Hot Best Seller

Why Young Men: Rage, Race and the Crisis of Identity

Availability: Ready to download

Longlisted for the Toronto Book Award The day after the 2015 Paris terror attacks, twenty-eight-year-old Canadian Jamil Jivani opened the newspaper to find that the men responsible were familiar to him. He didn’t know them, but the communities they grew up in and the challenges they faced mirrored the circumstances of his own life. Jivani travelled to Belgium in February 20 Longlisted for the Toronto Book Award The day after the 2015 Paris terror attacks, twenty-eight-year-old Canadian Jamil Jivani opened the newspaper to find that the men responsible were familiar to him. He didn’t know them, but the communities they grew up in and the challenges they faced mirrored the circumstances of his own life. Jivani travelled to Belgium in February 2016 to better understand the roots of jihadi radicalization. Less than two months later, Brussels fell victim to a terrorist attack carried out by young men who lived in the same neighbourhood as him. Jivani was raised in a mostly immigrant community in Toronto that faced significant problems with integration. Having grown up with a largely absent father, he knows what it is to watch a man’s future influenced by gangster culture or radical ideologies associated with Islam. Jivani found himself at a crossroads: he could follow the kind of life we hear about too often in the media, or he could choose a safe, prosperous future. He opted for the latter, attending Yale and becoming a lawyer, a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and a powerful speaker for the disenfranchised. Why Young Men is not a memoir but a book of ideas that pursues a positive path and offers a counterintuitive, often provocative argument for a sea change in the way we look at young men, and for how they see themselves.


Compare

Longlisted for the Toronto Book Award The day after the 2015 Paris terror attacks, twenty-eight-year-old Canadian Jamil Jivani opened the newspaper to find that the men responsible were familiar to him. He didn’t know them, but the communities they grew up in and the challenges they faced mirrored the circumstances of his own life. Jivani travelled to Belgium in February 20 Longlisted for the Toronto Book Award The day after the 2015 Paris terror attacks, twenty-eight-year-old Canadian Jamil Jivani opened the newspaper to find that the men responsible were familiar to him. He didn’t know them, but the communities they grew up in and the challenges they faced mirrored the circumstances of his own life. Jivani travelled to Belgium in February 2016 to better understand the roots of jihadi radicalization. Less than two months later, Brussels fell victim to a terrorist attack carried out by young men who lived in the same neighbourhood as him. Jivani was raised in a mostly immigrant community in Toronto that faced significant problems with integration. Having grown up with a largely absent father, he knows what it is to watch a man’s future influenced by gangster culture or radical ideologies associated with Islam. Jivani found himself at a crossroads: he could follow the kind of life we hear about too often in the media, or he could choose a safe, prosperous future. He opted for the latter, attending Yale and becoming a lawyer, a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and a powerful speaker for the disenfranchised. Why Young Men is not a memoir but a book of ideas that pursues a positive path and offers a counterintuitive, often provocative argument for a sea change in the way we look at young men, and for how they see themselves.

30 review for Why Young Men: Rage, Race and the Crisis of Identity

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mara

    This is one of those books where I love the central conceit or premise (in this case, why is it that so many young men are falling prey to radical and violent ideologies in western countries?), but I was less warm on the actual execution. I wouldn't steer anyone away from this book - there are a lot of great facts and I really appreciated the author giving me a vocabulary to talk about various aspects of what we often lump together under the label of toxic masculinity. That said, this book isn't This is one of those books where I love the central conceit or premise (in this case, why is it that so many young men are falling prey to radical and violent ideologies in western countries?), but I was less warm on the actual execution. I wouldn't steer anyone away from this book - there are a lot of great facts and I really appreciated the author giving me a vocabulary to talk about various aspects of what we often lump together under the label of toxic masculinity. That said, this book isn't quite sure if it wants to be a memoir or a sociological examination of culture, and therefor isn't entirely successful as either. I appreciated that this book made me think, but I'm not sure it's entirely successful as an actual book rather than a lecture, long form piece of journalism, or TED talk.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    It's at least a 3.5 stars but I can't round it up because it is a memoir that includes so many angles of individual "eyes" / judgment and anecdotal experiences. Not that any of them are at all invalid just because this one man has made them. They are all valid as hell. I'm absolutely sure he lived every one. Especially all that intersect with the Nation of Islam and Farrakhan. It's absolutely true for the gang banger prone models abounding in Chicago ghettos, as it was for him in marginal Toronto It's at least a 3.5 stars but I can't round it up because it is a memoir that includes so many angles of individual "eyes" / judgment and anecdotal experiences. Not that any of them are at all invalid just because this one man has made them. They are all valid as hell. I'm absolutely sure he lived every one. Especially all that intersect with the Nation of Islam and Farrakhan. It's absolutely true for the gang banger prone models abounding in Chicago ghettos, as it was for him in marginal Toronto. His college buddy, bf is Vance of Hillbilly Elegy fame. Of the two of them, Jivani has better writing and a more psychological window to core and eventual identity. It was extremely hard for me to read in parts. Because so much of his name dropping are "knowns" to his cultural criteria. And they truly are not for mine- or most people I've known in my 70 plus years either. I did like the Foreword by Vance a ton. Nearly 5 stars. It gave you context to this immense "window" to why so many fail, end in jail or the cemetery. Jamil Jivani is super, super honest and beyond brave to jump some of the fences he does in this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    There isn't a final answer for the question of the title but there are many likelihoods presented with a mix of personal experience and research. A quick read and a timely one. There isn't a final answer for the question of the title but there are many likelihoods presented with a mix of personal experience and research. A quick read and a timely one.

