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Joined at the Heart: The Transformation of the American Family

Joined at the Heart: The Transformation of the American Family Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Al and Tipper Gore have long considered family their bedrock. Now, in this provocative and personal book, they explore the myriad ways in which the idea of family is being redefined in America.

Over the past two generations, cultural shifts and economic pressures have profoundly affected every family in the nation: balancing work and family now poses more of a challenge than ever, day care and after-school child-care programs are often dangerously inadequate, and technological advancements have dramatically changed the ways we communicate. But change has also opened up exciting possibilities, yielding an explosion of new family forms and novel solutions to age-old problems.

In this penetrating and moving exploration of the contemporary family landscape, the Gores share stories drawn from their own experiences and those of 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 the human need for family is stronger than ever.

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. He is now a professor at both Fisk University and Middle Tennessee State University, where he teaches "Family-Centered Community Building."

Tipper Gore is an advocate for mental health awareness and served as an Adviser to the President on Mental Health Policy from 1993 to 2001. She worked as a photojournalist for the Tennessean and published a collection of her photographs, Picture This, in 1996. Her first book, Raising PG Kids in an X-Rated Society, was published in 1987.

For the past eleven years, the Gores have organized an annual two-day forum called Family

Re-Union. They have four children and two grandchildren, and live in Nashville, Tennessee.

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

Over the past two generations, new economic pressures, profound cultural changes, and rapid demographic shifts have fundamentally altered the way we live our lives. The work week is longer, balancing work and family is harder than ever, and finding high quality child and elder care is getting increasingly difficult. But if American families can no longer rely on many of the traditional landmarks by which they formerly steered their course, they are finding creative new ways to define, enrich and honor their commitment to the most essential of all relationships.

As they explore the changing nature of the contemporary family, the Gores introduce us to a dozen families they have come to know over the years. Among others, we meet a blended family with six children born to four sets of parents; an interracial family navigating an increasingly accepting world; a gay couple raising two adopted boys; and a divorced couple who organize their lives around caring for their disabled son. The Gores also share stories drawn from their own experiences, and in chapters on such issues as communication, money, play, and resilience, they provide invaluable insight into the ways families are respondingoften with astonishing courage and graceto the extraordinary challenges they face every day.

Combining narrative, expert opinion, and analysis, Al and Tipper Gore have provided an illuminating portrait of the new American family. Joined at the Heart identifies an important emerging realityand demonstrates that, in the face of unprecedented change, our fundamental need for family is stronger than ever.

"In this wise and clear-eyed book, Al and Tipper Gore see all familiessingle parent, blended, gay and lesbian, dual-earner, and breadwinner-homemakeras works in progress. Warmly appreciative of the diversity of ways we are joined at the heart, this book is a call to restore the social ecology on which the American family depends."Arlie Russell Hochschild, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, and author of The Time Bind

"An earnest and sympathetic account of the strains on the modern American family . . . Joined at the Heart talks about the struggle to balance work and family, to build marriages that last, to blend stepchildren and stepparents into a supportive whole, to deal with disability and illness among children and aged parents when everybody is working outside the home . . . In the last chapter the Gores talk about the public policy implications of the book, like the need for universal preschool and more assistance for long-term care."Robin Toner, The New York Times Book Review

"In this wise and clear-eyed book, Al and Tipper Gore see all familiessingle parent, blended, gay and lesbian, dual-earner, and breadwinner-homemakeras works in progress. Warmly appreciative of the diversity of ways we are joined at the heart, this book is a call to restore the social ecology on which the American family depends."Arlie Russell Hochschild, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, and author of The Time Bind

"A remarkable blend of personal memoir, ethnography and research findings. This inspiring, heart-warming, and compelling book will redirect the American conversation away from sterile moralizing toward an approach based on the realism, respect and wisdom that families deserve."Juliet Schor, Professor of Sociology, Boston College, and author of The Overworked American

"This is a warm and wise exploration of the new terrain of family life that also offers practical and compassionate recommendations about how individuals, communities and governments can help support the family. Al and Tipper Gore's love of family is infectious, and their book makes us believe that we can all be joined at the heart."Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Professor of Sociology, University of Washington, and author of Love Between Equals

"This ambitious and hopeful book radiates faith that ordinary people can build strong lives and good communities. The Gores invite everyone to the table, and their circle of caring extends to the whole human family."Dr. Mary Pipher, author of The Middle of Everywhere and Reviving Ophelia

"When politicians speak of family values, I'm often discouraged by how drastically they've missed the boat regarding the real problems American families face: conflicts between the demands of work and home, intolerance of family groups that don't fit the standard mold, and a frightening scarcity of such crucial resources as time, money, housing and good child care. This book is different. It addresses the concerns that truly matter to healthy family life, and is honest about our culture's strengths and weaknesses in supporting our children's rearing."Barbara Kingsolver, author of The Poisonwood Bible

"Here is America's heart and soul embodied in the connected lives of its familiesstories of our citizens told sensitively and thoughtfully by two observers who have together lived the moral and psychological message their book's title means to convey."Robert Coles, author of The Moral Life of Children

"This engagin

Synopsis:

In this moving exploration of the contemporary family landscape, the Gores share stories drawn from their own experiences, as well as introduce readers to a dozen other families they have come to know over the years.

Synopsis:

Al and Tipper Gore have long considered family their bedrock. Now, in this provocative and personal book, they explore the myriad ways in which the idea of family is being redefined in America.

Over the past two generations, cultural shifts and economic pressures have profoundly affected every family in the nation: balancing work and family now poses more of a challenge than ever, day care and after-school child-care programs are often dangerously inadequate, and technological advancements have dramatically changed the ways we communicate. But change has also opened up exciting possibilities, yielding an explosion of new family forms and novel solutions to age-old problems.

In this penetrating and moving exploration of the contemporary family landscape, the Gores share stories drawn from their own experiences and those of 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 the human need for family is stronger than ever.

About 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 his twenty-five years of public service, he fought for programs and policies that are responsive to the needs of families and communities.

Tipper Gore has served as adviser to the president on mental health policy and was special adviser to the Interagency Council on the Homeless for eight years. Together, they organized an annual two-day forum called "Family Re-Union," which is now in its eleventh year. They have four children and two grandchildren, and live in Nashville,

Tennessee.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805074505
Subtitle:
The Transformation of the American Family
Publisher:
Holt Paperbacks
Author:
Gore, Al
Author:
Gore, Tipper
Subject:
General
Subject:
Family Relationships
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20031101
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
15 bandw illustrations
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8.88 x 5.75 x 1.00 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Sociology » Children and Family

Joined at the Heart: The Transformation of the American Family
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Product details 432 pages Owl Books (NY) - English 9780805074505 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this moving exploration of the contemporary family landscape, the Gores share stories drawn from their own experiences, as well as introduce readers to a dozen other families they have come to know over the years.
"Synopsis" by ,
Al and Tipper Gore have long considered family their bedrock. Now, in this provocative and personal book, they explore the myriad ways in which the idea of family is being redefined in America.

Over the past two generations, cultural shifts and economic pressures have profoundly affected every family in the nation: balancing work and family now poses more of a challenge than ever, day care and after-school child-care programs are often dangerously inadequate, and technological advancements have dramatically changed the ways we communicate. But change has also opened up exciting possibilities, yielding an explosion of new family forms and novel solutions to age-old problems.

In this penetrating and moving exploration of the contemporary family landscape, the Gores share stories drawn from their own experiences and those of 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 the human need for family is stronger than ever.

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