Man Out

Review: ‘Man Out’ by Andrew L. Yarrow

BY:

Today, about 14 million working-age men are neither employed nor looking for work. Thirteen million men ages 18 to 34 still live with their parents. Male membership in civic groups has fallen a half to two-thirds since the 1960s. Just half of men are husbands, compared with three-quarters a half-century ago. After decades of increase, male life expectancy actually fell in 2014.

By any of a number of measures, there is a large glut of American men who have been sidelined from work, from family, from health, from life. Man Out, the recent book from journalist and Progressive Policy Institute senior fellow Andrew L. Yarrow, combines a thorough examination of the literature with dozens of interviews to produce a clearer picture of who these men are and why they have fallen out of American society.

Half of the original contribution of Man Out is in this framing. Economists have long bemoaned the trend in male labor force participation; criminal justice reform advocates routinely highlight how many men are in prison; and the ever-widening gender gap in voting provokes partisan fears about angry white men. What Yarrow does is stitch these disparate stories into a single narrative about the large pool of men in America who live at the intersection of one or more of these pathologies.