Saving Childhood: Protecting Our Children from the National Assault on Innocence

Michael Medved, Author, Diane Medved, Joint Author
Michael Medved, Author, Diane Medved, Joint Author HarperCollins Publishers $24 (324p) ISBN 978-0-06-017372-2
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 09/01/1998
Michael Medved, author, former Sneak Previews co-host and syndicated radio columnist, joins his wife, Diane, psychotherapist and author of The Case Against Divorce, in presenting a two-part argument against contemporary America's assault on childhood. The assault, they claim, is four-pronged, and is being launched by the media, the schools, children's peers and, finally, parents themselves. ""Most emphatically, we do not advocate any kind of censorship,"" the authors state; instead they advocate shielding children from adult themes and issues until later in their lives. The Medveds attack broadly defined families, self-esteem-oriented teaching, politically popular ideas of sex and drug education (""they frighten children"") and childhood icons of the 1990s--the books of R.L. Stine and Judy Blume. Their conservative slant (Diane Medved co-authored The American Family with Dan Quayle) is supported with exhaustive research from credible media and anecdotal vignettes from their career experiences as well as from their own home. As we meet their children and even share a Sabbath meal with them, their sobering concern about lost innocence becomes valid and relevant. Rather than prepare children for a grim reality, the authors argue, the intact family should hold them safely, until, as adults, they've gained the power and foresight to help solve the difficult problems created by well-intended liberal permissiveness. The defense of innocence, the Medveds conclude, is tri-fold: give children security, encourage their sense of wonder and feed them optimism. (Sept.)
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