May 23, 2009

Men on a Mission.

Kai B., a subscriber to this blog, recommends the following book, Men on a Mission - Valuing Youth Work in Our Communities, by William Marsiglio. Kai says, . . . It confirms many ideas you’ve been working on for the past years.

Marsiglio did a study of 55 adult men who engage in youth development activities. He summarizes the motivations behind these men’s choice to mentor boys and how they were moved by the experience. The book offers many stories of men who have life changing experiences as a result of their mentoring. He also discusses some of the barriers men feel to working with youth. Barriers which are similar to those I discuss in my Man-Making book and describe in my (downloadable) article, Why Men Don't.

This book speaks to the way men care for and about those they mentor, and in doing so, clearly confronts the male-phobic generalizations that men are dangerous, violent, or predatory. Most men have a memory of a non-parental, caring mentor who made a difference in their lives. The author does a great service by letting some of these stories see the light of day. When that happens, men remember their mentors, they are reminded that being mentored was wonderful, and some of their fear about being a mentor goes away.

Marsiglio estimates there are 20 million boys in the U.S. who have no significant non-family male role model in their lives. That number and his book together are another loud call to action for men to step up.

You can order Men on a Mission from at this link.


  1. I appreciate the information on your website. As a wife and mother raising three sons I know first hand the importance of having my sons' father and their male relatives involved in their life. Although, we have a dilemma where there are single women raising sons without any type of positive male role model which speaks to importance of what Marsiglio attests to. There is a great documentary out called Men to Boys that speaks to the issue that Marsiglio does but stresses the importance of connecting boys to their fathers as well. I encourage you and your readers to view it.

  2. In the words of Maya Angelou, single moms are my sheroes. Proud of you. Thanks for the referral. I will check it out and run it up on the blog.




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