The Descent of Man (Paperback)
  • The Descent of Man (Paperback)

The Descent of Man (Paperback)

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Paperback 160 Pages / Published: 06/04/2017
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'I hope that in picking up this book you have already acknowledged that masculinity needs to be questioned, that gender inequality is a huge issue for all of us and that the world would be a better place without it. What I hope this small book might do is bring awareness of masculinity to more people – awareness being a step towards change… to change the whole world for the better.' - Grayson Perry

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 What would happen if we rethought the old, macho, outdated version of manhood, and embraced a different idea of what makes a man?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.

By turns funny, insightful, brave and informative, as usual Perry drives a stake through the heart of preconceptions and in doing so makes us re-evaluate the world we live in. An essential read for anyone with an interest in how we rebalance the gender inequalities of our society and, in turn, teach such lessons to future generations.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780141981741
Number of pages: 160
Weight: 123 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 9 mm


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

‘A breeze of a read, and one that makes you see our male-manufactured world a little differently.’ - The Guardian

'An eloquent and witty tour guide through the fun house that is masculinity ... He's just the man for the job.'- Dwight Garner, Books of the Times, The New York Times

'A funny, engaging, and at times penetrating trek through the tricky landscape of contemporary masculinity ... [Perry is] a cultural luminary.' - Jason Heller, NPR

'Pithy and insightful ... The Descent of Man fits into the tradition of the 18th-century treatise, a plea for a new, enlightened social order in the manner of Mary Wollstonecraft or William Hazlitt.' - Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic

'A joy to read.' - William Leith, The Financial Times

'[Perry] is thoroughly engaging and charismatic ... His personality shines through.' - Clive Davis, The Times

'Thoughtful, clearly written and a joy to read.' - Evening Standard

'A fabulous book.' - Victoria Hislop

'With its non-macho slender girth and personal, engaging approach, [The Descent of Man] is a breeze of a read, and one that makes you see our male-manufactured world a little differently... Grayson Perry has written the very book I wanted to write.' - Matt Haig, The Guardian

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“An engaging and very thoughtful treatise on masculinity, that should be read and absorbed by all”

This is a very thought-provoking book written by arguably Britain’s best living artist, and certainly its most loved. Grayson Perry states “this book is about what I think masculinity is, and questioning whether... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 103

“Thought provoking”

Bought this on my son's recommendation. Valuable discussion of our problems with preconceptions around gender.

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 37

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