enlightening as any faraway land. For those of us at universities, that means that the campus itself is worthy of historical, archaeological, and anthropological study. I have been San Diego State’s University History Curator for decades and never tire of uncovering new insights into an institution with a 125-year history, nearly 500,000 alumni, and a bevy of bizarre tales. Whether it be hidden student murals, supernatural claims from the gridiron, or disputed dinosaur footprints, the immediate landscape of our workplace is often full of historical treasures.

Seth's book list on the surprising histories of college campuses

Seth Mallios Why did Seth love this book?

Laurie Wilkie uses multiple lines of evidence, including recently uncovered archaeological artifacts, oral histories, old photographs, and the campus landscape, to examine daily life at UC Berkeley’s first fraternity. Her intriguing study offers insights into the notion of the early modern university as well as changing definitions of masculinity during the early 20th century.

By Laurie A. Wilkie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lost Boys of Zeta Psi as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The Lost Boys of Zeta Psi" takes us inside the secret, amusing, and sometimes mundane world of a California fraternity around 1900. Gleaning history from recent archaeological excavations and from such intriguing sources as oral histories, architecture, and photographs, Laurie A. Wilkie uncovers details of everyday life in the first fraternity at the University of California, Berkeley, and sets this story into the rich social and historical context of West Coast America at the turn of the last century. In particular, Wilkie examines men's coming-of-age experiences in a period when gender roles and relations were undergoing dramatic changes. Her innovative…


Book cover of Clarissa Oakes

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by "sea stories" since I could read, maybe before. I was born in Liverpool, my dad was in the navy, my family ran an 18th-century inn named the Turk’s Head after a nautical knot, and I’ve directed or written more than twenty films, plays, and novels with the sea as their setting. But they’re not really about the sea. For me, the sea is a mirror to reflect the human condition, a theatre for all the human dramas I can imagine. More importantly, I’ve read over a hundred sea stories for research and pleasure, and those I’ve chosen for you are the five I liked best.

Seth's book list on books about the sea that aren’t just about sailing on it, or fighting on it, or drowning in it, but are really about the human condition

Seth Hunter Why did Seth love this book?

I loved this book because it isn’t just a great story; it demonstrates that the nautical genre, which is supposedly about rugged masculinity, heroism, male bonding, and man against the sea, can be about many other things too, even women!

There is nothing like a ship at sea for creating the ideal hothouse environment for a penetrating study of human nature, especially when you throw a woman into the mix. Clarissa Oakes is a stowaway on a 19th-century sailing ship, the only woman among 200 men, and the perfect catalyst for an explosion of male desire, jealousy, and rage.

It's probably the best book I’ve read in this genre for demonstrating just how much you can stretch the canvas to cover almost every aspect of the human condition.  

By Patrick O'Brian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Clarissa Oakes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With factions on board, and multiple enemies to contend with, only the most careful navigation will save them.

As he sails away from Port Jackson, Captain Jack Aubrey feels nothing but relief at leaving the penal colony and its inhabitants far behind. But, unknown to him, hidden among his crew is one Clarissa Oakes. With Britain at war on two fronts, with both America and France, Aubrey's orders are to make for the Sandwich Islands and intervene in the conflict there.

How much trouble can one woman cause?

'One moment you laugh out loud at comedy rooted in character, and…


Book cover of Man of the House

Edward Castronova Author Of Life Is a Game: What Game Design Says about the Human Condition

From my list on tough and practical books for living well.

Why am I passionate about this?

Edward Castronova is a gamer who also has a PhD in Economics and a lifetime of research on games, technology, and society. In this book he applies everything he has learned to the burning questions at the heart of every person’s life: What am I doing here? How am I supposed to live? When Castronova faced those questions himself, the answer was clear: I have been thrown into a game called “Life” and, being a gamer, I should figure out the rules to this game and try to beat it. 

Edward's book list on tough and practical books for living well

Edward Castronova Why did Edward love this book?

Wiley tells a guy how to stop being an aimless fool and start being the man of the house. His lessons tell you how to earn authority, not through domination but through toughness and a determination to give your family what they need from you. Wiley wants men to create strong shelters for their wives and kids, so that they can thrive and become independent themselves. It’s practical stuff, like, fix your own damn appliances. Women: If you want men with spines in your life, have them read this. And if you find yourself having to be both mom and dad in your house, do what Wiley says so that you can act with authority as well as compassion.

