Awakening the New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior, by Gary Stamper, Ph.D. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2012.
Reviewed by William Harryman
When I see a new book coming out from someone involved with the integral movement (Stamper co-founded and led the Seattle Integral salon), and especially the Ken Wilber version of integral theory, I steel myself for the seemingly obligatory two to three chapters that attempt to explain the integral model for those who are not familiar with it. Much to his credit, Gary Stamper, in his new book, Awakening the New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior, has not done that. He has written a book about the work he does with men in his Integral Warrior trainings, work that happens to be deeply influenced by Wilberian integral theory and Spiral Dynamics, both of which require some explication. There is, to be clear, a lot of integralese in this book, but it doesn’t have the heavy-handed feel with which other books based in integral theory are often burdened.
Essentially, Stamper has written a how-to spirituality book for men. There have been a few of these in recent years, coming mostly from the Jungian world or from a previously scattered group that has coalesced into “muscular Christianity,” a masculinist spiritual Christian movement. The only other books that include integral theory are Martin Ucik’s Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men (2010), David Deida’s The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire (1997), Joseph Gelfer’s The Masculinity Conspiracy (2011, online e-book) and Numen, Old Men: Contemporary Masculine Spiritualties and the Problem of Patriarchy (2009). Both of Gelfer’s books are in-depth academic treatises rather than spiritual how-to books.
Before continuing, a brief overview of the last 40 or so years of the men’s movement might help to contextualize what Stamper’s Awakening the New Masculine is attempting.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Book Review: Gary Stamper, Awakening the New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior
My review of Awakening the New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior, by Gary Stamper, Ph.D. (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2012) has just been published today at the Integral Leadership Review. Here is a little section from the beginning of the review: