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Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781529439120

Price: £20

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BoyMum is one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve read as a parent’ The Times

is about boys and young men – how we are raising them, and what it means to be a man-in-the-making in an era when #MeToo has challenged our tolerance for toxic masculinity, yet the pressure on young men to be ‘masculine’ has never been more intense.

It is also a mother’s perspective. Ruth Whippman is the proud/overwhelmed, feminist mother of three boys and her family life can be a daily confrontation with the triumph of nature over nurture. All too aware that her parenting today will shape the men her sons become tomorrow, she explores the expectations placed on boys – must boys be boys?; the messages we send girls but not boys (but they really need to hear too); boys in the classroom and boys online; incels; entitlement, sexual harassment and “cancel culture” and what radicalizes young men.

Blending memoir with cultural analysis, and approaching her subject with wit, honesty and open-mindedness, this is a sympathetic investigation into where we are going wrong with raising boys, and how trying to change those patterns must be one of society’s most urgent cultural projects.

Praise for Ruth Whippman and The Pursuit of Happiness

– “A whip-sharp British Bill Bryson” The Sunday Times

– “Ruth Whippman is whip-smart, her writing nothing short of genius” Huffington Post

The Pursuit of Happiness was a New York Post Best Book of 2016, a New York Times Editors’ Choice and Paperback Row pick, one of Newsweek‘s ‘Nine Books to Change the Way You Think in 2016’, a Sunday Times top summer read and a Daily Mail ‘Must Read’.

– Ruth Whippman manages the trick of being funny about what is, deep down, a serious problem: the American quest for happiness isn’t working” Oliver Burkeman, author of Four Thousand Weeks

– “I LOVED this book. I found it SO WELL WRITTEN, so witty and funny and reading it I was often envious of Ruth Whippman’s facility with language. It was a hugely engaging read, accessible and so relevant… I’ve been quite evangelical about it.” Marian Keyes, best-selling author of Grown Ups


A brilliant, powerful and very timely take. Every one raising boys should read this, and all men too
Sam Delaney, author of Sort Your Head Out
A brilliant, powerful and very timely take. Everyone raising boys should read this, and all men too
Sam Delaney, author of Sort Your Head Out
BoyMum is one of the most thought-provoking books I've read as a parent
Helen Rumbelow, The Times
An urgent call to reassess how boys are raised and socialized
Publisher's Weekly
Nuanced, compassionate and brave, this brilliant book explodes the dogmatic, stereotypical tropes that restrict and smother boys from a positive, feminist perspective. It is warm, meticulously researched, and above all, hopeful.
Laura Bates