  4. 4 out of 5

    chantel nouseforaname

    I thought this was a highly readable look into how many young men get caught up in lifestyles and situations that they would have otherwise avoided by being neglected or ostracized by their communities and looking for community elsewhere. I also see how not feeling welcome in your community could potentially lead young people towards violence. Being alienated or made an outcast in your community could definitely lead youth towards an individualistic lifestyle where they may not want to engage in I thought this was a highly readable look into how many young men get caught up in lifestyles and situations that they would have otherwise avoided by being neglected or ostracized by their communities and looking for community elsewhere. I also see how not feeling welcome in your community could potentially lead young people towards violence. Being alienated or made an outcast in your community could definitely lead youth towards an individualistic lifestyle where they may not want to engage in what is seen as "normative" "linear" or "homogenous" behaviour. This is better explained in the book. Having worked with prison populations in writer Jamil's city of Toronto, which is also my city, I've seen first hand what he describes as community agencies and governments not contributing the necessary resources to assist in the progression of young men and women of colour in targeted neighbourhoods. His train of thought is easy to follow as well, re: the situation in Brussel's Molenbeek community. It was very interesting to see how he brokedown international realities that depict various parallels between there and here. Parallels that reflect, highlight and contrast each other but feel the same on baseline levels. Jamil's interactions with the five percenters and the NOI is similar to that of my brother's interactions with the NOI when he was in his late-teens and early twenties as well. I always wondered what my brother was reading and the expanded cultures he was consuming. After awhile my brother too left the groups citing a difference of opinion; moving on to learning outside of the NOI and finding his own way. It's very easy to see how a young man seeking to develop their identity in a western culture that discriminates, assaults and condemns them could seek comfort/knowledge and become radicalized in various contexts, in retaliation to circumstances. For a debut work I thought this was extremely well-constructed; Jamil provided a deep look into a situation plaguing young men that is similar in different communities but that is uniquely expressed in black and muslim communities. Why Young Men is uniquely compelling and insightful especially for people outside of the culture who are curious. I found his own personal story engaging and emotionally intriguing, especially when he spoke of the struggles between himself and his white mother who was trying to understand him during his search for self and while he was out seeking answers in the world. I found his rise to Yale inspiring and the insight about the neighbourhoods surrounding Yale and the lack of integration of it's young black populace a great addition to the book. Similar to Hillbilly Elegy, a memoir by his Yale brother J.D. Vance, whom he shouts out in his acknowledgments, you can see very clearly how communities and certain practices can fail their young no matter what race or demographic. However, when it comes to black and brown people and those who identify as muslim; it's important that these stories get told and that the experiences of black and brown people find their way to the mainstream. Too often, critical experiences of young people from marginalized communities get ignored and people only ask what happened, after situations such as the Paris attacks or school shootings, or the murders of women and children occur. The information needed to look into the ways that the youth are integrating, what opportunities were/are available to them, was always there but it was just going largely ignored. I found his insights re: organizational politics when it comes to youth work relatable. I also found the information he shared around Peter Sloly really useful for anyone wondering why the state of policing in Toronto is the way it is currently with Mark Saunders our chief "representative" of police in Toronto. It's great insight for young organizers to reach back and examine how it could have been or how it could be in the face of how it is. If you're from the city of Toronto, if you teach or work with youth, I think you'll find Why Young Men important to your understanding of the city's landscape and I think you should read it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Zawadi

    This book was a great start. It's really relevant, seeing as radicalization through religious extremism, white nationalism, and so on mainly affects young men nowadays. It deals with serious topics such as institutionalized racism, structural inequality in employment opportunities, the media and its decline in credibility, and etc. It's written in a not overly complicated language, making its argument accessible to all which is good. I, however, found it a frustrating read. That is because it rea This book was a great start. It's really relevant, seeing as radicalization through religious extremism, white nationalism, and so on mainly affects young men nowadays. It deals with serious topics such as institutionalized racism, structural inequality in employment opportunities, the media and its decline in credibility, and etc. It's written in a not overly complicated language, making its argument accessible to all which is good. I, however, found it a frustrating read. That is because it really glossed over toxic masculinity and hypermasculinity. It wasn't until the very *last* chapter that those topics were broached. This was a lost opportunity because, especially in a post-MeToo world, it could have been an example of allyship. Holding men accountable for the havoc they wreak on society (with violent crime, the gender wage gap, total dominance in political and non-political positions of power) would have really made a more interesting book. The author also defensively couched feminist critique of men complaining about being victims of patriarchy as not problematic, which I found strange. An entire aspect of manhood, which is (sadly) subjugating women in patriarchy, is being ignored. It rang false to me when, in Chapter 2 for example, 'tough guy' masks are used as an excuse for predatory and aggressive behaviour (such as being keen on sexual conquest and fighting). This demonstrated how men, especially young men, are put in prisons of their own making, because of a proclivity towards wholeheartedly adopting rampant misogyny that is present in 'Hollywood gangster subculture' (Jivani, page 25). So that's why I have little to no interest in hearing of men's angst about showing vulnerability. The willingness to be emotionally vulnerable has been weaponized against women in patriarchal society. It has been used as a way for men to claim superiority over women. So seeing men now struggling to show human emotion is funny to me. I don't want to pin all of the world's problems on this book. But I think it dealt with a really interesting premise but faltered in the execution. I'm glad that I read this book though. I learnt something new about world issues and grassroots organizations who helped to show a brighter future to the world's youth.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Judy Monchuk

