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The Divorce Culture: Rethinking Our Commitments to Marriage and Family (Vintage) [Paperback]

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Item description for The Divorce Culture: Rethinking Our Commitments to Marriage and Family (Vintage) by Barbara Dafoe Whitehead...

When historian and social critic Barbara Dafoe Whitehead first cast her eye on divorce--in an "Atlantic Monthly" article entitled "Dan Quayle Was Right"--she provoked a firestorm of media debate. Here, she has deepened and broadened her view of an American institution in a book of watershed importance.

Publishers Description
the author's Atlantic Monthly article "Dan Quayle Was Right" ignited a media debate on the effects of divorce that rages still. In this book she expands her argument, making it clear Americans need to strengthen their resolve with regard to divorce prevention, new ways of thinking about marriage, and a new consciousness about the meaning of committment. 240 pp. Author tour. Radio satellite tour. 60,000 print.

"From the Hardcover edition."

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Vintage
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.9" Width: 5" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 3, 1998
Publisher   Vintage
Edition  Vintage Books  
ISBN  0679751688  
ISBN13  9780679751687  

Availability  1 units.
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More About Barbara Dafoe Whitehead

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Award-winning journalist BARBARA DAFOE WHITEHEAD writes about social issues for numerous national publications. She holds a Ph.D. in American social history from the University of Chicago and currently serves as the codirector of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University. The author of "The Divorce Culture, she lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

"From the Hardcover edition.

Barbara Dafoe Whitehead currently resides in Amherst, in the state of Massachusetts. Barbara Dafoe Whitehead was born in 1944.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences
3Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Family Relationships > Divorce
4Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Divorce Culture: Rethinking Our Commitments to Marriage and Family (Vintage)?

a thoughtful discussion of 80% of the pertinent issues  Feb 24, 2008
Does a fine job of reviewing the role that feminist ideology and lesbian propaganda had in causing women to develop a selfish and utilitarian view of marriage and parenting; does an outstanding job in exposing the psychological and social pathology this has created in the children of the baby boomers who assumed this view. However, it seems to glance over the factors which caused MEN to accept disposable marriage as the norm; in my opinion there are two that are most salient:

1. Hollywood - both the on-screen glamorization of extramarital affairs (Love is a Many-Splendored Thing, Coming Home) and the coy, winking discussion in the popular press about the off-screen marital antics of the likes of Elizabeth Taylor.

2. the trophy wife phenomenon among executives and entrepreneurs - Not only the acquiescence to, but the actual participation in this routine by Republican politicians has allowed their political opponents to expose them as hypocrites when they claim to be the only political voice of those who wish to maintain religion-based moral standards in public life. This results in those who wish to maintain these standards really having no political champions at all; as a consequence, I believe that this is the greatest single factor contributing to moral decay in modern American life.

We need more books like this one.
Completely mind-opening  Feb 10, 2003
This book examines families for what they are supposed to be -- stable institutions for the raising of children. Of course, when there is abuse, whether it be chemical, physical, sexual, or emotional, a family cannot function properly. But when parents get divorced to find "personal fulfillment," they do so at the great expense of their children and ultimately society. The book argues for putting children's needs above parents' wants. It's a bit radical, because I believe most of us think of marriages in terms of strictly romance, and when that romance is gone, so is the marriage.

The book examines how the easy culture of divorce leads into other areas of life -- how we divorce friends, family, and jobs much quicker than we used to. But has this great pursuit of happiness, under the guise of divorce, really made us happier? It's taught us that when the going gets rough, it's time to say good-bye. The book examines what happens to children after divorce, and overwhelmingly the children are much worse emotionally and financially, no matter what we want to believe.

My husband of 20 years filed for divorce four months ago (we have four children, all under the age of 14). A friend to whom I will forever remain indebted "made" us both read this book. It simply changed our lives. We've quit being selfish and have resolved to stick by for better AND for worse. Life is far from perfect, but I am 100% certain that all our lives are better now than they would be during and after the turmoil of divorce. The book argues that when children are involved, a home is broken, and since home is a critical element in a child's self-esteem, there is no doubt that a child's self-esteem is affected as well.

Ms. Whitehead deserves a Pulitzer Prize for daring to say what needs to be said to protect our world's most precious commodity: our children. This should be an absolute must-read for anyone even contemplating divorce.

After the Divorce, who is really happy?  Jul 11, 2000
I selected this book for a graduate class book report on socio-economic issues that effect education. As an educator, I applaud Whitehead's frank discussion of the stakeholders in the divorce culture; not only the child, but society as well. One place I found evidence of this "culture" is the Texas Attorney General's web site for child support. We have state and federal programs to identify paternity and laws to make absentee parents accountable. As a divorcee, but without children, I was moved by Whitehead's discussion of the search for happiness. When their are children involved, whose happiness can we celebrate?
The truth hurts  Oct 26, 1999
One reader criticizes the book as being "moralistic". Darn straight, and it's about time, too. Superb book that challenges the reader to take a long, cold, hard look at the reality of divorce. Of course, those that feel threatened by such a challenge won't "like" it very much, but then again, such a book is not meant to be "liked". It's meant to educate.
This book makes clear all the real truths about divorce.  Oct 1, 1999
As a divorced man, I had thoughts and beliefs that my divorce was unnecessary and could have been avoided. This book verified all that I had been thinking about divorce. At the current rate, divorce has serious potential to destroy the very fabric that our society is built on. If you are considering a divorce or are getting divorced, read this book! It is in the best interest to save every marriage that we can.

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