Review by Choice Review
In eight concise essays, Hymowitz (Manhattan Institute) persuasively argues that intractable poverty, particularly in black communities, is best explained by unwed child rearing. Generations of fatherless children beget generations of drifting adults without the personal traits required to fulfill the "mission" of child-centered family life: grooming children to become stable, disciplined, future-oriented, well-educated, self-governing citizens. The author contends that although it has been torn asunder by the 1960s sexual revolution, feminism, the glorification of individual freedom and victimhood, and the refusal of both black and white political/policy leaders to address the parenting void in the lower classes, marriage remains the cultural institution that best protects children from neglect and fatalism. Despite gazillions of words written about, and tax dollars spent on, Head Start programs and early childhood interventions, teen counseling, and birth control availability, society has never found a successful, structural substitute for married parents committed to the well-being of their children. Though gays may be offended, Hymowitz asserts that society divorces marriage from procreation and its attending duties at its own peril. But there is hope. The values of Generation Xers seem more like those of their grandparents than those crazy boomers. Even rappers are beginning to change their rap. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers through professionals/practitioners; all libraries. J. McBrearty formerly, Bluegrass Community College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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