At a time when some would argue that fatherhood and manhood have become endangered concepts, The Inside Ride: A Journey to Manhood (Nicolas-Hays Inc.) by Dr. Donald Cohen and his father Dr. Max Cohen offers an extended and fearless exploration on the meaning of manhood in contemporary Western culture.
The extensive letter exchange between Donald and Max, tracing Donald’s life from childhood to adulthood, demonstrates intimacy and honesty in analyzing and exploring the often-tumultuous events of their lives. Trained in two different psychological disciplines, their interaction provides the reader with a look at the complexity of growing up in America’s fast-changing culture, offering invaluable insights for both children and parents.
Donald explains, “Thirty-eight years ago, my father and I wrote a series of letters to one other. We published these letters in our book My Father, My Son. There was a strong desire to explore our relationship, and document the stages of development between a father and son. We both felt that it could be helpful to us and sharing these personal letters would benefit other people.”
“When my father was 85, we renewed our process. I wrote to my father, inviting him to take another quest with me, being aware that it would be our last opportunity to engage each other in this way. Several weeks went by with no response, and he tentatively and sadly acknowledged that due to his failing health he couldn’t write anymore.”
“Each time I wrote, I would drive the letter from Connecticut to Long Island for his reply. In his glass-enclosed back porch, on the white chair that was formerly my mother’s cherished spot, he would dictate his thoughtful response.”
Cohen adds, “My rivalry with my father was similar to Freud and Jung, but I learned to accept our differences and embrace our similarities.”
“The reader may be touched by the genuine mutual caring and respect, which enables them both to seek and offer understanding and compassion,” says Jungian psychoanalyst Joseph P. Wagenseller, D.Min., LP, former Chair of the American Board for Accreditation in Psychoanalysis. “Reminiscences from both father and son facilitate warmth and reconciliation. This book may offer a template for readers as we reflect on our own parent-child experiences.”
“Your heart will embrace your own child or parent as meaningful moments of revelation jump off the page,” says author Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D.