Joined at the Heart: The Transformation of the American Family

Joined at the Heart: The Transformation of the American Family

by Tipper Gore, Al Gore
     
 

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Al and Tipper Gore have long considered family their bedrock. They've also spent many years studying the American family in depth, and now, in this provocative and personal book, they explore the myriad ways in which the idea of family is being redefined.

Over the past two generations, cultural shifts and economic pressures have profoundly affected every

Overview

Al and Tipper Gore have long considered family their bedrock. They've also spent many years studying the American family in depth, and now, in this provocative and personal book, they explore the myriad ways in which the idea of family is being redefined.

Over the past two generations, cultural shifts and economic pressures have profoundly affected every family in the nation: balancing work and family now poses a bigger challenge than ever before, day-care and after-school child care programs are too often dangerously inadequate, and new technological advancements have dramatically changed the ways we communicate. But if many of the traditional landmarks by which families formerly steered their course have disappeared, change has also opened up exciting possibilities, yiedling an explosion of new familiy forms and novel solutions to age old problems.

In this penetrating and moving exploration of the contemporary family landscape, the Gores share stories drawn form thier own experiences, as well as introduce us to a dozen other families they have come to know over the years. combining personal insight and expert opinions, historical and global perspectives, Joined at the Heart identifies an emerging reality - and demonstrates that, in the face of unprecedented and overwhelming change, the inherent need for famlly is stronger than ever.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
Two post-vice presidential books, the first examining both how families have changed and what new opportunities are presented and the second representing the family in images by famous photographers. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The former veep and his wife examine the American family and its metamorphosis since 1960. In the last two generations, the Gores write, the classic American nuclear family has undergone a number of changes. Families are forming later, they�re more diverse, the divorce rate has doubled, and a higher percentage of mothers are working outside the home. The Gores profile a different family at the opening of each chapter and cite complementary examples from existing scholarship. The study works best when they let the families reflect on their experiences. While creating a garden in an abandoned North Philadelphia lot, Lily Yeh gained a nontraditional "family" made up of artists and community activists, a mosaic of "the people that nobody wants, the disenfranchised," she remarks. Other profiles include John Coon and Josh Tuerk, who have adopted two baby boys and define family as "Love. Sharing. Responsibility. Contentment." In the section on "Play" (all the chapter titles are similarly broad), the Gores draw on their own history. During the 1992 presidential campaign, Al appeared on Larry King Live. Watching from her hotel room while campaigning in another city, Tipper called the show, disguising her voice, and told Al he "was really cute and would he go out on a date with her?" After Al�s jaw dropped and Larry began to stammer, Tipper told them who she was. This pleasant anecdote about the importance of play is swiftly overwhelmed with quotes from Plato, opinions from clinical psychologists, and advice from dozens of academics. The format quickly becomes wearying. We are offered a "history of family" that begins with the evolution of the species on the African savannah and ends approximately20 pages later with American settlers. Perhaps The Spirit of Family, a collection of photographs they selected and that is being published simultaneously, has more personality. Doesn�t add anything to the existing literature and feels like promotional material for the Gores� annual Family Re-Union conference. (9 photos, not seen; resources list)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781559277655
Publisher:
Macmillan Audio
Publication date:
11/12/2002
Edition description:
Abridged
Pages:
6
Product dimensions:
5.02(w) x 6.12(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Not enough time. Not enough energy. Not enough sleep. Faced with too many competing demands, many families find they simply don't have enough hours in the day to give both work and family their absolute best. With record
numbers of parents putting in stunningly long-and steadily increasing-hours at the workplace, the hard truth is that in America work and family are wildly out of balance. Work is important, but so is family. We want good jobs, good incomes, and a strong economy. But we also want strong families, good marriages, and the chance to be good parents to our children. We want a decent night's sleep and time with loved ones and friends. In short, we want well-rounded lives that are fulfilling both at work and with our families.

The realization that there is no easy way to achieve this goal is beginning to sink in. To bring our lives back into balance, we must do more than decide how much we value our families: for most people, that's not difficult at all. The real challenge is measuring the relative values of work and family and then manifesting those values in our daily lives.

Meet the Author

Al Gore is the former Vice President of the United States and author of the New York Times bestseller Earth in the Balance. During twenty-five years of public service, he has made the family a priority by fighting for programs and policies that are responsive to the needs of families and communities.

Tipper Gore has served as advisor to the President on Mental Health Policy and was special advisor to the Interagency Council on the Homeless during her husband;s years in the White House. She worked as a photojournalist for the Tennessean; Picture This, a collection of her photographs was published in 1996. Her first book, Raising PG Kids in an X-rated Society, was published in 1987.

Together, the Gores have organized an annual two-day forum called "Family Re-Union," now in its eleventh year. They have four children and two grand-children, and live in Nashville, Tennessee.

Read by the authors.

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