THE PASSIONS OF FATHERHOOD by Samuel Osherson

THE PASSIONS OF FATHERHOOD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Psychotherapist and research psychologist Osherson (Wrestling with Love, 1992, etc.) offers a manual for men living with children at the end of the 20th century. It's not easy being a father, writes Osherson, and it's even harder to be a good father. Osherson illustrates this point with many examples but mostly by using his own life as a case study, exploring his conflicts and epiphanies, failures and triumphs as the father of two young children. This honesty comes perilously close to the triteness of talk-show confessionals, but it also gives the book its strength. In clearly written and often moving accounts, Osherson recognizes his imperfections as a father and explores the causes of his anger or impatience or the mistakes he has made with his children. In the end, he allows himself to be imperfect and extends the same grace to his readers. It is understandable that modern fathers have such a rough time, writes Osherson. Life used to be much simpler: Fathers would go out and earn a living or fight a war and leave the women in charge of home and family. Today, he writes, men feel caught between wanting ``to go out and slay the dragon'' and being sensitive and caring co- parents; between envying their own fathers' freedom and resenting their physical and psychological distance. It is unfortunate that Osherson fails to deal at length with fathers whose experiences are significantly different from those of white, middle-class, heterosexual professionals like himself, and he doesn't talk at all about being the father of children who are disabled, troubled, or ill. Still, many fathers will find deep resonance with their own feelings of frustration and reward. A passionate book written for men passionate about fatherhood, shedding much light on the relationship between men and their children. (author tour)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-449-90778-3
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1995




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