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The Compleat Gentleman: The Modern Man's Guide to Chivalry (Audiofy Digital Audiobook Chips)

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At a time of astonishing confusion about what it means to be a man, Brad Miner has recovered the oldest and best ideal of manhood: the gentleman. Reviving a thousand-year tradition of chivalry, honor, and heroism, The Compleat Gentleman provides the essential model for twenty-first-century masculinity.


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At a time of astonishing confusion about what it means to be a man, Brad Miner has recovered the oldest and best ideal of manhood: the gentleman. Reviving a thousand-year tradition of chivalry, honor, and heroism, The Compleat Gentleman provides the essential model for twenty-first-century masculinity.

30 review for The Compleat Gentleman: The Modern Man's Guide to Chivalry (Audiofy Digital Audiobook Chips)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael Lunsford

    There were some pretty low ratings for this book in this venue. So, let me start out by saying that this is not a book of manners and polite pleasantries. If you're trying to figure out which fork to use with which course, you needn't waste your time looking for it here. Using over a thousand years of history and etymology, this book is also not some propaganda piece thrown together to discredit or redefine manliness. At its core, this book reintroduces the chivalrous man to the modern era. The au There were some pretty low ratings for this book in this venue. So, let me start out by saying that this is not a book of manners and polite pleasantries. If you're trying to figure out which fork to use with which course, you needn't waste your time looking for it here. Using over a thousand years of history and etymology, this book is also not some propaganda piece thrown together to discredit or redefine manliness. At its core, this book reintroduces the chivalrous man to the modern era. The author has a rich vocabulary, for which the "pocket" dictionary wasn't of much use. Still, it was a relatively quick read. It also had insights into other issues of our day and succeeded in educating this reader (just short of epiphany) on several topics left completely untouched by other books.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Smith

    Chivelry may have lost its appeal in the 21st century, but Mr. Miner brings to light a few areas men should focus on in living their lives: the knight, the warrior, the monk, and the lover. I thoroughly enjoyed his closing remarks on what it will take to re-establish the man's role in society. Chivelry may have lost its appeal in the 21st century, but Mr. Miner brings to light a few areas men should focus on in living their lives: the knight, the warrior, the monk, and the lover. I thoroughly enjoyed his closing remarks on what it will take to re-establish the man's role in society.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Legacy Dad

    I like the premise of this book and was excited about the title, however this book reads like someones Graduate dissertation. Too many pretentious words and needless rambling about obscure writers and quotes. I struggled through it. I like references to classical literature but not every three sentences. There is a difference between best SELLING authors and best WRITING authors. You have to write in a language that the masses can easily read and enjoy. This one is not. However, being a compleat I like the premise of this book and was excited about the title, however this book reads like someones Graduate dissertation. Too many pretentious words and needless rambling about obscure writers and quotes. I struggled through it. I like references to classical literature but not every three sentences. There is a difference between best SELLING authors and best WRITING authors. You have to write in a language that the masses can easily read and enjoy. This one is not. However, being a compleat gentlemen also means being astute and worldly, so there is an argument for both sides.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Don

    More a review of the literature than a manual of manners. A balanced critique/defense of the worldly virtues. My sprezzatura prevents me from saying more.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Drew Norwood

