• Sovereignty

  • By: Ryan Michler
  • Narrated by: Ryan Michler
  • Length: 5 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (1,166 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Every man is born with just one thing: his sovereignty - his power to respond to his environment and his circumstances. Unfortunately, most men have spent much of their lives giving away that sovereignty. Every time a man passes blame or shirks his responsibility, every time he makes excuses for his performance, and every time he trades his unlimited potential for a little perceived safety and security, he willingly submits himself to the mercy of others.

Is it any wonder that men, in general, seem to have lost their way? You don't have to look very far to recognize that men don't seem to possess the same amount of vigor and purpose they once did. Take one sobering statistic - the rate of suicide in men - and you begin to see how damaging the effects of the voluntary subjugation of men to their families, their businesses, and their governments can be.

It's not hard to understand why we give up control to others - it's easy and we're expected to. Sovereignty: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Men is a call for men to once again rise up and establish themselves as they once were - a revolution if you will.

Inside this book, we'll uncover the battle each man will inevitably engage in, the external forces fighting against the call to masculinity, and the internal struggle all men must overcome.

But make no mistake, this revolution is not a call for men to go their own way and rally against society. It's a call for men to become fully the men they are meant to be so they may more adequately take care of themselves and those they are responsible for. Men have always been expected to protect, provide, and preside over themselves, their families, their businesses, and their communities.

©2018 Ryan Michler (P)2018 Ryan Michler

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Swing and a miss

I purchased this book based on a recommendation from a friend, who sold it to me as “What it is to be a man.” Interesting, I thought. I remember the speech my grandfather gave me when I was maybe only twelve years old on chivalry, etiquette, table manners, and how to shake a hand. I had so much hope that the book would similarly address a specific ethos or code for young men to aspire to; something that has traditionally been passed on by fathers, father figures, coaches, teachers, mentors and other strong role models for ages. I was hoping for a modern update to the education I received from my grandfather, my father, my step father- this is definitely not that.

The overwhelming impression I got from the first couple hours of this book was infomercial. While I don’t think he narration provided by Michler is terrible, he speaks with the cadence and tone of the “up-seller” we try to avoid while shopping. Strike one.

He gives examples of men driving minivans with loud kids and nagging wives who have essentially “given up their sovereignty” (my only assumption is that is his target audience) followed by snapshots of his life now that he’s regained his sovereignty. Basically, Michler is showing you the before and after Polaroid for OxyClean but with masculinity. Strike two.

Lastly, this book strikes such a causal tone, he could have added “Bro”, “Dude” and “Buddy” with a relatively short interval and you wouldn’t have noticed.

“Dude, she almost divorced me. But I made up my mind and changed myself. And you can too Bro. Now I’m married with a beautiful family and successful financial business. You got this, Buddy.”

He builds up with his past stories of battles at home and at work, citing a failing marriage, his family torn apart, and a failing career. The stories are honest but Michler makes the jumps so quickly from telling you about his problems to giving you his “solution” (spoiler alert: you’re in charge of you’re own actions- that’s basically it) that it really does not connect with me at all. He tries to make it relatable but for me, it just fails miserably. Strike three.

I do think Michler did a good good job of keeping this away from being chauvinistic. Respect remains a key concept even when acknowledging gender roles accepted by most as traditional (but not set in stone). Sovereignty seems like a forced term for a concept of self responsibility and ownership.

Michler’s honest portrayal of his experiences adds a measure of authenticity. His stories about his experience in the military speak to his honor, training and drive. Maybe this book just wasn’t written for me- I’m 32, happily married with a son on the way and have worked the better part of a decade as a Firefighter and Paramedic.
Maybe I was lucky and grandpa taught me the right things and the right age, learned early on to do the right thing, learned to own my own actions, and that integrity is above all else. Or maybe I just haven’t lost my sovereignty yet. Either way, for me, this book just struck out.

38 people found this helpful

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A Real Man Avoids This Book

If you read the title for this book and think, "finally a book that says some real sh*t and has a real path to figure out life", prepare to be disappointed. Not only does this books "path" to life reside in much better written books, "unf*ck yourself" and "the subtle art of not giving a f*ck", but it has a tendency to contradict and reiterate the same points, over and over.

