Divided We Fall
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Divided We Fall : Family Discord and the Fracturing of America

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Description

In the weeks that followed the horror of September 11, politicians of both major parties resolutely asserted America's national unity. Barely four years later, the illusions of the rhetoric of unity have given way to the divisive oversimplifications of Red vs. Blue electoral cartography. Divided We Fall: Family Discord and the Fracturing of America offers a more nuanced yet more disturbing picture of American disunity, a disunity both social and political, both public and personal. Deeper than the disagreements that separate voter from voter, this disunity increasingly separates man from woman, husband from wife, parent from child, grandparent from grandchild, and sibling from sibling. Though the national turmoil in family life has unquestionably opened new divides in political life (on the questions of abortion and gay marriage, for instance), this analysis explores the bewildering cross-cutting tensions surrounding these fissures. The search for ways to bridge such fissures takes on particular urgency because of the mounting costs of family disintegration--social and legal, cultural and psychological.
Because they recognize the often-desperate plight of single mothers and their children, policymakers have often worked together in bipartisan fashion to intensify government efforts to collect child support from non-custodial fathers, to place abused children in foster care, and to provide shelter for the family fragments on the street. But these pragmatic government responses to pressing social needs are no substitute for deeper probing into the cultural causes of these needs. Indeed, as the author probes those causes--including the erosion of the home economy, of restraints on sexual conduct, and of the traditional family wage--he warns that continued reliance on government to compensate for family failure will make matters worse in the long run. While family failure puts ever more burdens on government, this investigation shows how such failure withers the selfless civic impulses that sustain any healthy government.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 232 pages
  • 157.5 x 233.7 x 20.3mm | 408.24g
  • Taylor & Francis Inc
  • Transaction Publishers
  • Somerset, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 076580316X
  • 9780765803160

Review quote

-Divided We Fall is that rare book that will fundamentally alter the way readers think about its subject. Bryce Christensen has carried analysis of America's family crisis to a new level of insight. Building on meticulous research, Divided We Fall shatters prevailing myths about the 'culture war' and illuminates the true complex interplay of politics and social change. Christensens' original analysis of the fissures in American life revealed by the 9/11 attacks is particularly startling and disturbing.- --Allan Carlson, President of the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society and author of Fractured Generations (Transaction 2005) -Professor Bryce Christensen's book examines the radical conditions surrounding fractious family life in contemporary American society and culture. His tone is urgent, his concern is profound, his approach is balanced, his exposition is lucid and eloquent. To politicize or to ideologize today's American civil war of the family disintegration, ' he shows, further deepens the crisis of the family. The values of the ethical life and moral life need to be renewed if traditional family strengths are to be saved from extinction. Integrity and honesty infuse Christensen's diagnosis of the ills that afflict civic order. There is much to ponder in these thoughtful pages, and much to learn from an encounter here with critical intelligence of the first order.-George A. Panichas Editor, Modern Age: A Quarterly Review "Divided We Fall is that rare book that will fundamentally alter the way readers think about its subject. Bryce Christensen has carried analysis of America's family crisis to a new level of insight. Building on meticulous research, Divided We Fall shatters prevailing myths about the 'culture war' and illuminates the true complex interplay of politics and social change. Christensens' original analysis of the fissures in American life revealed by the 9/11 attacks is particularly startling and disturbing." --Allan Carlson, President of the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society and author of Fractured Generations (Transaction 2005) "Professor Bryce Christensen's book examines the radical conditions surrounding fractious family life in contemporary American society and culture. His tone is urgent, his concern is profound, his approach is balanced, his exposition is lucid and eloquent. To politicize or to ideologize today's American civil war of the family disintegration, ' he shows, further deepens the crisis of the family. The values of the ethical life and moral life need to be renewed if traditional family strengths are to be saved from extinction. Integrity and honesty infuse Christensen's diagnosis of the ills that afflict civic order. There is much to ponder in these thoughtful pages, and much to learn from an encounter here with critical intelligence of the first order."George A. Panichas Editor, Modern Age: A Quarterly Review ""Divided We Fall" is that rare book that will fundamentally alter the way readers think about its subject. Bryce Christensen has carried analysis of America's family crisis to a new level of insight. Building on meticulous research, "Divided We Fall" shatters prevailing myths about the 'culture war' and illuminates the true complex interplay of politics and social change. Christensens' original analysis of the fissures in American life revealed by the 9/11 attacks is particularly startling and disturbing." --Allan Carlson, President of the "Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society" and author of "Fractured Generations" (Transaction 2005) "Professor Bryce Christensen's book examines the radical conditions surrounding fractious family life in contemporary American society and culture. His tone is urgent, his concern is profound, his approach is balanced, his exposition is lucid and eloquent. To politicize or to ideologize today's American civil war of the family disintegration, ' he shows, further deepens the crisis of the family. The values of the ethical life and moral life need to be renewed if traditional family strengths are to be saved from extinction. Integrity and honesty infuse Christensen's diagnosis of the ills that afflict civic order. There is much to ponder in these thoughtful pages, and much to learn from an encounter here with critical intelligence of the first order.""George A. Panichas Editor, Modern Age: A Quarterly Review"
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About Bryce J. Christensen

Bryce Christensen is assistant professor of composition in the English Department of Southern Utah University. He is the author of Utopia Against the Family and many articles on cultural and literary issues in various scholarly journals.
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