    I bought this book after hearing Jamil Jivani speak passionately about why young men turn to violence, crime and radicalization. A lawyer, community organizer and activist, Jivani was articulate, thoughtful and reasoned. As a boy growing up in Brampton, Ont., with a largely absent father, he wanted to be a gangster. He eventually turned away from crime, opting instead for education and change. Yet "I was drawn to all these bad ideas because I thought I was not important. And these groups were in I bought this book after hearing Jamil Jivani speak passionately about why young men turn to violence, crime and radicalization. A lawyer, community organizer and activist, Jivani was articulate, thoughtful and reasoned. As a boy growing up in Brampton, Ont., with a largely absent father, he wanted to be a gangster. He eventually turned away from crime, opting instead for education and change. Yet "I was drawn to all these bad ideas because I thought I was not important. And these groups were interested in me because I was," Jivani said in answer to questions after a reading from Why Young Men. There is no doubt that Jivani, who just turned 30, can be a powerful agent of change. Despite recently being diagnosed with Stage IV lymphoma cancer which has spread to his bones and forces him to wear a neck brace, he lit up the room on his book tour after spending the afternoon with high school students in Calgary. He never flinched when a teenaged boy asked about an incident detailed in the book, where young Jamil asked a friend to help him buy a gun for a potential school fight. Yet that in-person passion and insight doesn't quite connect in Why Young Men Rage. Jivani's reason for writing the book began after the November 2015 Paris terror attacks, when he realized the descriptions of rage and anger in the accused terrorists mirrored the sense of disconnection he saw in his boyhood friends. The chapters detail his life in a largely immigrant community, the sense of detachment and his decision to move from a life path that saw his best friend end up in jail while he went to Yale. But despite an amazing story, this book seems too... distant? At its core, this a book of ideas and an argument for positive change rather than an ill-defined memoir. The message is powerful and Jivani is clearly gaining his voice. I expect he will expand on those ideas moving forward.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    Why Young Men: Rage, Race and the Crisis of Identity is an interesting book on exactly what its subtitle describes, but by the end it felt like it was just skimming the surface. It felt like a really well-written undergraduate essay but lacked the deep interrogation of the intersection of rage-race-identity-gender-geography-etc. that a really impacting book would have. Merge this one, written by Jamil Jivani, with Daemon Fairless' Mad Blood Stirring: The Inner Lives of Violent Men and you might h Why Young Men: Rage, Race and the Crisis of Identity is an interesting book on exactly what its subtitle describes, but by the end it felt like it was just skimming the surface. It felt like a really well-written undergraduate essay but lacked the deep interrogation of the intersection of rage-race-identity-gender-geography-etc. that a really impacting book would have. Merge this one, written by Jamil Jivani, with Daemon Fairless' Mad Blood Stirring: The Inner Lives of Violent Men and you might have the perfect recipe for a paradigm-changing book (see my review of Mad Blood Stirring here). Jivani explains that the title of this book came from a question he was asked by a journalist ("Why young men?") while being interviewed on the topic. He said that he stumbled through the question and gave a meh answer... and I'm still not too sure that he got the right answer here either. All the boxes are checked and the facts are locked down - certainly super helpful in exploring his subject. But it still feels like it was written from atop a pedestal... To sneak up a bit higher in my own rating, it needed to get down from those heights and get a little bit dirtier. (2.5/5)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    Title: Why Young Men Author: Jamil Jivani Source: Netgalley: with thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher. This book is an almost open ended approach to the identity of crisis many young men of colour face. Speaking from his personal experiences growing up in a black community in Canada and pursuing education that people within his community may not have experienced, Jivani talks with heart, passion and nostalgia reflecting on the influences that may lead young men to radical ideol Title: Why Young Men Author: Jamil Jivani Source: Netgalley: with thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher. This book is an almost open ended approach to the identity of crisis many young men of colour face. Speaking from his personal experiences growing up in a black community in Canada and pursuing education that people within his community may not have experienced, Jivani talks with heart, passion and nostalgia reflecting on the influences that may lead young men to radical ideologies and actions. This is a really interesting and poignant narrative, especially with the current movements we are seeing in regards to race.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Stimulating! This book meandered a fair bit but I enjoyed the personalized style of the writing. Jivani is taking the reader along on his exploration of his theme, young men, the risk to them of criminalization and radicalization, how society can protect them from these things and offer them better lives, and at the same time reduce violence. I enjoyed the journey, bouncing back and forth with his own thoughts. This style pays proper respect to the complexity of these issues. What Jivani once tho Stimulating! This book meandered a fair bit but I enjoyed the personalized style of the writing. Jivani is taking the reader along on his exploration of his theme, young men, the risk to them of criminalization and radicalization, how society can protect them from these things and offer them better lives, and at the same time reduce violence. I enjoyed the journey, bouncing back and forth with his own thoughts. This style pays proper respect to the complexity of these issues. What Jivani once thought were obvious solutions [e.g. create jobs for idle hands] he became more thoughtful about as he travelled among people with different cultural perspectives from his own. He notes the "interdependent nature of radicalization variables." In other words, and more broadly, what leads young men astray can't be boiled down to a single, fundamental cause. It's complicated. Always. The downside of this approach is I'm left without clarity on where he stands on things. And I suppose that is evolving anyway. He seems an open-minded guy. Even a checklist of his key thinking/talking points would have been useful. But he leaves it up to to the readers to draw their own conclusions. What he's done is started a certain conversation. One fascinating insight was that fringe and hate and fundamentalist groups are very good at "posing as authorities on masculinity" to convince vulnerable young men to join in on their angry bravado, then take it to the next level. This expertise--and that twisted definition of masculinity--must be questioned by other men at all times. Jivani also explored how change happens. He was inspired by the way communities acted quickly in the face of crisis, much faster than governments can. I guess the goal then becomes how to get governments to invest the people's resources (tax revenues) to ramp up effective programs to serve society at large when appropriate. [This from his discussion on the opioid crisis.] I also appreciated his discussion on why young people don't tend to be voters. He quotes the rapper, Paris: "For many, the desire to keep the 'greater evil' out of public office isn't a good enough reason to engage in a democratic process that seems rigged, designed to maintain the illusion of choice while protecting the status quo." Smallish beefs: -"Journalists, who determine traditional news media content..." [Well, only partially. There's the corporate owners, advertisers, media consumers...in general Jivani's media critique was pretty vague.] -Related to the above, at times I found his narrative painted activists [in Black Lives Matter, for example] as equal opposites of institutions [e.g. the police]. Missing is an analysis of the power dynamics at play.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Youze da Funk

