Childhood's Future: New Hope for American Family

Richard Louv, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $21.45 (420p) ISBN 978-0-395-46474-8
With information gathered from groups of children, parents, teachers and others across the country, Louv ( America II ) offers a compassionate, comprehensive view of modern American family life. His portrait of childhood today is dominated by two findings. First is the meager time families spend together--time stolen by economic constraints that separate generations and send mothers to work. Second is a pervasive fear--called ``stranger danger'' and exemplified in nationwide anxiety over missing children, in which the perceived sense of danger is greater than reality warrants--that isolates families rather than encouraging connections to others. Louv, in proposing the way to ``family liberation,'' examines the workplace, citing such companies as AT&T and Merck that offer flexible approaches to interweaving family and work lives. He suggests that schools expand their roles in their neighborhoods, e.g., to day care; that cities become ``family-friendly''; that families, reaching beyond the nucleus to include grandparents and neighbors, allow children a longer period of dependence with plenty of ``free time, dream time.'' Louv's massive documentation is made immediate by his vivid presentation of the people he met--lonely schoolkids and worried parents, all urging us to pay attention to, and meet, the needs of our children. First serial to the New York Times. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Paperback - 434 pages - 978-0-385-42390-8
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