Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man

Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man

From an award-winning writer whose work bristles with “hard-won strength, insight, agility, and love” (Maggie Nelson), an exquisite and troubling narrative of masculinity, violence, and society.

In this groundbreaking new book, the author, a trans man, trains to fight in a charity match at Madison Square Garden while struggling to untangle the vexed relationship between masculinity and violence. Through his experience boxing—learning to get hit, and to hit back; wrestling with the camaraderie of the gym; confronting the betrayals and strength of his own body—McBee examines the weight of male violence, the pervasiveness of gender stereotypes, and the limitations of conventional masculinity. A wide-ranging exploration of gender in our society, Amateur is ultimately a story of hope, as McBee traces a new way forward, a new kind of masculinity, inside the ring and outside of it.

In this graceful, stunning, and uncompromising exploration of living, fighting, and healing, we gain insight into the stereotypes and shifting realities of masculinity today through the eyes of a new man.

Title:Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man
ISBN:9781501168741
Format Type:

About Thomas Page McBee

Thomas Page McBee was the first trans man to ever box in Madison Square Garden. His Lambda award-winning memoir, MAN ALIVE: A TRUE STORY OF VIOLENCE, FORGIVENESS, AND BECOMING A MAN, was named a best book of 2014 by NPR Books, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, and Publisher's Weekly. Thomas was the “masculinity expert” for VICE and has written the columns “Self-Made Man” for the Rumpus and “The American Man” for


    Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man Reviews

  • Rebecca Foster

    Thomas Page McBee was the first transgender man to box at Madison Square Garden. In his second memoir, which arose from a Quartz article entitled “Why Men Fight,” he recounts the training leading ...

  • Rebecca

    Maggie Nelson said that this book was like "sitting with someone uncurling his hands, than holding them out to you, open, so that you can behold all the hard-won strength, insight, agility and love to...

  • Eleanor

    Thomas Page McBee wrote an earlier book, Man Alive, about his transition; this one, Amateur, is about his attempts to learn to box in order to fight in a charity match at Madison Square Garden. (He di...

  • Dominic

    This is the kind of book I wish I could have written and maybe still will. And when I do write my book about masculinity, I will credit Thomas Page McBee along with bell hooks (and her moving call to ...

  • James

    This is an important book that will likely not be read widely enough.The writing is great. He's a journalist and that shows in the style, but he's also a natural storyteller and that shows too, especi...

  • Julie Giehl

    This one is going to sit with me for awhile. Ann Friedman’s back of the book review calls it a warm hug, and it is. I loved his writing style, his ability to see everything, to face hard truths and ...

  • Courtney Gillette

    If I’m honest, I have little interest in boxing (and perhaps less so in masculinity as a concept), but Thomas Page McBee is such a talent, I’d follow him anywhere. This is a generous and tender st...

  • Maggie Dziong

    Superbly well written and insightful, a pleasure to read. Thomas explores the subject of masculinity with great openness and vulnerability. As a woman I found it very interesting to read, and it certa...

  • Randy Bretzin

    The hunks of truth, contained within ‘Amateur’, weigh in with such power and necessity - delivered with such graceful empathy and self-awareness; its authority is impossible to deny. The world is ...

  • Punfiend

    It was an excellent read. Insightful and I'm glad to have gained some of Thomas' point of view....