    I had high hopes for this book, as our culture badly needs a rigorous critique of public narratives that ask all the wrong questions about young men who commit violent acts. What I found in Why Young Men, however, was an unfinished argument for minor social reforms built on a tired narrative of capitulation to free-market capitalism. Moreover, the book trades in a narrow brand of manliness that echoes Jivani's personal experiences while ignoring the lives of non-hetero and non-binary boys and me I had high hopes for this book, as our culture badly needs a rigorous critique of public narratives that ask all the wrong questions about young men who commit violent acts. What I found in Why Young Men, however, was an unfinished argument for minor social reforms built on a tired narrative of capitulation to free-market capitalism. Moreover, the book trades in a narrow brand of manliness that echoes Jivani's personal experiences while ignoring the lives of non-hetero and non-binary boys and men. General questions of sexuality – so central to public discourse about crises of toxic masculinity – are omitted altogether, and Jivani stubbornly refuses to engage in any discussions of class or institutional responsibility for why young men rage. Generally speaking, Why Young Men suffers from the standard pitfalls of centrist critiques – unquestioning obeisance to a capitalist status quo supported by wishy-washy claims about “economy building” or “job opportunities.” Jivani’s analysis conceals how wage exploitation, self-interest, racism, and sexual violence perpetuated by actors in power articulate a global economy that cannot sustain itself. He sometimes verges on a meaningful systems critique, but retires instead into a paternalist narrative about “role models” that can show lost young men how to “fit” into a middle class that had already unraveled when his book hit the shelves in 2018. He would have done well to consider whether disenfranchised young people are still buying what the post-2008 middle class is hawking, assuming such a thing even exists anymore. Any question about young men would, by necessity, raise hard questions about sexuality. It would also incorporate people who are not men. Yet Jivani excludes anybody who doesn’t perform as a heterosexual male. What of sexuality? Of masculine performativity’s countless iterations? Moreover, what of mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends, aunts, and grandmas, present or absent, in the lives of the “young men” Jivani claims to speak for? What of the way that the popular culture Jivani evokes yet refuses to meaningfully critique reproduces incels and mass shooters? To what extent is the news media (another favourite topic of Jivani's) in fact implicated in the public's mistrust towards it? The book falters, I think, because Jivani only seems interested in topics that fit into his tailor-made answer to the book's core question: Young men fail when they don’t fit in. He then forces that answer into his fieldwork while ignoring the complexities he encounters. As another reviewer rightly noted, a frustrating read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Emi Yoshida

