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April 28 , 2008

Broken Bonds

What Family Fragmentation Means for America’s Future


The United States has the highest family fragmentation rates in the industrial world. Nonmarital birth rates for the nation as a whole are 40%, with proportions dramatically higher in many communities as defined by race, ethnicity, or geography. Divorce rates, while moderating in recent decades, are still estimated at about 40% for first marriages and 50% for second ones. Together, this fragmentation impacts millions of children as well as adults, leading to educational, economic, and other losses that in turn lead to lower social mobility and deepening class divisions.

Broken Bonds, Mitch Pearlstein explores the declining state of the American family and what its disintegration means for our future. Based on candid interviews with forty leading family experts across the political spectrum - from Stephanie Coontz, to Heather Mac Donald - Pearlstein ruminates on the political, social, and spiritual fallout of this trend. In honest and frank conversations, Pearlstein and his interviewees fearlessly diagnose the problems that many have been too timid to explore and suggest ways to reverse these trends that threaten our social fabric.
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