Two main examples:
1. The author points to the fact that you should discern all sources of information. A mark of a true man is to be able to not take information at face value, but chapters before this, he sites a facebook post of people adding sugar to gas tanks and his revulsion that anyone would do this, using this as an example that men/ the world has gone astray. He mentions in the comments of this facebook post that people actually did this, but he has to realize that these are trolls on the internet, not real people doing this. To me this is a mark of a dumb man; why would you take facebook comments at face value?

2. I think he mentions his weight loss like 5 times to make several different points. This is a sign of a writer who did not have enough material to make a book. Plain and simple. You lost 50lbs, clap clap clap. MOVE ON.

But really my biggest problem with this book is that it is vague. There are no citations to back up claims, like the suicide stat that is mentioned, the crime stat that is mentioned, etc. His substance is on personal opinions of the world and his own fears, rather than true and factual arguments. He wants you to believe that the world is some crap shoot, that men have changed for the worse, but there is not real evidence to show that. SO either you have to believe that yourself (to which this book may be useful) or you will be turned off by the non-factual bull that is in every chapter. His world may be gutless, his world may be filled with men that are not living to his standard, but I know many good men and the world he describes does not reside in this reality. The authors reality is in a fiction world, and that might be the key to HIS (and only his) success.

Also reading speed for this book felt rushed, thats just me, but he seemed to be speed reading his own book at 1x speed. I couldnt really find a comfortable speed for this book to really be able to acknowledge what he was saying. I wish as a book, it was read slower but the narrator.

Using one of his own guides, dont read this books; its full of holes and vague platitudes. Read "unf*ck yourself" and then maybe things will change for you.

11 people found this helpful

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Good, but not the best book on manliness

Pro:
The overall message was good. A lot of good quotes, and a good summary of what "being a man" should be. Its great to have more people fighting back against the current efforts to neutrilize masculinity by culture today. I especially liked the end where he gave concrete ways to put the plans into action.

Cons:
Alot of the calls to actions are straw man arguments. ie "Whoever doesn't do this stuff should put the blinders back on and go back to being sheep".

7 people found this helpful

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Sovereign Thoughts

A little more wordy than it needs to be, could be more concise. I know of some books that keep values more concise and memorable. however appendix materials are excellent

5 people found this helpful

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My new code

Great book to motivate you to make stronger decisions about who you are and how you would like to carry yourself.

5 people found this helpful

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Backed by no science

Book backed by no science and slightly reaching toward old stereotypes of men and women

4 people found this helpful

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Bad advice, don't waste your money.

I couldn't finish, made it to chapter 4 or 5. This reads like an agressive Christian conservative manifesto. The narration is intense and by the first paragraph it becomes very apparent that he is ex-millitary. He starts the book off by assuming things about you that you need to change. But what he descibes is a traditionalist view of a man's place in society. He has some valid points, but too infrequent relative to the bad advice he gives. You'd think with a title like Sovereignty the book would have some kind of huge insight, but it doesn't. He toys with the idea that men aren't allowed to be men anymore and then answers the question with, go be a traditional man anyway. He lost me when he started talking about his unit praying three times a day together and that what was one of the reasons they came out with no casualties.

4 people found this helpful

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Spectacular!!!

If you’re looking for a book that’s no fluff and full of actionable steps, this is the book for you! After hearing Ryan speak at an event, I knew this book was for me! I purchased the audio version for myself and the physical version for my cousin/best friend! POWERFUL!!! You will NOT be disappointed!!!

2 people found this helpful

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dollar store version of Jocko

Feels like a weak version of Jocko Willink. Talks about the Dichotomy of Ownership (Dichotomy of Leadership and Extreme Ownership) and the last section of the book is a summary of The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran. Just feels like somebody who takes ideas from others and then tried to compile them while acting like it's a unique thing.

1 person found this helpful

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Hard to get passed the masogyny

Some decent content about taking control of your life in here if you mentally filter out his prevailing tone that men can have this control because they are men instead of because they are human.

1 person found this helpful

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  • BarefootRonin
  • 04-21-21

A little 'intense' and very American

I got this after watching the author being interviewed on YouTube because he seemed like a cool guy. However, and I accept it could be that I'm not manly enough or too liberal etc but I could only get about 45 mins in before I gave up. I guess it's not for me. I see where the author is coming from and it may very well be helpful to many a man, especially if they are feeling lost or something in their life is broken. However, if you already feel comfortable with who you are and don't aspire to think you need to man-up then do as the author says and "Give away all of your power and put the book down".

Why? Because it was just a little gung-ho and be a manly-man for me. I will not be unfair and suggest it is toxic masculinity etc because I don't think it is. It is a different view of being a man to the one I have and just a little bit 'American' and chest thumpy for this UK mind. I'm far more inspired by David Goggins and Jocko Willink but that could be because I don't lack confidence in who I am... Perhaps that is the difference.

1 person found this helpful

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  • sin sin minkin
  • 08-27-20

Some wisdom...but

This is full of second-hand wisdom. I'm grateful that Ryan Michler pulled it together, but apart from the military tactics, I've heard it better said by Stoicism commentators.

Keep pushing, brothers and sisters.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-26-22

Phenomenal.

If you’re a man (or woman) who wants to take control of your life and future then this is the book for you.

I’ve spent tens of thousands on self development and business programs and courses and this is one of the clearest and easiest to put into action life changing book I’ve ever read.

Outstanding.

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  • Ahmed Abba Aji
  • 03-24-22

Tried and True words rewritten for our times

I say “tried and true rewritten” not to disparage, but to underscore the importance and value of what this book has to offer.

It equips you with the mindset needed to learn to instruct yourself on how to live as man.

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  • yusuf
  • 11-01-21

Great!

For people who want to buy this to read along with the book, I can confirm it’s 100% word for word as written in the book.

As for the book. It was great.

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  • H L Noble
  • 07-01-21

God love Team America

Good production, nice sentiments but o so THE US of Awesomeness. Needs to tone down the Amercianize. Super gung oh and I think a spell in the Seals would help swallow it down.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-21-21

Grateful Thanks Ryan

Excellent, hard truth, no crap. I found this book hard to get thru because it showed me how I was lying to myself about my life. Have to lissen to this book over and over again: good advise from a wise, humble man who s figured it out.

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  • Stephen Pearson
  • 07-22-20

A must for all

Listened to this twice back to back. Great message in this book. Will give this to my children.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-03-20

Recycling information

If you've read or listened to any self-help books in the last 10 years, especially former military authors, a lot of information is already known. However, reciting valuable lessons from the past is certainly powerful. Les we forget the most important ones. Though, certain points don't need elaboration and Ryan tends to keep dragging on certain lessons and their implications in life. I wanted to skip those parts badly.

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  • Ben Connolly
  • 03-07-20

Finally...

Finally a well-written, actionable resource for men to truly become who they need to be. Thank you Ryan.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-08-18

No bullshit motivation

Fantastic direct to the point life changer. Have been a huge order of man and Ryan Michler fan for some time now. Just completed and about to hit play for another go round. Great work Ryan

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rohan Merry
  • 03-02-18

If you are a man read this book

I love this book because it teaches men that we all have tough circumstances however we must take responsibility for what life throws our way.
We need to all work on our daily habits and have the strength to be the men we are supposed to be.

No more wallowing around like victims work hard to provide for our family, keep strong and have integrity.

A wonderful book for men and even women that want to understand a man. I will be reading this with my son a chapter at a time so he gets the lessons.

Thank you Ryan men need more people like you and I am inspired by reading this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-03-22

Clear and to the point

Ryan gives us a battle plan to go to war with ourselves on a daily basis to get to the point we desire, the only thing stopping us. Ourselves

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-12-21

Awesome.

A great book. Some really effective ways to honour yourself and become a better man ✊🏻✊🏻

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  • Shane
  • 09-19-21

amazing book..

one of the best books I've ever listened too..worth buying a hard copy ..great read

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-07-21

A Must For Men

this is such a powerful book every man needs to work through & implement.
thank you for all that you do

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  • Sod Oscarfono
  • 11-08-20

powerful

listened intently from start to finish on a bus trip from auckland to taupo. definitely a wake up call.

cheers Ryan!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-05-20

this book is on point 👌

loved it so much I also brought the hard cover

thank you Ryan michler 🙌🤜🤛

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-19-19

inspiring.

Ryan is without a doubt super pursuasive in his words, this book inspired me to get off my ass and start seeking out a better version of myself. I've been a long time follower or Ryan's OOM and finally took the plunge and brought the book. No regret, highly recommend.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-02-19

Thank you Ryan

I have been listening to Ryan's work for over a year now and the book was just a good as I had hoped.

.