Forgotten Families: Ending the Growing Crisis Confronting Children and Working Parents in the Global Economy

Jody Heymann, Author . Oxford Univ. $27.50 (306p) ISBN 978-0-19-515659-1

When the mountain won't come to Muhammad, sometimes the mountain must be dynamited, carted off and dropped upon him. Heymann, the founder and director of the Project on Global Working Families, worked for a decade with her research team to drop such a mountain of information on governments and global organizations in order to inspire them to enact economic reforms. Exhaustive in scope, meticulous in detail, her book is a damning indictment of what has gone wrong during "the race to the bottom" between developing countries amid globalizing markets. The book is peppered with heartbreaking stories gleaned from surveys of more than 55,000 families, depicting a worldwide squalor in which children, if they survive infancy, are usually doomed to re-enact their parents' lives at the sweatshop. The portrait is bleak, but Heymann is an optimist. Her solutions, though idealistic, are reasonable: paid maternity leave, improved before- and after-school programs for children, etc. Most readers would have found a magazine article more persuasive, as Heymann's book is burdened with statistics. But in the breadth of its research, this volume will become a valuable primary source for policy makers. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 11/07/2005
Release date: 02/01/2006
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