Today the American family is under siege as never before. From the dramatic rise in illegitimacy, divorce, cohabitation, and single parenthood to the call for recognition of gay marriages, the traditional nuclear family is being radically challenged and undermined, along with the moral and legal consensus that once supported it. Many think it doesn't matter whether we preserve the nuclear family. Some even argue that its dissolution is a good thing - a liberation from repressive patriarchal authority. William J. Bennett maintains that, to the contrary, the dissolution of the American family is the fundamental crisis of our time. Americans like to think they are free to reinvent every aspect of family life without social or personal consequences. Yet, far from being strictly a matter of private choice, the integrity of families is, Bennett shows, a strong and legitimate interest of society at large. And, he argues, the monogamous nuclear family is not a repressive patriarchal institution, but quite the opposite: a precious and hard-won historical achievement, one that safeguards the interests of men, women, and children as no other arrangement yet devised. Rising above the jeremiads characteristic of so much contemporary public debate, The Broken Hearth provides a powerful affirmation of family life and the matchless benefits it bestows on individuals and society as a whole.More
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