Foreword Reviews

Manly Manners

The Cultivation of the Inner, Spiritual Gentleman

Clarion Rating: 5 out of 5

Manly Manners is an everyday guide that sets immediate, attainable goals for improving every aspect of a man’s life.

There’s more to good etiquette than crab forks and cravats. Manly Manners: The Cultivation of the Inner, Spiritual Gentleman is the thought-provoking second volume of the Manly Manners trilogy by notable designer, lawyer, and bon vivant Wayne James. While many etiquette books are written for women, by women, and are used only for special occasions, Manly Manners is an everyday guide that sets immediate, attainable goals for improving every aspect of a man’s life.

James, also the author of Manly Manners: Lifestyle & Modern Etiquette for the Young Man of the 21st Century, finds more to say about etiquette in this wonderful new volume. After all, etiquette is not just pleasant behaviors, accessories, and manners. It comes from a deeper moral code, and a nuanced understanding of relationships and personal values. To understand his place in the world, a gentleman must know how and why he relates to others. As James points out, the best way to have better relationships with other people is to build a strong foundation with yourself: “The man who fails to nurture his innate, gentlemanly characteristics but becomes a master of the acquired qualities will forever be a genteel man, but never a gentleman.”

The book’s refreshing approach to spirituality is practical, not sanctimonious. James, known as “the bad boy of good manners,” includes chapters on relationships with sexual partners, sex workers, platonic buddies of a different gender, and transitioning from bachelorhood to marriage without losing too many friends.

Manly Manners is frank, and offers information that is relevant and interesting to the modern man. Rather than pretend that men do not have sex with their friends or keep casual relationships for extracurricular fun, James provides help for every conceivable situation a man may find himself in. The series is distinguished by its realistic and practical approach to etiquette, going places that Emily Post fears to tread.

Although the second volume is ostensibly about spirituality, chapters deal with non-spiritual matters such as finding the right career and developing a code of ethics. That’s not to say that there’s no higher message in the book; James does include biblical quotes and familiar topics of morality, such as the deadly sins, throughout. As teaching tools, these quotations and concepts help explain why it’s important to have a positive attitude, and why taking the moral high ground is a must during conflict.

Once again, James produces an essential etiquette guide that is actually useful … not to mention sexy. The Manly Manners series is excellent reading for people of any gender who want to improve their relationships, outlook on life, and future prospects.

Reviewed by Claire Foster

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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