A Man’s World: Por­traits: A Gallery of Fight­ers, Cre­ators, Ac­tors, and Des­per­a­does

Steve Oney

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews Adult Nonfiction -

Mercer Univer­sity Press Hard­cover $26 (340pp) 978-0-88146-618-8 Oney’s ar­ti­cles of­fer in­ti­mate por­traits of fas­ci­nat­ing, heroic men.

Across forty years, Steve Oney has writ­ten nu­mer­ous ar­ti­cles for na­tional mag­a­zines con­cen­trat­ing on the chal­lenges that men face. Con­sider this book, care­fully cu­rated into “fight­ers, cre­ators, ac­tors, and des­per­a­does,” a cel­e­bra­tion of the lives of twenty such men.

But there’s another as­pect to this col­lec­tion: Oney’s own en­light­en­ment. The au­thor sug­gests that his duty is to make his sub­jects come alive on the page. “If, by so do­ing,” Oney writes, “the writer learns some­thing about him­self, the pay­off is twofold: a work an­i­mated by a life and a life an­i­mated and deep­ened by the work.”

That learn­ing ex­tends from the au­thor to the reader in each won­der­fully drawn por­trait. Some as­pects of these in­di­vid­u­als’ lives would oth­er­wise be hid­den from pub­lic view. For­mer col­lege/ pro­fes­sional foot­ball star Her­schel Walker, for ex­am­ple, had a dis­so­cia­tive dis­or­der and ex­hib­ited mul­ti­ple per­son­al­i­ties af­ter re­tir­ing from his sport. De­spite this chal­lenge, Walker built a highly suc­cess­ful post-foot­ball ca­reer in the food busi­ness.

A bi­o­graph­i­cal vi­gnette of Aaron Co­hen, the head of a Los An­ge­les se­cu­rity firm that pro­tects nu­mer­ous Hol­ly­wood lu­mi­nar­ies, tells a dif­fer­ent

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