    Jamil Jivani is a self-made man of moral integrity and purpose-driven enthusiasm. Risen from Canadian poverty, fatherless since his African father abandoned him along with his two sisters and their white mom, deemed illiterate as a teen and now he's a Yale graduated lawyer who's beaten cancer. I found the bits he shared about his own life to be some of his most compelling, I wish he had gone into more detail about the Ismaili Indians for example, who adopted his African father, and also more abo Jamil Jivani is a self-made man of moral integrity and purpose-driven enthusiasm. Risen from Canadian poverty, fatherless since his African father abandoned him along with his two sisters and their white mom, deemed illiterate as a teen and now he's a Yale graduated lawyer who's beaten cancer. I found the bits he shared about his own life to be some of his most compelling, I wish he had gone into more detail about the Ismaili Indians for example, who adopted his African father, and also more about his many public service ventures. I found the title intriguing, and having already read the rage-race topic covered by Coates and Eddo-Lodge et al, I was hoping that this Young Men angle would prove enlightening. Jivani is an excellent researcher, writer, and speaker, but I would recommend this book more for research than reading. So much of what he wrote about resonated with me, but I found the book to be a bit disjointed. I liked his correlating Nation of Islam (NOI), Five-Percenters, Muslim Brotherhood and Jihadi radicalization with "the capacity to aspire", particularly as he described his own experiences in Belgium and Egypt. Reading about NOI's core message "this world around us isn't made for you. you don't belong here" reminded me of the Glass Ceiling for women, and Jews being harassed and bullied in present-day Berlin Germany. I laughed out loud at the "White Extremism Problem" Doug Saunders brought up, and rather than haranguing whites for their fragility as Coates and Eddo-Lodge do, Jivani rather effectively impresses on the reader that nobody likes being stereotyped, or judged collectively.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Why Young Men: Rage, Race and the Crisis of Identity are a collection of thoughts, insights, and opinions of Jamil Jivani when he felt familiar with the Paris attacker in 2015. He did not know them personally, but he knew the communities that they have grown up in and the challenges they faced, because it mirrored the circumstance of his own life and if the loom of fate twisted differently, he too could have been like those attackers. Jamil Jivani was raised in a mostly immigrant community in Tor Why Young Men: Rage, Race and the Crisis of Identity are a collection of thoughts, insights, and opinions of Jamil Jivani when he felt familiar with the Paris attacker in 2015. He did not know them personally, but he knew the communities that they have grown up in and the challenges they faced, because it mirrored the circumstance of his own life and if the loom of fate twisted differently, he too could have been like those attackers. Jamil Jivani was raised in a mostly immigrant community in Toronto that faced significant problems with integration. Having grown up with a largely absent father, he witness what his future could be by the gangster culture or radical ideologies associated with Islam. Finding himself at a crossroads, Jamil Jivani choose a better path and headed off to Yale, became a lawyer, a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, and a powerful speaker for the disenfranchised. LWhy Young Men: Rage, Race and the Crisis of Identity purposely complicate the mainstream narrative about traditional masculine identity and Jamil Jivani used his experiences as a young man from a disadvantaged background who now works as a lawyer and social justice advocate to personally retell his thoughts through his existential and physical journey he takes throughout the book. Advocating for safe spaces to talk about what it means to be a man is central theme to the book. Growing up in the highly multicultural city of Brampton, Ontario, Jamil Jivani experienced first-hand how tensions between young men of color and (often white) police officers can lead to catastrophe as he relates personal experience in each instance. Why Young Men: Rage, Race and the Crisis of Identity is written well and features clear, digestible prose in short, focused chapters. Jamil Jivani discusses the dissonances he experienced growing up in an immigrant-majority neighborhood with a mostly absent father in a mixed-ethnicity household, his mother is a white Christian and his father is a Muslim African. Jamil Jivani is a compelling rhetorician. Hard experience has led to strong opinions and his central thesis is that social media have unduly influenced many young men of color, in particular to Hollywood and, in some cases, political or religious radicalism, which poisons their understanding of manhood and tilting them toward rebellion and criminality. Facing racism and unfair treatment by police is clearly painful and alienating and the recourse, according to Jamil Jivani, is gaining education and meaningful employment, which is why he pushes for mentoring programs and policy reform within existing systems. He recounts travels to Europe and the Middle East to identify commonalities and variances in young men’s experiences, particularly in majority Black and Muslim communities. Most, but not all, of what he finds confirms his own viewpoints. The book does however, becomes rather grating, as Jamil Jivani wears his centrist, accommodating heart on his sleeve, which normally isn't a bad thing, but the continuous righteousness of his own ideas went on a tad too much. Another shortcoming to the book is that the lives of gay and bisexual men of color are rather invisible in its pages. In a book about gender roles, race, and identity, this absence is rather glaring. All in all, Why Young Men: Rage, Race and the Crisis of Identity is an interesting take on the ever changing male identity in an ever increasingly rising feminist visibility in the world.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tara van Beurden

    I came across this book when I heard Jamil Jivani speak at Brisbane Writers’ Festival last year. As I’ve always been interested in the intersection of religion, politics and society, and given Jivani spoke so eloquently and passionately on the topic, this book was one of my many book purchases out of the festival. It’s an interesting look at why young men seem so prone to committing violence, looking at the social and cultural implications as opposed to any biological drivers. While Jivani is cl I came across this book when I heard Jamil Jivani speak at Brisbane Writers’ Festival last year. As I’ve always been interested in the intersection of religion, politics and society, and given Jivani spoke so eloquently and passionately on the topic, this book was one of my many book purchases out of the festival. It’s an interesting look at why young men seem so prone to committing violence, looking at the social and cultural implications as opposed to any biological drivers. While Jivani is clearly passionate about the topic and has a lot to potential solutions, I did not feel he actually conclusively answered the question, or at least presented an argument clearly articulating his argument. He obviously thinks youth workers are important and he provides some interesting examples from around the world, but the whole book feels partly like a memoir and partly a meandering stroll through just a few of the issues that create the environment that results in young men committing terrorism. I did really like the fact that he acknowledged white male terrorism, and acknowledged some of the issues that this community faces which led to them voting in Trump. He also clearly articulates that these people are not the only reason that people voted in Trump, and in the same way as many Muslims, these people do not want to be tarred with the same brush. He also does a good job acknowledging that its possible and necessary to talk about the issues faced by, and creating aggression from, young white men, without ignoring the issues of feminism. An interesting read, but probably needs some refinement.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Serena

