‘The Man They Wanted Me To Be’ Probes The Pitfalls Of Toxic Masculinity
Jared Yates Sexton rose to prominence for his coverage of President Donald Trump’s political rallies in the lead up to the 2016 election. His reporting culminated in the book “The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters on Your Shore: A Story of American Rage,” and his interest in the culture surrounding Trump only continued to grow.
In his new book, he pivots from the political to the personal and intertwines his own story with an analysis of the problematic masculinity he attributes to President Trump and other men. In “The Man They Wanted Me to Be: Toxic Masculinity and a Crisis of Our Own Making” (Counterpoint/2019) Sexton explores his relationship with his father, a man who he says performed a particular type of hyper masculinity. Sexton contrasts his interactions with his father to his experiences with his grandfather, a purple heart veteran who allowed himself to be openly emotional.
Sexton talks about his latest book with host Frank Stasio in advance of a book talk in Asheville on Thursday, June 6 at 6 p.m. at Malaprop's Bookstore.