Manhood: How to Be a Better Man – Or Just Live with One

By Terry Crews

Book CoverI’ve been a fan of Terry Crews since I first saw him as the dad on “Everybody Hates Chris.” In fact, he did such a good job of inhabiting the overworked and often exhausted character that I was surprised to learn later that he is a body builder and ex football player. When I heard him interviewed on NPR in promotion of his autobiography/guidance book, he was just so charming that I was immediately interested in the book.

His writing is as humorous as his acting, but what really surprised me was his complete openness and honesty. He is upfront and unflinching when examining truly vulnerable things in his life, like what caused him to wet the bed until he was fourteen, and what led to a decades-long addiction to pornography that he only recently got help for. The real eye-opener for me, as a woman, was his discussion of the stresses that our culture puts on men. Because being scared or sad is considered weak in a man, he felt like his only outlets for these emotions were anger and aggression.

Crews writes with a sincerity that occasionally came across as oddly childish to me, and then he’d catch me off guard with something really funny in exactly the same tone, and I’d wonder, “does he even realize that he’s being funny?” But, of course he does; he’s a master comedian.

Some additional take-aways:

  • The NFL is crazy dysfunctional. Like, take every horrible work story you’ve ever heard and bundle them all up into one entity, and it would be the NFL.
  • Terry Crews has had to pull himself up by his bootstraps a shocking number of times. Every time I thought “oh, this is where his success began,” it would all crumble and he would have to start over again from scratch.
  • The person who most deserves to reap the rewards of Crews’ current success is his unbelievably patient and supportive wife of over 20 years.

To end this review on a more superficial note, I think the cover designer did Crews a real disservice. I was a bit embarrassed carrying it around in public, so I can’t imagine that the young men who could really benefit from his advice would love to be seen with it.

—Anna

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