    Sidelines the views, values, and purpose of MBK (My Brother's Keeper) as instituted by Obama-- aimed at providing black men with guidance from childhood to adulthood through education, employment, and continued support. Sheds light on Obama being the light to a better "free world" before being overthrown by white nationalists in need to protect white supremacy in Trump's election. Sheds light on the inspiration and role model Malcolm X (who was never taught in the history curriculum of school) p Sidelines the views, values, and purpose of MBK (My Brother's Keeper) as instituted by Obama-- aimed at providing black men with guidance from childhood to adulthood through education, employment, and continued support. Sheds light on Obama being the light to a better "free world" before being overthrown by white nationalists in need to protect white supremacy in Trump's election. Sheds light on the inspiration and role model Malcolm X (who was never taught in the history curriculum of school) plays for many black men and muslim men. Sheds light on Islamaphobia after the Paris attacks and the immense impact it's had on Moleenbeek where the two lead attackers grew up. A city struggling to be part of society, to lead a muslim life, to be heard against bias, to rewrite the narrative. Most importantly, it made me realize the importance role models play. That without having fathers, educators, politicians, leaders, police enforcement, and any other form of upper to guide you from a perspective of similarity (POC) -- the cycle of black/youth crime and violence is hard to overcome. Only by finding good mentorship (in Jivani's case - professors, community leaders, and the anti-mentors - the outcomes he realized he needed to avoid), was he able to better himself. Otherwise, it is the internet that will inspire youth -- rappers, athletes, and worst of all --terrorist/extremist groups.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kim O.

    This is an insightful and topical book about why young men in particular turn to violence, gangs, and can be radicalized. He references both international and North American studies. It felt rather like reading a set of essays or a thesis on the topic. Yet, what makes the book so readable is that Jivani has populated the book with stories of his personal experience, from his young growing years through to current adult. As I am an educator working with many disadvantaged people who are dealing wi This is an insightful and topical book about why young men in particular turn to violence, gangs, and can be radicalized. He references both international and North American studies. It felt rather like reading a set of essays or a thesis on the topic. Yet, what makes the book so readable is that Jivani has populated the book with stories of his personal experience, from his young growing years through to current adult. As I am an educator working with many disadvantaged people who are dealing with similar complex challenges, this book affirms some of the things we are doing locally to help individuals and hope will have a broader positive impact. I am disappointed that Jivani speaks solely of Black and Muslim young men (understandably his neighbourhood cultural experience). Yet, as a Canadian author, he does not mention First Nations in this discussion of ‘why young men’. There lies a gap in his research and understanding for others living similar identity crises, food insecurities, stable housing, education deficit, etc. across our country. Jivani helps us to understand ‘why young men’….. now for next steps of working together for positive change.

  16. 4 out of 5

    J-walk

    From the author “You should apply to Yale,” he said. The HE being Professor Blight. “Not only was I accepted, but the school’s generous financial aid policies meant that I could actually afford to attend. I felt like I had won the lottery.” This revelation was the highlight of the book for me. Jamil discovered early that the environment around Yale was marginalized and a mirror image of what he escaped from in Brampton, Ontario. Fatherless boys, slum dwellings, zero job opportunities, street gan From the author “You should apply to Yale,” he said. The HE being Professor Blight. “Not only was I accepted, but the school’s generous financial aid policies meant that I could actually afford to attend. I felt like I had won the lottery.” This revelation was the highlight of the book for me. Jamil discovered early that the environment around Yale was marginalized and a mirror image of what he escaped from in Brampton, Ontario. Fatherless boys, slum dwellings, zero job opportunities, street gangs, domestic violence. The majority of Jamil’s writing deals with committees seeking solutions, flying from country to country. Jamil broadly interviewing political leaders, youth leaders, community leaders. These so-called leaders have securely wrapped themselves up in red tape. Red tape manufactured by bigotry and short sightedness. The amount of money spent by and paid to these leaders is ridiculous. If only an equal amount of genuine care and love had been distributed to individuals in the cited communities, a huge difference in the results would be well noted. Our world needs to get back to the basics...treating others as we want to be treated.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Carole

    Jamil Jivani is a young man born and raised in Brampton, Ontario who is now a lawyer living in Toronto and teaching law at Osgoode Hall Law School. During his youth, he flirted with gang culture and Nation of Islam, and almost didn’t graduate from high school. In this book, he discusses how he got from there to here and most importantly, poses the question of the title. It was a very interesting read. There is, of course, no easy answer to the question of why are some young men attracted to sinis Jamil Jivani is a young man born and raised in Brampton, Ontario who is now a lawyer living in Toronto and teaching law at Osgoode Hall Law School. During his youth, he flirted with gang culture and Nation of Islam, and almost didn’t graduate from high school. In this book, he discusses how he got from there to here and most importantly, poses the question of the title. It was a very interesting read. There is, of course, no easy answer to the question of why are some young men attracted to sinister groups. He refers to many examples from Canada, United States and Europe, often drawing on his own personal experiences and research. Although the answer is elusive and complex, I found that he made a number of connections that I had not thought of before. The way he draws parallels between young Muslims in Europe who are attracted to ISIS, young Americans who are attracted to white supremacist groups, and those young men who are attracted to gangs is very clever. Altogether, this was an interesting and thought-provoking book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Caden Mccann

