HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Michael Kimmel

Leading Expert on Men and Masculinity and Author of Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men


  • Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men
  • Manhood in America: A Cultural History
  • The Politics of Manhood


New York

Michael Kimmel is among the leading researchers and writers on men and masculinity in the world today. His book, Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men (Harper), tackles the world of late adolescent boys and young men. He defines "Guyland" as the social milieu in which young men (ages 16-26) are testing and proving their masculinity before the judgmental eyes of other guys, an area in which all of their developmental cues are driven by the viewpoints of the group rather than their own sensibilities. Kimmel approaches this topic as both a journalist and sociologist, using an impressive body of research to show that what happens to boys in during this period often determines the type of men they become for the rest of their lives. A dynamic and popular speaker, Kimmel appears regularly at colleges and universities, parenting associations, women's and men's organizations, and cultural societies.

Kimmel is also a well-known educator concerning gender issues. A professor of sociology at SUNY Stony Brook, he teaches, among other courses, Sociology of Masculinity, one of the few courses in the nation that examines men's lives from a pro-feminist perspective. His teaching has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Newsweek, and People, as well as on television and radio, including The Today Show, CNN, Smithsonian World, Crossfire, and The Diane Rehm Show. His co-edited college textbook, Men's Lives , has been adopted in virtually every course on men and masculinity in the country. Kimmel's book The Gendered Society and its companion volume of readings has become one of the nation's best-selling texts in social science courses in gender studies.

The author or editor of more than 20 volumes, his books include Changing Men: New Directions in Research on Men and Masculinity, Men Confront Pornography, The Politics of Manhood, The Gender of Desire, and Manhood in America: A Cultural History, which was hailed as the definitive work on the subject. His documentary history, Against the Tide: Pro-Feminist Men in the United States, 1776-1990, chronicled men who supported women's equality since the founding of the country. He also co-edited The Encyclopedia on Men and Masculinities (two volumes) and The Handbook of Studies on Men and Masculinities. The Encyclopedia was named Best of Reference by the New York Public Librarians Association in 2004.

Kimmel's written work has appeared in dozens of magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals, including the New York Times Book Review, The Harvard Business Review, The Nation, Village Voice, Washington Post, and Psychology Today, where he was a contributing editor and columnist on male-female relationships. On the basis of his expertise, Kimmel served as an expert witness for the U.S. Department of Justice in the VMI and Citadel cases. He is also a national spokesperson for the National Organization for Men against Sexism (NOMAS), and has lectured at over 200 colleges and universities. He runs workshops for organizations and public sector organizations on preventing sexual harassment and implementing gender equity, and for campus groups on date and acquaintance rape, sexual assault, pornography, and the changing relations between women and men.

Praise for Guyland:

"Masculinity, he concludes, is a 'homosocial experience, performed for, and judged by, other men.' ... The success of the performance comes down to what Kimmel calls 'the single cardinal rule of manhood, the one from which all the other characteristics -- wealth, power, status, strength, physicality -- are derived.' That is, to demonstrate, constantly and repeatedly, that you're not gay. This is hardly a new idea, but this book makes a persuasive case for it as the bedrock on which Guyland has been built. Without guys' need to perform for one another, Guyland wouldn't exist."
-- The New York Times Book Review

"Michael Kimmel's Guyland could save the humanity of many young men - and the sanity of their friends and parents - by explaining the forces behind a newly extended adolescence. With accuracy and empathy, he names the problem and offers compassionate bridges to adulthood."
- Gloria Steinem

"Kimmel is our seasoned guide into a world that, unless we are guys, we barely know exists. As he walks with us through dark territories, he points out the significant and reflects on its meaning. Just as Reviving Ophelia introduced readers to the culture of teenage girls, Guyland takes us to the land of young men."
-- Mary Pipher, Ph.D., author of Reviving Ophelia

"In this powerful book, Michael Kimmel finds that we're raising a generation of Prodigal Sons, lost on the road to manhood and wasting their substance. Afraid of competing with competent young women and confused about how to become responsible men, they retreat into self-congratulation, exploitative sex and video games. Every parent who is about to write a check for college tuition should read this book first and discuss it with his or her son...and daughter."
-- Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D., co-author of Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys

"And as for Kimmel's credentials as a male feminist? I know Michael Kimmel. I love Michael Kimmel. And as a card-carrying, whole-book-reading feminist, if I ever have a son, I want him to be just like Michael Kimmel."
-- Chloe Angyal, Skirt.com

"If you've ever had a conversation with a teenage boy and wondered what on earth was going on behind the blank stare and slightly open mouth, this book will serve you well. Kimmel, a gender studies expert at SUNY Stony Brook, is the godfather of the "Why Boys Behave Like Boys" genre, and his latest work exposes the gamut of male post-adolescent experiences (from sex to housework) with humor and empathy."
-- The Chicago Tribune

"All of which sounds fairly innocent, but Guyland is an ugly, frightening place. The Guy mentality is rooted in resentment, drenched in booze and dedicated to pervasive, sometimes violent denigration of women and gays....Ultimately, Guys must summon the courage to stop being Guys and start being men."
-- Dallas Morning News

"So why immerse yourself in this world of cowards and posers for 289 pages? Because it's such a huge part of all of our lives. "
-- feministing.com

"For me, my revelation that I had overstayed my visa in Guyland came the day my flatmate upped and married - the selfish bastard. Suddenly, I was looking down the barrel at 40 and thinking, "Am I going to die alone?" and "How come even takeaways seem to come in a size designed to be eaten by two?"
-- The Times, UK

"Adulthood perhaps more commonly arrives these days in packages that have nothing to do with heterosexual identity or marriage: adopting a child, buying property, taking on greater responsibility at work, caring for disabled relatives, the death of one's parents, etc. When the circumscribed boy-men of "Guyland" grow up, it seems, they still graduate into Man's World, where their brutal philosophy can influence all of our lives just a little, whether we want it to or not."
-- salon.com

Praise for Manhood in America:

"Elucidates the masculine ideals of the past 200 years...just as shelves of feminist books have elucidated the feminine."
-- New York Times Book Review

"The most wide-ranging, clear-sighted, accessible book available on the mixed fortunes of masculinity in the United States"
-- San Francisco Chronicle

"Superb... thorough, impressive, and fascinating."
-- Chicago Tribune

"Perceptive and refreshing."
-- Indianapolis Star