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The Descent of Man (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

The Turner prize winner issues a call to lay down arms and discard a masculine gender role that has outlived its usefulness. When is the last time you had to kill a saber-toothed tiger? Though he covers much of the ground previously explored in greater depth by John Stoltenberg in Refusing to Be A Man and other works, Perry revisits these ideas with such wit, grace, and soul-searching honesty to deserve our time and attention. In an age when the evening news would be better titled "What Disgusting and Dangerous Things Did Men Do Today?", this work is urgently necessary.

— From David's Reading List


What does it mean to be male in the 21st Century? Award-winning artist Grayson Perry explores what masculinity is: from sex to power, from fashion to career prospects, and what it could become--with illustrations throughout.

In this witty and necessary new book, artist Grayson Perry trains his keen eye on the world of men to ask, what sort of man would make the world a better place? What would happen if we rethought the macho, outdated version of manhood, and embraced a different ideal? In the current atmosphere of bullying, intolerance and misogyny, demonstrated in the recent Trump versus Clinton presidential campaign, The Descent of Man is a timely and essential addition to current conversations around gender.

Apart from gaining 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--yet 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, updating masculinity has to be something men decide to do themselves. They have nothing to lose but their hang-ups.

About the Author

Grayson Perry's first art prize was a large papier-mâché head he awarded to himself as part of a performance art project at college in 1980. Since then he has won many other awards, including the Turner Prize in 2003. He is now one of Britain's most celebrated artists and has had major solo exhibitions all over the world. His 2013 BBC Reith Lectures were the most popular lectures since the series began. He won a BAFTA for his Channel 4 documentary on the creation of six new tapestries entitled "The Vanity of Small Differences, All in the Best Possible Taste," for which he was also awarded Best Presenter at the Grierson British Documentary Awards.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780143131656
ISBN-10: 0143131656
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Pages: 160
Language: English