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New Family Values

Written by: Andrew Solomon
Narrated by: Andrew Solomon
Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Drawing on dozens of intimate audio interviews with families from all across the country, award-winning psychologist and writer Andrew Solomon redefines what it means to be an “ideal family” in America today. Solomon observes that America, led in large part by the women’s, civil rights, and gay rights movements, has undergone a radical social shift in the last few decades. 

While three-quarters of American children lived in families with two (first-time) married, heterosexual parents in the 1960s, today less than half do. The conventional family, Solomon argues, has broken into a multitude of perfect families, including gay families, multiparent families, adoptive families, foster families, families built through assisted reproduction, single parent-headed families, and child-free families. Although the structure of family has changed, economic and legal structures lag behind and need to adapt to accommodate this explosive new reality.

©2018 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2018 Audible Originals, LLC.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • Yucaipa, California
  • 2018-12-21

Difficult subject handled well.

The stories are interesting. Sad, joyful, disturbing, and comforting all at the same time. As a "conservative" Christian who believes in "traditional family values," I was disappointed with the concluding chapter.

This book has an overall theme of inclusiveness and non-judgmental acceptance of others. I appreciate, respect, and totally agree with this. However, to conclude a wonderful exploration of family values by stereotyping family constructs of the past and present is bothersome. ALL "families" are made up of individuals who should be loved and respected regardless of the choices they make about the way they choose to live as long as they are not hurting others.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-12-18

Touching stories, beautiful narration!

Heartwarming and heartbreaking family stories with beautiful narration. I didn't think I'd enjoy listening to this when I added it to my library but I really loved it. It presents a wide variety of real modern family scenarios. I teared up a bunch of times because I could identify with some people in the interviews. My only advice would be to listen to it without being judgemental!

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Kate Roiko
  • ROCKWALL, TX
  • 2018-12-13

Horrible

This book is awful. It is an incredible biased compilation of people’s stories- highly focused on the negative. It’s peoples accounts of their failures with only a few triumphs. It’s a one sided account of these “new family values” when in fact it’s not values at all, but instead a platform for people to share their story.

It’s also highly degrading to foster care/adoptive family situations. As someone who has directly been impacted by the effects of foster care, it was saddening to hear the biased opinions of people who grossly generalize foster homes to be worse than the abusive or neglectful situations the children were originally in.

Very disappointed in this book.

61 of 80 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim Emerson
  • 2018-12-27

Muscled Through It

I was drawn in by the title. I wish I could have that time back.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • sidskymom
  • 2018-12-16

Interesting take...

As the author of this book and a person who became a parent in a non-traditional way, Andrew presents an enlightening observation of what “makes” a family. Admittedly, I chose not to listen to every chapter for my own personal reasons. However, the chapters I did listen to were particularly illuminating. I myself am an adoptive parent who became a mother by hiring an attorney and getting selected by my 2 daughters’ biological mothers months before they gave birth. The adoptions were both semi-open. My oldest daughter has since found her birth parents, something that went very well for her and has clearly made a positive impact on her sense of worth and overall well-being.

With that being said, I am thankful to have heard all of Andrew’s chapters related to adoption and raising a non- biological child. There were things he brought up that I honestly can say I never realized or thought of. After being a mom for almost 20 years, that’s embarrassing to confess! And, at the same time, a relief to finally hear, process and realize! Like a lightbulb lighting the doubts, insecurities and frustrations inside my brain, things finally made sense. Thanks to these chapters, I have a new perspective in place and truly believe I can be a better mom to my daughters because I have been enlightened.

I highly recommend this book. There are so many relatable chapters. It’s not necessary to listen to every single sort of family type if you feel it doesn’t pertain to you. Choose what you want and SOMETHING will definitely reach out and make an impact on your personal situation or that of someone’s close to you.

I laughed, cried, gasped, cheered and sighed my way through. Sort of like my path to and in parenthood!!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Melanie V. Simon
  • 2018-12-19

Nothing about values

Nothing about values or how alternative family structures affect children. Had a hard time keeping interested in this collection of sob stories. Everyone has struggles in their lives and I guess I'm just tired of hearing about them.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Derrick
  • 2018-12-19

closed minded author

while trying to be open minded to new ideas, this author became closed-minded to others

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Jonathan Izaguirre
  • 2018-12-17

Social Justice Propaganda

About 20% of this book is interviews with people who are crying because they are struggling. The author is trying to manipulate you proclaiming that you are a monster of a human being if you are not sympathetic to these individuals. He also uses misleading language such as "family" when the correct word would be Brotherhood. Some of the chapters are interesting such as surrogacy and adoption. Whereas some chapters are about infidelity and adultery proclaiming to be marriage and family.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • AC
  • CHICAGO, IL
  • 2018-12-19

Incredible Audiobook

This audiobook explores over 30 families coming from all backgrounds. Many family arrangements that I never thought of let alone knew the stories of. An eye opening book that had me interested the entire time and not wanting it to end.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Olivia
  • 2018-12-24

Too one-sided and racist for me!

If I could give negative stars I would! This book is entirely one sided and inaccurate. I would never recommend it!

I am an adopted child who was raised by a single mom and I am currently raising my stepson with my husband-this child is not mine biologically. I hoped reading this book would help me to gain perspective, but it is very left leaning. I am not saying I have an issue with that, but what I do have an issue with is the goal of this book seems to be to destroy the nuclear family and normalize other kinds of families. I can advocate for the fact that families come in all shapes and sizes and it truly takes a village to raise a child, but I think this book is going in the wrong direction. The chapter on adoption drives home that adoptive children feel incomplete of they don't meet their birth parents and chapter 8 talks about racism in foster families and how insensitive the states are in putting children in homes that are the same race as them?! WHAT?! This is ridiculous and entirely false. Race has nothing to do with having and being apart of a loving family. This book is truly a waste of time to read.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful