Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Umm...I Thnk Not, 29 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Way We Really are: Coming to Terms with America's Changing Families (Paperback)
I enjoyed Ms. Coontz's previous book but found this one a disappointmet. "The past wasn't what we think it was and anyway we can't go back", is a useful starting point for debate on any social topic. The question on everyone's mind then becomes, "So what should we do now?". And unfortunately the author never addresses the fundamental of what might make for a good family. Why do people look back at the 50s as a golden age? Forget every television image and false theory, concentrate instead on two variables: parental involvement as measured by time and continuity of environment.
If Ms. Coontz had confined herself to these I think she would found her answer to why many people think children today are being shortchanged. Forget the question of whether such families are led by gays, lesbians, single parents, people who have remarried, etc. The fact is parents spend much less time today with their children, by all measures, and there's much less continuity whatever the situation.
"This is how things are today, deal with it", is not a solution or even a very sophisticated description of the problem. If one can imagine a world of diverse families it still stands to reason that the basic needs of children are probably similar and the author might spend some time spelling out what they are. That book has yet to be written. There's no reason a progressive couldn't write such a book but he or she would need a lot of courage.
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A Customer