Tommy and Me: The Making of a Dad

Benjamin Stein, Author, Ben Stein, Author Free Press $23 (224p) ISBN 978-0-684-83896-0
Stein, an actor and former speechwriter who worked for President Nixon in 1987, together with his wife, Alex, adopted baby Tommy that year. The author's relationship with his new son got off to a rocky start: he was so jealous of the attention Tommy was receiving that he stayed away from home for long periods of time. Attendance at 12-step groups and the inspiring example of a fellow father whom he met on vacation in Idaho helped Stein become a highly involved parent, ""once I got my priorities straight."" Although his devotion and commitment to Tommy documented here may one day mean a great deal to his son, Stein's effusive descriptions of the joys of parenthood occasionally overwhelm this slight book with schmaltz. The author concludes with his ""Ten Commandments of Fatherhood,"" which stress such well-intended advice as the importance of patience and the value of praise in parenting. However, many will feel that Stein steps in over his head when he opines that ""children with absent fathers are wounded for the balance of their lives."" (June)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
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