NAKED NOMADS: Unmarried Men in America by George F. Gilder

NAKED NOMADS: Unmarried Men in America

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The author of Sexual Suicide (KR, 1973, p. 1003) has managed the near-impossible feat of coming up with a book more offensive and even less supported by data than his previous effort. His evidence is either anecdotal or third-hand (his bible apparently being Jesse Bernard's The Future of Marriage), and much of it (such as the claim that only one out of six marriages is likely to break up) contradicts more widely known statistics. Smug in the belief that consistency is the bane of small minds, Gilder is not above ignoring his previous assertions as he attempts to score points (on one page promiscuity is destroying our culture; on another, today's youth are less experienced than their forbears) and he uses statistics from differing samples (never-marrieds or divorced or widowed) with interchangeable ease as the situation demands. He does not even consider a possible confusion of cause and effect in his statement that single males (of which he is one) are more likely to be neurotic, psychotic, psychopathic, suicidal, lonely, poor, unemployed and ill (""It would seem more important for an ambitious young single man to get married than to go to college""). Gilder completely disregards the medical concept of ""male menopause"" when discussing the ""inexplicable"" increase in anti-social phenomena after the age of 45; and he fails to offer any explanation why monogamous marriage, if such an obviously desirable institution, is breaking down all over the place. Nor does he explain why women (statistically best off in the single state) should bother hitching themselves to what the author calls the brutish swine that is man in his natural, undomesticized state.

Pub Date: Dec. 6th, 1974
Publisher: Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co.