    I decided to pick up Why Young Men recently after having seen Jivani interviewed on CBC in light of the recent Toronto van attack. In the book, Jivani offers a memoir of sorts, providing an account of his experiences growing up as an alienated mixed-race kid in the GTA, his schooling at York and later Yale Law School, and some of his work abroad investigating Muslim radicalization after the 2015 Paris attacks. Ultimately, Jivani seeks to highlight male radicalization and violence as something th I decided to pick up Why Young Men recently after having seen Jivani interviewed on CBC in light of the recent Toronto van attack. In the book, Jivani offers a memoir of sorts, providing an account of his experiences growing up as an alienated mixed-race kid in the GTA, his schooling at York and later Yale Law School, and some of his work abroad investigating Muslim radicalization after the 2015 Paris attacks. Ultimately, Jivani seeks to highlight male radicalization and violence as something that transcends religion and ethnicity, and provides some thoughts on how to address the current crisis of masculinity. Although initially I found there was a vaguely self-righteous tone to Jivani's memoir, overall I found this book to be an engaging and thought-provoking read on what is a highly topical issue, 3/5.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Clarissa

    This book was powerful. It's so hard to imagine living a different life when your used to the one you have. It's an eye opener on what it's like to be Black or Muslim and live in a country of predominantly White people. I being white myself, I have never had any of the issues that this man grew up with and I lived in Toronto until a teenager as well. Its amazing to see how far he's come along and what he's turned his life in to when it could have gone another way. I also really liked how it dive This book was powerful. It's so hard to imagine living a different life when your used to the one you have. It's an eye opener on what it's like to be Black or Muslim and live in a country of predominantly White people. I being white myself, I have never had any of the issues that this man grew up with and I lived in Toronto until a teenager as well. Its amazing to see how far he's come along and what he's turned his life in to when it could have gone another way. I also really liked how it dived in to the problem facing Muslims and the way Islam is warped. How these young men get involved and become radicalized. I found at times closer to the end it did drag a bit bu the book was not long to begin with so I can handle it. Biggest lesson from the book. We are all human and must treat each other so. I recommend this book to EVERYONE. You must read and must understand.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Liz Dustan

    I really enjoyed a lot of this book. I think his experiences and research were insightful and well relayed. I would say the part that I continued to get caught up on was his approach to Canada. I hoped as a Canadian he would be more open to talking critically about his own country's racist past, but he often used it as a quick intro to talking about problems in the US and Europe and brushed over any wrongdoing on the part of Canada. In one passage he spoke about increases in immigrant population I really enjoyed a lot of this book. I think his experiences and research were insightful and well relayed. I would say the part that I continued to get caught up on was his approach to Canada. I hoped as a Canadian he would be more open to talking critically about his own country's racist past, but he often used it as a quick intro to talking about problems in the US and Europe and brushed over any wrongdoing on the part of Canada. In one passage he spoke about increases in immigrant populations across the world, how this country had increased by this much and another by however much, but Canada 'welcomed' however many immigrants. He just didn't dig in deep where I hoped he would have and seemed to gloss over anything that may tarnish our squeaky clean reputation. Overall a really good book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Annie Kookie

    This book took me a while to read. I would stop and reflect many times on the stories and ideas. I found it content heavy (many topics), thought-provoking, and meditative. For me, this is one of those books that has an abundance of underlines, dog ears and marginalia, in an effort to capture all of the things that stood out to me. As someone who struggled in my teen years in a variety of ways, who also grew up in the GTA in a number of the areas Jivani speaks about, I felt recognition of the aut This book took me a while to read. I would stop and reflect many times on the stories and ideas. I found it content heavy (many topics), thought-provoking, and meditative. For me, this is one of those books that has an abundance of underlines, dog ears and marginalia, in an effort to capture all of the things that stood out to me. As someone who struggled in my teen years in a variety of ways, who also grew up in the GTA in a number of the areas Jivani speaks about, I felt recognition of the authors youth in my own experiences. I truly enjoyed the perspective and thoughtful writing of the author (and as an aside, am happy to listen to him on 1010 AM radio with his newfound radio show). Would and will recommend. Passing the book along to some youths I know who I hope will give them a broader perspective.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dave Anderson

    It's not easy being a young male. It's twice as difficult and challenging to be a young male of color. What Jivani has discovered is that without a core family and community, a young male of color may be lost to negative influences. It really does take a village to raise a child. There is no getting around the prejudice and bias toward an individual of color. Martin Luther King's dream of seeing a person for their character rather than the color of their skin is a risk and gamble of faith. Many yo It's not easy being a young male. It's twice as difficult and challenging to be a young male of color. What Jivani has discovered is that without a core family and community, a young male of color may be lost to negative influences. It really does take a village to raise a child. There is no getting around the prejudice and bias toward an individual of color. Martin Luther King's dream of seeing a person for their character rather than the color of their skin is a risk and gamble of faith. Many young men of color grow up understandably angry at the world around them. In many ways the community around them have let them down, leaving gangs and radical faith as the only alternative. The reality that Jivani finds is bleak. But there is a slim hope. An individual can make a difference. I found the book eye-opening. I recommend it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Devin

