THE WAR AGAINST PARENTS by Sylvia Ann Hewlett

THE WAR AGAINST PARENTS

What We Can Do for America's Beleaguered Moms and Dads

KIRKUS REVIEW

A powerful call for parents to organize and fight back against a society that pays lip service to family values, then abandons mothers and fathers to an economic and political swamp. Both active in the National Parenting Association (Hewlett was a founder), the noted African-American studies and religion scholar West (Harvard; Race Matters, 1993, etc.) and economist Hewlett (When the Bough Breaks, 1991) make an eloquent case that since the 1960s, “big business, government, and the wider culture have waged a silent war against parents.” Beginning with reviews of their own childhoods—working class, with close family and community ties—Hewlett and West go on to point out how attitudes toward parents have changed since then. If the 1950s was a time of too-good-to-be-true Ozzies and Harriets, it was also an era of strong government and community support for families: The G.I. bill offered money for education and housing plus a subsidy for the families of veterans in school; jobs were plentiful and paid well; and workers were supported by strong labor unions. Beginning in the early 1970s, attitudes began to shift, with business and government taking a harder line toward workers and benefits. Tax breaks for families eroded; today, they claim, horses are more tax-deductible than children. Liberals come under fire for a commitment to “untrammeled individualism” that undermines the collective concern and self-sacrifice necessary for raising children. The authors also criticize the media (primarily television) and the child-welfare bureaucracy that finds it easier to take children away from their parents than to deal with the families— problems. West and Hewlett hope to spark a parents— movement that will lead to implementation of a “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” including such items as paid parenting leave, a “living wage,” legal and moral support for fathers (for instance, in child custody disputes), and family health coverage. A potent presentation that may energize legislators and policymakers to end the “war” and reassess the needs of families. (Author tour)

Pub Date: April 20th, 1998
ISBN: 0-395-89169-8
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1998




MORE BY SYLVIA ANN HEWLETT

NonfictionCREATING A LIFE by Sylvia Ann Hewlett
by Sylvia Ann Hewlett
NonfictionWHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS by Sylvia Ann Hewlett
by Sylvia Ann Hewlett

MORE BY CORNEL WEST

NonfictionDEMOCRACY MATTERS by Cornel West
by Cornel West
NonfictionTHE AFRICAN-AMERICAN CENTURY by Henry Louis Gates
by Henry Louis Gates
NonfictionTHE CORNEL WEST READER by Cornel West
by Cornel West