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Reviving Ophelia, Mary Pipher's groundbreaking book, exposed the toxic environment faced by adolescent girls in our
society. Now, from the same publisher, comes Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys by Dan Kindlon and
Michael Thompson, which does the same for adolescent boys. Boys suffer from a too-narrow definition of masculinity, the
authors assert as they expose and discuss the relationship between vulnerability and developing sexuality, the "culture
of cruelty" boys live in, the "tyranny of toughness," the disadvantages of being a boy in elementary school, how boys'
emotional lives are squelched, and what we, as a society, can do about all this without turning "boys into girls." "Our
premise is that boys will be better off if boys are better understood--and if they are encouraged to become more
emotionally literate," the authors assert. As a tool for change, Kindlon and Thompsom present the well-developed "What
Boys Need," seven points that reach far beyond the ordinary psychobabble checklist and slogan list. Kindlon (researcher
and psychology professor at Harvard and practicing psychotherapist specializing in boys) and Thompson (child
psychologist, workshop leader, and staff psychologist of an all-boys school) have created a chilling portrait of male
adolescence in America. Through personal stories and theoretical discussion, this well-needed book plumbs the well of
sadness, anger, and fear in America's teenage sons. --Ericka Lutz