Pub. Date:
University of California Press
On Our Own

On Our Own

by Melissa Ludtke


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The U.S. has experienced a dramatic increase in births to unmarried women in recent decades-from 4% of births in 1950, with most of the babies then adopted, to more than 30% today. Melissa Ludtke's book is the only in-depth analysis of this radical change in family formation to compare and contrast the lives of these mothers of varying ages and economic circumstances.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520218307
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 03/01/1999
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 488
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.13(d)

About the Author

Melissa Ludtke is a journalist. While researching and writing On Our Own she had fellowships at Harvard, Radcliffe, and the Columbia School of Journalism.

What People are Saying About This

Carol Gilligan

Ludtke brings the voices of women having children on their own into a public debate from which these voices have been conspicuously absent. Interweaving their voices with her own savvy and intuitive commentary, she has written a vitally important book. -- Author of In a Different Voice

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On Our Own 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
ON OUR OWN examines two groups of unmarried mothers, who are increasing in numbers every year. The author brings together solid research and some insightful interviews with Murphy-Brown older, educated women, as well as with young, uneducated women, who are choosing or have chosen to have babies out of wedlock. It's difficult to put one's emotions aside reading this material, but if you can, you'll find that the 'obvious' solutions to the problem of unwed motherhood aren't so obvious after all. Most disturbing is the portrait of the teenage mothers, who feel that having a baby will be the one thing they can do right and get respect for accomplishing--and a number of them who choose to assert power over their bodies in this way are victims of sexual abuse. Clearly, until we start paying some attention to these underprivileged girls' needs before they get pregnant, no amount of 'just say no' rhetoric is going to affect them. The stories of the older women having children are just as provocative, and underlying these women's decision to adopt, go to a sperm bank, or have a male friend inseminate them with no obligations, is an unavailability of eligible partners. Are these women really unmarriageable, or does their common plight point out something about American men's attitudes toward marriage and childrearing? It's unfortunate that the book is such a daunting length, but even if you find yourself skimming a bit, it's worth reading to explore this very important subject.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is very well written and interesting. It covers a lot of ground that seems to be overlooked in our society. I think it would be extremely beneficial to young, single mothers (approx. 15 - 24) and also to older, single mothers (approx. 35+). However, if you fall between these ages, you may want to find a different book. We are almost completely left out...