    While providing several great threads to follow up on, the book seems incomplete. On the positive side, the book provides a history of chivalry and shows how the idea evolved through time. Chapters 2 and 3, on knighthood in the middle ages and on the English and American idea of the gentleman respectively, were excellent. The later chapters were not as good. The book convinced me, without intending to, that the “gentleman” must be attached to an objective standard. The author doesn’t require a s While providing several great threads to follow up on, the book seems incomplete. On the positive side, the book provides a history of chivalry and shows how the idea evolved through time. Chapters 2 and 3, on knighthood in the middle ages and on the English and American idea of the gentleman respectively, were excellent. The later chapters were not as good. The book convinced me, without intending to, that the “gentleman” must be attached to an objective standard. The author doesn’t require a system for discerning the good, the true, and the beautiful, (though he seems to suggest that he finds Christian ethics to be the answer personally), yet he argues throughout that the gentleman must be willing to fight and die for these things. This system would be found, if it’s found anywhere, in religious commitment. Yet, the author goes so far as to say that the gentleman must not overemphasize his religious commitment to the detriment of his other duties.  And this, to me, is why the book is inadequate. The author’s claim that religious faith is one of several orbiting duties that the gentleman balances is one that I see as deadly to the whole idea of chivalry. There must be priority given to fundamental commitments. From these fundamental commitments, we can then order our duties and act accordingly. Without this ordering, the gentleman is lost and chivalry will remain dead. In other words, Miner doesn’t solve what may be called the Bibb Barrett problem. Bibb Barrett, a character from Walker Percy’s book The Last Gentleman, is a young man who is lost and who knows he is lost. He comes from a line of great men, gentlemen in fact, but he himself has no clue how to act. He wants to be a man of honor, but he doesn’t know how. Percy describes the degeneration of Southern chivalry and honor through the Barrett family line: “Over the years his family had turned ironical and lost its gift for action. It was an honorable and violent family, but gradually the violence had been deflected and turned inward. The great grandfather knew what was what and said so and acted accordingly and did not care what anyone thought. He even wore a pistol in a holster like a Western hero and once met the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan in a barbershop and invited him then and there to shoot it out in the street. The next generation, the grandfather, seemed to know what was what but he was not really so sure. He was brave but the gave much thought to the business of being brave. He too would have shot it out with the Grand Wizard if only he could have made certain it was the thing to do. The father was a brave man too and he said he didn't care what others thought, but he did care. More than anything else, he wished to act with honor and to be thought well of by other men. So living for him was a strain. He became ironical. For him it was not a small thing to walk down the street on an ordinary September morning. In the end he was killed by his own irony and sadness and by the strain of living out an ordinary day in a perfect dance of honor. As for the present young man, the last of the line, he did not know what to think. So he became a watcher and a listener and a wanderer.” In a postmodern world, Bibb Barrett is where abstract chivalry leads us (or to a Miniver Cheevy, which Miner refers to). Miner does a great job of plugging in several roles and duties to the surge protector of chivalry and gentlemanly conduct. He just neglects to highlight the importance of plugging the surge protector into the electrical outlet, which is not a minor detail.  From this perspective, it is easy to see how chivalry soured and turned into pretension, pride of social standing, debauchery, and laziness. And it also explains why the thought of a “gentleman” is laughable in our modern culture. It is out of fashion because it implies living in accordance with a certain set of principles, and these principles are held to be superior to any other way of living.  But the principles themselves are essential to the whole idea of chivalry.

  6. 5 out of 5

    James Harmeling

    This is unique book. Miner is a good writer who traces the history of chivalry and draws upon original and morphed meanings of being a gentleman. He divides the idea into three categories: warrior, monk, lover. Each of these categories are given adequate attention and he concludes with attempts to interpret being a gentleman in the 21st century. At times, Miner gets sidetracked due to his great breadth of literature, especially medieval literature. I found myself at times moving from the book to This is unique book. Miner is a good writer who traces the history of chivalry and draws upon original and morphed meanings of being a gentleman. He divides the idea into three categories: warrior, monk, lover. Each of these categories are given adequate attention and he concludes with attempts to interpret being a gentleman in the 21st century. At times, Miner gets sidetracked due to his great breadth of literature, especially medieval literature. I found myself at times moving from the book to my Amazon wish list to add certain works to my Kindle account. Nonetheless, I was refreshed by Miner's high ideals and his capable exploration of the topic.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Charity

    Not in love with the study of idiomology and felt like that took up too much of the book. Plus, he was super wordy. Did learn a little about history but the examples were definitely not uplifting. Will not be sharing this book with my class.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chrisanne

    Not what I expected, but I love the research in this book. Gave me some good starting points for future research. I wish I had read it and Morte de Arthur at the same time. I enjoyed his opinions.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    The narrator sounded smarmy, but maybe there was no other way to read the text. It constantly swaps out gentleman/humans, pauses to say no girls allowed, and then occasionally detours to laugh at silly girls who think boys want to exclude them from thing. It even makes what I guess is a joke about trans people when sniffing at the public display of everything such as a trans person going on Jerry Springer to come out as trans before telling their lover "that lady is no gentleman." Except that no The narrator sounded smarmy, but maybe there was no other way to read the text. It constantly swaps out gentleman/humans, pauses to say no girls allowed, and then occasionally detours to laugh at silly girls who think boys want to exclude them from thing. It even makes what I guess is a joke about trans people when sniffing at the public display of everything such as a trans person going on Jerry Springer to come out as trans before telling their lover "that lady is no gentleman." Except that no lady is a gentleman according to this book, but maybe if the lady has a cock then she had a chance? It seems to misunderstand the purpose of virtue, and instead just want to be cool like the Fonz.

