Gary Cross and "The Won't Grow Up Male"

Gary Cross, Men to BoysIn a feature in The Wall Street Journal , Kay Hymowitz, author of Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys chose five books that exemplify the contemporary phenomenon of “The Won’t Grow Up Male.”

The list included Gary Cross’s Men to Boys: The Making of Modern Immaturity. (The other books were: About a Boy, by Nick Hornby; Indecision by Benjamin Kunkel; Manhood for Amateurs, by Michael Chabon; The Hearts of Men, by Barbara Ehrenreich). Here’s what the article had to say about Cross’s book:

How did we get from Cary Grant to Hugh Grant—from debonair gentleman to boyish man—as the Hollywood ideal of a romantic lead? Gary Cross tries to find the answer to that and many other questions in “Boys to Men,” an incisive look at, as his subtitle has it, “The Making of Modern Immaturity.” Cross, a history professor at Penn State, is himself a baby boomer, and he argues that when members of his anti-authoritarian generation rejected traditional models of male maturity, they failed to find a substitute adult masculine ethic. A youth-glorifying consumer culture, the increasing dominance of children within the middle-class household and the trend toward marrying later also encouraged men to continue their boyish ways.

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