American Family: Discovering the Values That Make Us Strong

Overview

In this book, Dan Quayle, America's 44th Vice President, introduces us to five American families who speak bluntly - and often poignantly - about the values that give them strength. Quayle and his collaborator, psychologist Diane Medved, journeyed thousands of miles to meet with and interview a diverse mix of families. Liberal and conservative; Christian and non-Christian; black, white, and mixed race - these families till the rich Virginia soil, walk the streets of East L.A., grapple with single motherhood, ...
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Overview

In this book, Dan Quayle, America's 44th Vice President, introduces us to five American families who speak bluntly - and often poignantly - about the values that give them strength. Quayle and his collaborator, psychologist Diane Medved, journeyed thousands of miles to meet with and interview a diverse mix of families. Liberal and conservative; Christian and non-Christian; black, white, and mixed race - these families till the rich Virginia soil, walk the streets of East L.A., grapple with single motherhood, confront racial hatred, and learn to live with disabilities. They are us. And in these pages they gather around dining-room tables and backyard barbecues to reveal the truth about what it takes to keep a marriage intact (or to keep going when, despite best efforts, it falls apart), to raise happy kids who make something of themselves, and to build community even in difficult circumstances.

Former Vice President Dan Quayle once again speaks out about family values in this book that probes into the lives of five remarkable families to show America what it's doing right. In identifying the factors that led to the success of these families, Quayle and Medved, a noted psychologist, lay out the first comprehensive agenda for bolstering the American family. 8 pp. color photos. 304 pp. National ads, publicity. $50,000 marketing. 100,000 print.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Quayle and Medved (The Case Against Divorce, LJ 5/1/89) consider five families that have surmounted challenges from gang violence to health crisis.
Kirkus Reviews
With psychologist Medved (The Case Against Divorce, not reviewed, etc.), Quayle reboots the controversy stirred by his 1992 speech that included criticism of the television character Murphy Brown.

The vice president faulted Brown for "mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another `lifestyle choice.' " Quayle continues the argument here, defending family values via five affirmative profiles of families. Quayle writes in support of strong, "intact" families, meaning families with a father present. Nevertheless, the families interviewed for this book include one headed by a divorced mother of five children who illustrates the important role community and support networks can play. The other families are ethnically and economically diverse, ranging from Caucasian farm owners in rural Virginia to a Hispanic family in East Los Angeles, African-Americans in Chicago, and an entrepreneurial clan in Hawaii. The authors say they looked for "healthy" families, with children who were going to make it, sans drugs, alcohol abuse, and violence, in an attempt to identify the qualities that made families succeed. Parents, children, and extended family members were interviewed by both Quayle and Medved, who have recorded some moving stories. Among the values these families share that the authors believe to be essential are: A belief in giving priority to the children (without indulging them); practicing mutual respect; the presence of religious beliefs; and the cultivation of extended family and community support. The families also place a major emphasis on securing a good education (and on strictly limiting the time their children watch TV).

Recommended reinforcement for families already on the road to success, but unlikely to break through to those struggling with the moral, economic, social, and philosophical confusions of the new millennium.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060928100
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 3/28/1997
  • Pages: 304

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 The New Consensus 1
2 The De La Rosa Family of East L.A. 13
3 The Wallace Family of Indianapolis 73
4 The Burns Family of Hawaii 119
5 The Cowden Family of Bath County, Virginia 173
6 The Burtin Family of Chicago 211
7 Preserve, Protect, and Defend: Advancing the Values of America's Families 269
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