iggcov.jpgAre we turning into a nation of wimps? Do boys need to be boys? Is there something parents and schools should be doing differently? We talk with British author Conn Iggulden, whose new book, The Dangerous Book for Boys, takes an old-fashioned positive look at boyhood, bravery, and the nature of risk, about those subjects and others — including the effect of modern parenting and education on military recruitment and the future of Western civilization. Is being optimistic old-fashioned? Plus, revelations about Helen’s misspent youth!

Iggulden thinks that the pendulum is swinging back, and I suspect that the strong reaction to his book is evidence that people want to help — and check out the enthusiasm in the reader reviews.

You can listen to the show directly — no downloading needed — by going here and clicking on the gray Flash player. You can get the file directly for listening via Windows Media, Realplayer, Quicktime, etc., by clicking right here. And you can get a lo-fi version suitable for dialup, cellphones, etc. by going here and selecting lo-fi. And, of course, you can always get a free subscrption via iTunes — as we say in radio podcasting, “Wow! What a deal!” And you can visit our show archives here.

Music is “Status No” and “IWDWIST” by Todd Steed and the Suns of Phere. This podcast sponsored by Volvo Motors USA. Plus, comments and discussion over at my lovely and talented cohost’s place.

UPDATE: Reader Rick Sawyer emails:

I bought this book a few weeks ago when I saw it at a bookstore. I bought it b/c of your mention, actually! It was a great read. What I’m going to do, is add some of the interesting stuff I did as a boy, give it to the older men in my family for their ideas, and then give it to my brother in law who has three boys under the age of five. I thought it would be a great male bonding exercise for my family…

I think it would. Iggulden said the book is in part a “refresher course for dads.”