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Fatherless Sons: Healing the Legacy of Loss Hardcover – August 25, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0471219699 ISBN-10: 047121969X Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047121969X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471219699
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,867,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Diamond's father, whose lectures at Princeton were noted for their humor, was also a batterer who abused his wives and children. Psychotherapist Diamond's moving account of his relationship with his father is a nuanced exploration of mourning and its aftermath. The author also discusses the role his mother played, despite her lifelong alcoholism, in protecting him from his father's episodic, mercurial rage. The author's father contacted and attended meetings of a batterer's program shortly before he died, which permitted Diamond to feel compassion and love for his parent. His childhood experiences have made Diamond constantly aware of how he expresses anger toward his own young sons. Interwoven with stories about his father are the experiences of other men, drawn from the author's practice, that illuminate a son's trauma when he is faced with the death of a male parent. One man, who at the age of 15 discovered his father hanging from a beam in the basement, deals 25 years later with the fact that his father, beloved by family and neighbors, was often depressed. For Diamond, his father left one positive legacy, a physically demonstrative nature. Diamond recommends physical affection between father and son, saying "[h]ugging is one of the best ways... to introduce hope into a strained or broken relationship...." (Aug.)
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Review

Diamond's father, whose lectures at Princeton were noted for their humor, was also a batterer who abused his wives and children. Psychotherapist Diamond's moving account of his relationship with his father is a nuanced exploration of mourning and its aftermath. The author also discusses the role his mother played, despite her lifelong alcoholism, in protecting him from his father's episodic, mercurial rage. The author's father contacted and attended meetings of a batterer's program shortly before he died, which permitted Diamond to feel compassion and love for his parent. His childhood experiences have made Diamond constantly aware of how he expresses anger toward his own young sons. Interwoven with stories about his father are the experiences of other men, drawn from the author's practice, that illuminate a son's trauma when he is faced with the death of a male parent. One man, who at the age of 15 discovered his father hanging from a beam in the basement, deals 25 years later with the fact that his father, beloved by family and neighbors, was often depressed. For Diamond, his father left one positive legacy, a physically demonstrative nature. Diamond recommends physical affection between father and son, saying "[h]ugging is one of the best ways... to introduce hope into a strained or broken relationship...."(Aug.) (Publishers Weekly, May 22, 2006)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Christopher P. Behan on October 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Jonathan Diamond has written a gorgeous book, "Fatherless Sons," a meditation on the son's ongoing relationship with his father--even after death. This book, filled with wisdom-packed, thought-provoking prose is a godsend for men who are grieving the loss of their fathers.

Diamond, a gifted psychotherapist and teacher, describes his own journey in healing from the death of his dearly loved father to cancer, not long after he became a father himself. His father, Malcolm Diamond, an attentive parent and beloved Princeton professor, had a darker side as sometimes physically and emotionally abusive, which renders his son's grieving more complicated. Diamond punctuates the book's self-help lessons with reflections on various scenes of his life with his dad interspersed throughout-- by turns tender, joyous and violent.

Diamond takes on the tough and complex issues of fatherloss: dealing with the death of fathers who have been absent or abusive, the influence of race, class and sexual orientation and the profound spiritual questions that the death of the father raises. The author also draws upon the stories of many men who have lost their fathers. He weaves their narratives with his own to make his central point: "To those whose fathers are already gone, the book illuminates the possibility for a second chance--an opportunity for rediscovery--for men to feel compassion and forgiveness for their fathers and thereby free themselves from the emotional bonds that keep their present tied in knots, their future out of reach, and their past chained to a wounded soul.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Firstsnow on December 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I bought several books to help my husband through the loss of his father at an early age from which he never analyzed or recovered. This book was so good I couldnt put it down, and he agreed. Dr. Diamond has such powerful delivery, relaying personal events as well as those of his clients. My husband felt it deeply helped him to make peace and suggested I buy it for other males we know dealing with similar issues. I've never seen him so enthusiastic about any psychology book. Please don't hesitate to give this book a try if you've been struggling with emotions from a difficult, confusing, or even abusive childhood. The author will help you look at the mixed emotions as well as help you make peace with the loss of your father.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lorena Loubsky-Lonergan on January 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Fatherless Sons is much more than a self-help book for guiding us through our grieving process. It is poignant memoir, a celebration of both the gift and the intense pain of parenting and being parented. From one page to the next, we join Jonathan Diamond's journey with his own father and with fathers and sons in his practice as a psychotherapist. It is no armchair journey and it becomes your own as his eloquence brings you to laughter and tears with each story within the story. These become touchstones and beacons that guide us through our unique personal process, giving us tools to experience much more than a legacy of loss, it is a testament to love and its power to move inner and relational mountains. It is a book I would gift to anyone, whether grieving their own father's death or sitting Shiva with another's loss. We are given a rare and sacred glimpse of the process of mourning ~ and of celebrating our fathers, their darkness and light.
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