By C.R. Wiley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Man of the House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What is your plan for the end of the world as we know it? How will you protect the people you love? What will you leave to them when you are gone? The good news is this is not the first time the world has ended. What's more, men were made for times like these. And the men of the past--the good ones, anyway--have left us a plan to follow. They built houses to last--houses that could weather a storm. This book contains their plan.


Book cover of I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression

Bret Lyon Author Of Embracing Shame: How to Stop Resisting Shame and Turn It into a Powerful Ally

From my list on healing shame and trauma.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent many years deeply angry at my parents and not really understanding why. When I found out about shame, and how it was passed down from generation to generation, I was finally able to crack the code. Their “permissiveness” was actually neglect. Without meaning to, they had put their shame on me and I was still suffering from not really being seen. I made it my mission to help others heal their shame so they can be better people and better parents, and live fuller lives. I am the co-director of the Center for Healing Shame and co-author of Embracing Shame.

Bret's book list on healing shame and trauma

Bret Lyon Why did Bret love this book?

Shame is the major factor in all depression, and when I substituted “shame” every time Real used the word “depression,” I realized I had found the definitive work on how shame operates on men. I have all my male clients read it, and it has changed many lives.

The book reads in many ways like a novel. Real frames the book with stories about his father: It starts with descriptions of how depressed his father was and how difficult it was to connect with him in his depression and isolation. And it ends with Real finally getting his father (and himself) to acknowledge the love between them.  

By Terrence Real,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Don't Want to Talk About It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A bestseller for over 20 years, I Don’t Want to Talk About It is a groundbreaking and hopeful guide to understanding and destigmatizing male depression, essential not only for men who may be suffering but for the people who love them.

Twenty years of experience treating men and their families has convinced psychotherapist Terrence Real that depression is a silent epidemic in men—that men hide their condition from family, friends, and themselves to avoid the stigma of depression’s “un-manliness.” Problems that we think of as typically male—difficulty with intimacy, workaholism, alcoholism, abusive behavior, and rage—are really attempts to escape depression.…


Book cover of Manifest Manhood and the Antebellum American Empire

Robert E. May Author Of Manifest Destiny's Underworld: Filibustering in Antebellum America

From my list on U.S. filibustering.

Why am I passionate about this?

I discovered the “filibusters” during my very first weeks in graduate school and have been learning and writing books and articles about them ever since. I think that what initially intrigued me was that they had outsized importance in U.S. politics and diplomacy, and were often front-page news before the Civil War, and yet I had never heard about them growing up. I was also intrigued because these men were so unlike myself. I can’t in my wildest moments even imagine joining a tiny bunch of armed men in an illegal expedition to a foreign land, risking death in the field or jail if I ever made it back home!

Robert's book list on U.S. filibustering

Robert E. May Why did Robert love this book?

Better than any other study on filibustering, Amy Greenberg treats it through the lens of gender, and she is particularly interested in public opinion about filibustering. Mass rallies in support of filibuster invasions of Cuba and Central America occurred in U.S. cities in the 1850s, providing funds, recruits, and moral support for criminal enterprises. What did gender have to do with who approved of filibustering, and who didn’t? What did filibustering have to do with ideas about what constituted proper masculinity? Did women participate in filibustering in any way, and did images of exoticized women in other parts of the world affect the attitudes of male filibusters?

Greenberg uses a fascinating variety of sources, including cartoons, poetry, travel accounts, and artwork, to convey the ambience of the filibustering world. Intriguingly, she both links and differentiates what she found about U.S. expansionist initiatives in Latin America before the Civil War to…

By Amy S. Greenberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Manifest Manhood and the Antebellum American Empire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The US-Mexico War (1846-8) brought two centuries of dramatic territorial expansionism to a close, seemingly fulfilling America's Manifest destiny. Or did it? As politicians schemed to annex new lands in Latin America and the Pacific, some Americans took expansionism into their own hands. From 1848-60, an epidemic of unsanctioned attacks by American mercenaries (filibusters) took place. This book documents the potency of Manifest destiny in the antebellum era, and situates imperial lust in the context of social and economic transformations that were changing the meaning of manhood and womanhood in the US. Easy victory over Mexico in 1848 led many…


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