Iron John: A Book About Men

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Iron John
Iron John.jpg
AuthorRobert Bly
SubjectIron John
Publication date
Media typePrint

Iron John: A Book About Men is a book by American poet Robert Bly published in 1990 by Addison-Wesley, and is his best-known work.[1] An exegesis of Iron John, a parable about a boy maturing into adulthood (monomyth) with help of the wild man, and part of the Grimms' Fairy Tales published in 1812 by German folklorists Brothers Grimm, it spent 62 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list and went on to become a pioneering work in the mythopoetic men's movement.[2]

Bly used Jungian psychology, various myths, legends, folklores, and fairy tales to analyze Iron John in the style of Bruno Bettelheim, to find lessons especially meaningful to men and the men's movement.[1][3] Bly believes that this fairy tale Iron John contains lessons from the past of great importance to modern men.

Bly built upon material in "What Do Men Really Want?: A New Age Interview With Robert Bly" by Keith Thompson, New Age Journal, May 1982, and first appeared as a series of pamphlets. The cover was illustrated by Bruce Waldman.

The 2004 edition (ISBN 0306813769, Da Capo Press), comes with a new preface by the author.[4] In 1993 a full-length critique of the book was published by Charles Upton.[5]


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