Fatherless America Essay

Fatherless America Essay-61
His parents are still married, to each other, and reside in his hometown of Jackson, Miss., where Blankenhorn and his own 5-year-old son, Raymond, recently spent a long, lazy weekend fishing and eating good Southern food.On his wall, Blankenhorn keeps a framed note from his father, who greeted the news that his oldest son had been accepted to Harvard by telling him, “Well, son, I’m sure we can make the necessary sacrifices to send you to that fine Yankee institution.While voicing respect for his confrere on the fatherhood front, Louv decries Blankenhorn’s veneration of what he calls the “Good Family Man"--the “traditionally masculine” father--at the expense of what Blankenhorn terms the “superfluous” or “new” father.

His parents are still married, to each other, and reside in his hometown of Jackson, Miss., where Blankenhorn and his own 5-year-old son, Raymond, recently spent a long, lazy weekend fishing and eating good Southern food.On his wall, Blankenhorn keeps a framed note from his father, who greeted the news that his oldest son had been accepted to Harvard by telling him, “Well, son, I’m sure we can make the necessary sacrifices to send you to that fine Yankee institution.While voicing respect for his confrere on the fatherhood front, Louv decries Blankenhorn’s veneration of what he calls the “Good Family Man"--the “traditionally masculine” father--at the expense of what Blankenhorn terms the “superfluous” or “new” father.

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Levine, director of the Fatherhood Project at New York’s Families and Work Institute, characterized “Fatherless America” as “an easily graspable and emotionally powerful” image.“It’s a great book title,” Levine said, “but it’s a sloppy analysis of what’s really going on in America, an analysis that actually limits Blankenhorn’s ability to make useful recommendations for the key issue: Given that fathers are important, how can we go about connecting them to their children, supporting their many roles in the family?

”Along with the mandatory component, perhaps, of carping, Blankenhorn’s meteoric rise on the fatherhood front has earned him a small measure of mythology.

His name seems to be popping up everywhere, most recently on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, where on Feb.

Blankenhorn, board chairman of the National Fatherhood Initiative, is using that group’s nationwide tour as a vehicle to promote the ideas in his book.

Nobody knows if you mean abortion or Woody Allen.” He has also strived, right from the beginning, to avoid “sanctimonious finger-pointing” in any political direction.

“I don’t like hearing people say, ‘We’re in a pickle, and it’s all because of this group or that group,’ ” Blankenhorn said.

“He embraced this issue very early on.”But Blankenhorn said that in taking on the plight of mothers, fathers and children in contemporary America, he carefully sidestepped at least one buzz term.

“I don’t like the phrase ‘family values,’ ” he said. It has political baggage that I don’t like, and it never has been used in a precise way.

“Fatherless America” has instantly become a catch phrase.

Far from promising a trouble-free voyage, he has begun by making giant waves.

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