Man of the House: A Handbook for Building a Shelter That Will Last in a World That Is Falling Apart by C. R. Wiley

(Eugene: Resource, 2017), 139


  • "Without a father there is no family." (ix)


  • we need to build the household because it small and in our control, rather than big and remote (xiii)
  • a household is a general-purpose institution (xvii)

The Framework of a Household

Chapter 1 - Covenants

  • technological progress can mask regression in other areas --> read old books (3)
  • marriage is the foundation of the household (7)

Chapter 2 - One Flesh

  • the household is the most basic community (polis) of all (15)

Chapter 3 - The Economy of Love

  • the household economy is based on giving (of ourselves) (20-21)
  • within a household, a man and a woman enjoy a sheltered space that makes it possible for them to fully give themselves to each other (21)

Household Economics

Chapter 4 - Property

  • you need to acquire and maintain productive property
  • productive property gives the household economy something to work on together (30)
  • productive property gives us roots, develops virtue, and provides shelter (31-32)

Chapter 5 - Work

  • ownership is freedom and wage earners are not owners (39)
  • owning productive property is as close as you can get to real economic security (40)
  • if you earn a wage, at least make it a trade school for you to learn marketable skills (43)
  • general competence (in the categories of mechanical skills, organizational skills, people skills, and aesthetics) is essential if you want to master freedom (44)
  • a household can (should be able to?) do many things well enough (44)

Chapter 6 - Help

  • have children

Household Polity

Chapter 7 - Justice

  • justice depends on respect, and people possess authority because they are authors (68)
  • the best way to reinvest household headship with authority is by giving households something worthwhile to do, and everything is at stake in the household (71)
  • umbilical cord: before you can adjudicate interests you need to separate people (75)

Chapter 8 - Gravitas

  • get gravitas through self-mastery, knowledge, and glory

Chapter 9 - Piety

  • first, set yourself apart: you are the priest of your house (95)
  • second, honor others
  • third, institute and guard symbols of authority

Outside the House

Chapter 10 - The Principalities

  • stay put and contribute to the common good (106)
  • take back responsibility from the government (and prepare for the day when the government cannot provide what it now does) (110)

Chapter 11 - Friendship

  • to be happy in our houses, we shouldn't expect too much from the people we live with (115)
  • true friends are drawn by goodness itself, and mediated by the Church (122)

Chapter 12 - Legacy

  • the true wealth of a healthy household is the productive capacity of its members (125)
  • we should strive to give our children virtue

Topic: Manhood


Notes started: 2019-05-30
Last updated: 2022-12-04-Sun