The Schmooze

May the Most Manly Man Win

Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity
By Joel Stein
Grand Central Publishing, 304 pages, $26.99

Was it possible for Joel Stein to get through his new book, “Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity,” without mentioning Judaism? Of course not. The Time Magazine humor columnist makes it only a few steps into his journey before facing the fraught ties between religion and gender.

“After all that camping and firefighting, I am happy to relax in the comfort of a fellow Jew,” he writes, after arriving to learn how to throw and hit a baseball with retired L.A. Dodgers slugger, Shawn Green. “Woody Allen has made neurotic, frail, high-strung Jews seem like all we’ve got, but I don’t blame my lack of manliness on my religion. Not only are there tanned, Uzi-toting, unsmiling, Maccabee-tough Israelis, but there are the haggling, arguing, lawyering Jews that Larry David has brought back.”

Though he fires an M240 machine gun by book’s end, Stein undoubtedly belongs to the Woody Allen School of Jewish Men.

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