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Fraternity

An Inside Look at a Year of College Boys Becoming Men
Narrated by: Alexandra Robbins
Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author of Pledged is back with an unprecedented fly-on-the-wall look inside fraternity houses from current brothers’ perspectives - and a fresh, riveting must-listen about what it’s like to be a college guy today.

Two real-life stories. One stunning twist. Meet Jake, a studious freshman weighing how far to go to find a brotherhood that will introduce him to lifelong friends and help conquer his social awkwardness; and Oliver, a hardworking chapter president trying to keep his misunderstood fraternity out of trouble despite multiple run-ins with the police.

Their year-in-the-life stories help explain why students are joining fraternities in record numbers despite scandalous headlines. To find out what it’s like to be a fraternity brother in the 21st century, Robbins contacted hundreds of brothers whose chapters don’t make headlines - and who suggested that many fraternities can be healthy, safe spaces for men.

Fraternity is more than just a pause-resisting, character-driven read. It’s a vital book about the transition from boyhood to manhood; it brilliantly weaves psychology, current events, neuroscience, and interviews to explore the state of masculinity today and what that means for students and their parents. It’s a different kind of story about college boys, a story in which they candidly discuss sex, friendship, social media, drinking, peer pressure, gender roles, and even porn. And it’s a book about boys at a vulnerable age, living on their own for perhaps the first time. Boys who, in a climate that can stigmatize them merely for being male, don’t necessarily want to navigate the complicated, coming-of-age journey to manhood alone.

©2019 Alexandra Robbins (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Alexandra Robbins...spent a year documenting Greek life for her excellent new book, Fraternity.... Robbins makes the case that fraternities are not monolothic and that, done right, they can be healthy spaces.” (Mother Jones)

"I truly believe that Alexandra Robbins is the greatest non-fiction author of our time. By focusing her writing on the subjective narratives of ‘characters’ who appear as case studies, her books read as novels with critical analysis essays interspersed throughout. Her craftsmanship is unparalleled.” (Melissa Fabello, PhD, former Managing Editor of Everyday Feminism and author of Appetite)

“Skillfully paced.... This engaging behind-the-scenes account of fraternities, their traditions, and how they influence (a certain strain of) American men will interest college-bound students, their parents, and readers contemplating American culture.” (Publishers Weekly

Fraternity, an unfiltered, candid examination of toxic masculinity in Greek life, is absolutely a product of the #MeToo movement - yet there are no villains or clear bad guys. Writing an anti-fraternity manifesto would likely have been an infinitely easier choice for Robbins, but it wasn’t the path she took. Instead, she sought successfully to weave hope from chaos.” (Ms. Magazine)

Editorial Review

A history, case study, and analysis of modern masculinity

Coming from a school without Greek life, I’ve always had a slight fascination with fraternities. Alexandra Robbins has managed to craft (and then narrate) a historical analysis of fraternities and masculinity that not only feels approachable, but blends her voice and research with the student's she's interviewed. While she does explore the idea of the hard partying and hyper-masculine frat bro, she also offers a refreshing take on fraternities that move beyond toxic masculinity and negative stereotypes. Partially a critique and partially a guide, it proves to be a riveting analysis and fantastic companion for anyone currently involved in, interested in, or in any way connected to the future of Greek life in American universities. —Micahel C., Audible Editor

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Qualitative AND Quantitative

As a former fraternity member, I found the stories throughout the book to be truthful and engaging, while the statistics and rationale of Greek life in the 21st Century are compelling. Parts of this book took me back to my own experiences, and I especially enjoyed the section on masculinity. Whether you are a proponent of Greek life or not, this is an insightful listen!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful