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