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Marriage and Caste in America: Seperate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age
     

Marriage and Caste in America: Seperate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age

by Kay S. Hymowitz
 

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A generation ago Americans undertook a revolutionary experiment to redefine marriage. Where historically men and women had sought a loving bond, largely centered on the rearing of children, the new arrangement called for an intimate—and provisional—union of two adults. Now, as Kay Hymowitz argues in Marriage and Caste in America, the results of this

Overview

A generation ago Americans undertook a revolutionary experiment to redefine marriage. Where historically men and women had sought a loving bond, largely centered on the rearing of children, the new arrangement called for an intimate—and provisional—union of two adults. Now, as Kay Hymowitz argues in Marriage and Caste in America, the results of this experiment separating marriage from childrearing are in, and they turn out to be bad news not only for children but also, in ways little understood, for the country as a whole. The family revolution has played a central role in a growing inequality and high rates of poverty, even during economic good times. The family upheaval has hit African-Americans especially hard, Ms. Hymowitz shows, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan had famously predicted it would. While for decades feminists and academics toyed with the myth of the strong single black mother supported by kinship networks, black men drifted into fatherhood without being husbands, without even becoming part of a family, while black children were left behind. When Americans began their family revolution, they forgot to consider what American marriage was designed to do: it ordered lives by giving the young a meaningful life script. It supported middle-class foresight, planning, and self-sufficiency. And it organized men and women around "The Mission"—nurturing their children's cognitive, emotional, and physical development. More than anything, Ms. Hymowitz writes, it is The Mission that separates middle-class kids—who for all their overscheduling are doing very well indeed—from their less-parented and lower-achieving peers. In fact our great family experiment threatens to turn what the founders imagined as an opportunity-rich republic of equal citizens into a hereditary caste society.

Editorial Reviews

World - Dr. Marvin Olasky
Kay Hymowitz thoughtfully takes on the minimalists who say a marriage is just a shack-up plus a piece of paper. Her elegant essays show that marriage is an essential culture-preserver, poverty-fighter, and life-improver.
Theodore Dalrymple
America could save itself a lot of trouble by paying attention to what [Hymowitz] writes.
Ron Haskins
A sobering investigation of the widening gap in the American social structure that's being caused by new attitudes toward marriage.
The Wall Street Journal - Charlotte Hays
The most fascinating (but grimmest) sections...deal with child-rearing skills in unmarried America.
New York Post - Christine B. Whelan
Marriage and Caste in America should provoke serious thought about how marriage has become a class issue—and what we can do about it.
The New York Times - David Brooks
Essential.
The American Conservative - Cheryl Miller
Hymowitz provides an arresting diagnosis of American social ills.
COMMENTARY - Lisa Schiffren
Hymowitz has the gift of being able to convey complicated ideas, theories, and history in lucid and witty language.
The Weekly Standard - Claudia Anderson
A short and readable volume.... Hymowitz has surely contributed...to creating the present hopeful moment for mainstream America.
Front Page Magazine - David Forsmark
Kay Hymowitz makes a persuasive case in Marriage and Caste in America that the best social program is actually marriage.
First Things - W Bradford Wilcox
Beautifully written tour de force of contemporary American family life.
Evening Bulletin - Gregory J. Sullivan
Powerful...unflinching...analysis of this crisis of the black abandonment of marriage.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger
[A] fascinating and informational [book] that you ought to read.
WORLD - Marvin Olasky
Kay Hymowitz thoughtfully takes on the minimalists who say a marriage is just a shack-up plus a piece of paper. Her elegant essays show that marriage is an essential culture-preserver, poverty-fighter, and life-improver.
New York Post
Marriage and Caste in America should provoke serious thought about how marriage has become a class issue—and what we can do about it.
— Christine B. Whelan
New York Times
Essential.
— Brooks, David
Commentary
Hymowitz has the gift of being able to convey complicated ideas, theories, and history in lucid and witty language.
— Lisa Schiffren
Front Page Magazine
Kay Hymowitz makes a persuasive case in Marriage and Caste in America that the best social program is actually marriage.
— David Forsmark
Book Review Digest
[The author] has the gift of being able to convey complicated ideas, theories, and history in language that is lucid and-most precious of all in discussions of marriage and family-witty. It is a pleasure to read her essays....an intelligent, compelling case....Clear and forceful conclusions about what is missing from the impoverished lives that she describes so well.
Newsobserver.Com
Hymowitz cogently lays out a case that when it comes to reducing poverty, economics and family structure can't be separated.
First Things
Beautifully written tour de force of contemporary American family life.
— W Bradford Wilcox
Evening Bulletin
Powerful...unflinching...analysis of this crisis of the black abandonment of marriage.
— Gregory J. Sullivan
The Wall Street Journal
The most fascinating (but grimmest) sections...deal with child-rearing skills in unmarried America.
— Charlotte Hays
The New York Times
Essential.
— David Brooks
The Weekly Standard
A short and readable volume.... Hymowitz has surely contributed...to creating the present hopeful moment for mainstream America.
— Claudia Anderson
Newsobserver.com
Hymowitz cogently lays out a case that when it comes to reducing poverty, economics and family structure can't be separated.
World
Kay Hymowitz thoughtfully takes on the minimalists who say a marriage is just a shack-up plus a piece of paper. Her elegant essays show that marriage is an essential culture-preserver, poverty-fighter, and life-improver.
— Dr. Marvin Olasky, editor–in–chief
Wall Street Journal
The most fascinating (but grimmest) sections...deal with child-rearing skills in unmarried America.
— Charlotte Hays
Steve Goddard's History Wire
Hymowitz...has concluded that the family revolution [is both] bad news for children [and] has had the effect of stratifying the country as a whole.
The American Conservative
Hymowitz provides an arresting diagnosis of American social ills.
— Cheryl Miller
Today's Machine World
A strong case for the value of marriage.
Weekly Standard
A short and readable volume.... Hymowitz has surely contributed...to creating the present hopeful moment for mainstream America.
— Claudia Anderson

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781566637534
Publisher:
Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
Publication date:
11/25/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
1495
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 8.32(h) x 0.57(d)

What People are Saying About This

Laura Schlessinger
[A] fascinating and informational [book] that you ought to read.

Meet the Author

Kay S. Hymowitz is the author of Liberation's Children and Ready or Not, and has written extensively on education and childhood in America in articles for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the New Republic, among other publications. She is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute in New York City and a contributing editor of City Journal. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and three children.

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