He was part of a ruined generation of young men coddled by their parents – by their mothers especially – raised on unearned self-esteem, in a bubble of overaffection, in a sad incubator of phony achievement.

“Men like you never had to fight, so you have no fight in you,” she said. “Men like you grow up flaccid and weak,” she said. “Men like you are milk-fed veal.”