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Gamble

    This is one I want to read again and have already shared with a handful of people. The way he takes relevant history, looks at it's benefits and problems in context of it's time, then adapts it to the modern time was really beneficial for me. I like how he pulled standards from this process, then explained why those standards and how they should look in practice. I really appreciated how he furthers it and shows how specific aspects of this not being followed through turn into specific problems This is one I want to read again and have already shared with a handful of people. The way he takes relevant history, looks at it's benefits and problems in context of it's time, then adapts it to the modern time was really beneficial for me. I like how he pulled standards from this process, then explained why those standards and how they should look in practice. I really appreciated how he furthers it and shows how specific aspects of this not being followed through turn into specific problems in society. The action plan for the individual that triggers adaptations to the larger story was great work.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mark Wells

    A bit complicated to follow at times but overall a good book with a great deal of information regarding the history of the title of gentleman.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michael Mayer

    One of the worst books I have ever read (I admit I couldn't finish it; life is too short for such rubbish) Skip this book and read the first 4000 lines or so of The Romance of the Rose, Andreas Capellanus' The Art of Courtly Love, Castiglione's The Book of the Courtier, and Machiavelli's The Prince. When the author is not going on about his martial art experience and why war helps build character (the author takes a detour to explain to his politically conservative audience how he managed to sit One of the worst books I have ever read (I admit I couldn't finish it; life is too short for such rubbish) Skip this book and read the first 4000 lines or so of The Romance of the Rose, Andreas Capellanus' The Art of Courtly Love, Castiglione's The Book of the Courtier, and Machiavelli's The Prince. When the author is not going on about his martial art experience and why war helps build character (the author takes a detour to explain to his politically conservative audience how he managed to sit out the Vietnam war but how he now regrets it) he actually does touch upon some of these authors' discussions of "Courtly" behavior. Save yourself the headache and read these work yourself. I highly recommend the Book of the Courtier--just as relevant in 16th century Italy as it is now but be careful not to take everything you read in the Courtier at face value!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mo

    Is the idea of "the gentleman" still pertinent? This author asserts yes. And I would have to agree, given the definition he offers for what makes a true gentleman. This definition however seemed a bit garbled to me until the last few chapters. If the whole book was written with the clarity and assertiveness of the last two chapters, this book would have a much higher rating from me. I enjoyed reading about the history of chivalry and different ancient and modern philosophers' views of the "gentl Is the idea of "the gentleman" still pertinent? This author asserts yes. And I would have to agree, given the definition he offers for what makes a true gentleman. This definition however seemed a bit garbled to me until the last few chapters. If the whole book was written with the clarity and assertiveness of the last two chapters, this book would have a much higher rating from me. I enjoyed reading about the history of chivalry and different ancient and modern philosophers' views of the "gentleman." And in the end, I actually do agree with the author's view that more true gentlemen (and gentlewomen as the case may be) are needed in the world. Favorite part of his definition came when he described the behavior of a true gentleman toward women - let them be what they want to be.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Erik

    If you are looking for a guide to being a gentleman, you've probably come to the wrong place. This is a rather thorough survey of the literature over the last 1000 years that define chivalry and its evolution into the idea of the gentleman. There are no quick answers here, but it delves with real seriousness into concepts of defining the gentle man and the great men who shaped or described them. While I know little of the scholarship in this area, this book seems well grounded and thorough. Ther If you are looking for a guide to being a gentleman, you've probably come to the wrong place. This is a rather thorough survey of the literature over the last 1000 years that define chivalry and its evolution into the idea of the gentleman. There are no quick answers here, but it delves with real seriousness into concepts of defining the gentle man and the great men who shaped or described them. While I know little of the scholarship in this area, this book seems well grounded and thorough. There is a great deal of valuable ideas to digest.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Don Incognito

    This book is mostly about the history and philosophy behind being a gentleman. If you're looking for practical situational advice, it's only somewhat useful. Not an etiquette manual. This book is mostly about the history and philosophy behind being a gentleman. If you're looking for practical situational advice, it's only somewhat useful. Not an etiquette manual.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Mostly good. Goes over the history of chivalry and discusses its use in the modern world. The author only occasionally interjects his opinion without providing support.

  17. 5 out of 5

    booklady

    Clare's review of this was so good I am recommending it to my daughters and I want to read it as well! Clare's review of this was so good I am recommending it to my daughters and I want to read it as well!

  18. 4 out of 5

    John

    Eh, wasn't at all what I was expecting, and I couldn't slog thorough it. Eh, wasn't at all what I was expecting, and I couldn't slog thorough it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    John

    I very much enjoyed this book. Chivalry has had its' share of detractors over the years, but this book builds a solid argument for striving to become a "gentleman". I very much enjoyed this book. Chivalry has had its' share of detractors over the years, but this book builds a solid argument for striving to become a "gentleman".

  20. 5 out of 5

    Major Doug

    Listened to this book: good perspective for any Dad.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jake Protivnak

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sam Moore

  24. 5 out of 5

    Todd McComb

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stuart W. Ross

  26. 5 out of 5

    Steve Morrison

  27. 5 out of 5

    Josh L.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Roger

  29. 5 out of 5

    Francisco Leite

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bill Trumpler

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