    I enjoyed the book but think it fell short of the mark. The title suggests a much deeper dive into the radicalisation of young men into violent movements than what the author actually provides. It doesn’t take long before the structure of each chapter begins to repeat itself - story about the author’s life/journey, some insights he has observed followed by stats referenced from other researchers, articles or papers. What is missing is a strong opinion from the author himself. He has traded depth I enjoyed the book but think it fell short of the mark. The title suggests a much deeper dive into the radicalisation of young men into violent movements than what the author actually provides. It doesn’t take long before the structure of each chapter begins to repeat itself - story about the author’s life/journey, some insights he has observed followed by stats referenced from other researchers, articles or papers. What is missing is a strong opinion from the author himself. He has traded depth for breadth. The topic is important, so I would still recommend reading it and making up your own mind :)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Toby Mustill

    Why Young Men... This book has insights that I previously failed to recognize. The book explores so many angles and influences on youth that the reader cannot help but be enlightened. It goes into details regarding the most important institutions and individuals for young men. It helps connect school, religion/culture, parenting, community, peers and youth work to put the pieces together on how the help our youth. Although the book has a strong focus on minority youth and radicalization, it draw Why Young Men... This book has insights that I previously failed to recognize. The book explores so many angles and influences on youth that the reader cannot help but be enlightened. It goes into details regarding the most important institutions and individuals for young men. It helps connect school, religion/culture, parenting, community, peers and youth work to put the pieces together on how the help our youth. Although the book has a strong focus on minority youth and radicalization, it draws parallels to white youth and the alt-right movement. Thoroughly insightful, very enlightening.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Robert Briggs

    Why Young Men lived up to Michael "Pinball" Clemons'description on the back of the book. It is a look at the life of a young man under pressure and includes his research into the lives of other young men who are similar and different than him. The parts about Jivani's parents were most interesting. I also liked his discussion of Belgium. He was there at a very interesting time. The book left me wanting to know more discussion about Jivani's philosophy at the end, but it is a good look into his e Why Young Men lived up to Michael "Pinball" Clemons'description on the back of the book. It is a look at the life of a young man under pressure and includes his research into the lives of other young men who are similar and different than him. The parts about Jivani's parents were most interesting. I also liked his discussion of Belgium. He was there at a very interesting time. The book left me wanting to know more discussion about Jivani's philosophy at the end, but it is a good look into his experiences.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Miriam

    Very readable, many ideas packed in, but easy to get through. Perhaps could have been 2-3 books, a few different interesting perspectives on this large & complex topic (issues & intervention in NA, in Europe, positive masculinity, policy issues), but maybe he'll do some deeper dives in future books? Refreshingly nuanced conclusions (mostly: a little bit of column A, a little bit of column B), and compelling combination of personal experience and research. I feel more hopeful and energized, knowi Very readable, many ideas packed in, but easy to get through. Perhaps could have been 2-3 books, a few different interesting perspectives on this large & complex topic (issues & intervention in NA, in Europe, positive masculinity, policy issues), but maybe he'll do some deeper dives in future books? Refreshingly nuanced conclusions (mostly: a little bit of column A, a little bit of column B), and compelling combination of personal experience and research. I feel more hopeful and energized, knowing I live in the same city as thinkers like Jamil Jivani.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lucile Barker

    35. Why young men: rage, race and the crisis of identity by Jamil Javani Jamil Javani discovered that he was considered illiterate when he was doing standardized testing in grade ten. Somehow he managed to get himself in a learning frame of mind and get to law school, both at Osgoode and Yale. He also discovered that some of his childhood friends were involved in French terrorism. Javani decided to explore the reasons for this. He has been appointed as the first Advocate for Community Opportuniti 35. Why young men: rage, race and the crisis of identity by Jamil Javani Jamil Javani discovered that he was considered illiterate when he was doing standardized testing in grade ten. Somehow he managed to get himself in a learning frame of mind and get to law school, both at Osgoode and Yale. He also discovered that some of his childhood friends were involved in French terrorism. Javani decided to explore the reasons for this. He has been appointed as the first Advocate for Community Opportunities. Rather uneven in holding my interest.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jessa

    This book made me pause on multiple occasions and think quite critically on a variety of topics. As a white woman I can never truly understand a lot of what was said here, but I can do my best to empathize and really ensure I’m not going into situations with any pre-conceived notions. While I do think the book markets itself more broadly than it is (it’s a first person recounting of some different situations), I like that it challenged me to think about topics I maybe hadn’t considered previousl This book made me pause on multiple occasions and think quite critically on a variety of topics. As a white woman I can never truly understand a lot of what was said here, but I can do my best to empathize and really ensure I’m not going into situations with any pre-conceived notions. While I do think the book markets itself more broadly than it is (it’s a first person recounting of some different situations), I like that it challenged me to think about topics I maybe hadn’t considered previously and was written in a way that was quite relatable. Fantastic read, I would definitely recommend.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Trina

    3.5. I found it interesting and I appreciated a few comments he made about feminism (dealing with issues related to young men doesn’t mean there is opposition to women). I’m not sure about his thoughts on Charter Schools, but I’m a unionized, public school teacher so I guess that’s not surprising. I do wish there were more suggestions on how to improve the lives of our young men, but Jivani definitely gets the conversation going, especially in relation to religion and men of colour.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Edwin White Chacon

    Anybody working with young men HAS to read this book. Jamil is a powerful speaker for the disenfranchised and role model for many young men in his hometown of Toronto. For his first book, I think he did a fantastic job dissecting why many young men end up following a path of violence and radicalization. Not only does he discuss multiple theories looking at this issue, he brings in his own lived experience of being enticed by gang culture at a young age. Highly recommend.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...