THE AMERICAN FAMILY by Dan Quayle

THE AMERICAN FAMILY

Discovering the Values That Make Us Strong
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 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. (24 b&w photos, not seen) ($200,000 ad/promo; author tour; TV & radio satellite tour)

Pub Date: May 8th, 1996
ISBN: 0-06-017378-5
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Zondervan
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1996