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New Family Values

Narrated by: Andrew Solomon
Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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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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  • Michael
  • 21-12-18

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.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-12-18

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!

10 people found this helpful

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  • sidskymom
  • 16-12-18

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!!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Eric ridenour
  • 19-01-19

Bad research

This had so much promise. Exploring the roles of gay, single parents, trans, and many other options. This would have been really good had the author bothered to actually compare the families to what would be called a traditional family. The author claimed that CPS protects children, but only white strait parents children unless you are a minority, then they are on a mission to destroy the family. He then went on to give examples of minority oppression that would happen to a straight white couple(I know, I have seen it happen first hand to my nieces and nephews). The book had so much potential, unfortunately it fell flat as an almost attack on the evil traditional family and how all else are oppressed. I loved the interviews and scenarios. I just wish the author actually had something to compare rather than falsely stating again and again that there are no problems for straight couples and there is a grand conspiracy against everyone else. In some ways there is, courts do not favor many of these families, and many other issues, but acting like they do not exist otherwise is either lazy research, an intentional omission to mislead or both. Nothing would have been lost by just being honest and thorough, but thanks to the bias, the opinions and conclusions can not be trusted. (Full disclosure, I only got maybe a third of the way into it, I tried it a month later, thinking maybe I was just grumpy, but no, it is just bad. I regret choosing it as a free option, and that is bad).

2 people found this helpful

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  • AC
  • 19-12-18

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kate Roiko
  • 13-12-18

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.

62 people found this helpful

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  • Tim Emerson
  • 27-12-18

Muscled Through It

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

9 people found this helpful

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  • Melanie V. Simon
  • 19-12-18

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.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Kelly
  • 09-12-18

If you wonder, just listen

Loved this audiobook! Many interesting stories and perspectives of what makes a family and how love and connection is what truly matters.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Jonathan Izaguirre
  • 17-12-18

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.

11 people found this helpful