This introduction presents an overview of key concepts covered in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book examines what the authors view as some of the more recurring and tenacious male types as they have emerged out of history, literature, lore, and popular culture over the last century into this. It is a roll call that is not exhaustive. Indeed, there can be no such list, as these types are perpetually mobile and permeable. Take, for example, the playboy as seen through the lens of James Bond: there is a marked difference between the Bond played by Pierce Brosnan and that by Daniel Craig. But somehow the image, the conception of the playboy, while irreducible, remains coherent and intact. These studies traverse the history, the paragons, the circumstances, the literature, the narratives, and the images that have all contributed to one or another male identity.