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Home-Alone America: Why Today's Kids Are Overmedicated, Overweight, and More Troubled Than Ever Before Paperback – September 6, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mary Eberstadt is a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, and a contributing editor of Policy Review, the Institution's critically-acclaimed journal of conservative thought. She has been published in the Wall Street Journal and Commentary, and was the executive editor of Irving Kristol's National Interest magazine from 1990 to 1998. Eberstadt was a speechwriter for Secretary of State George Schultz, and a special assistant to UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick. She graduated Cornell University magna cum laude as a four-year Telluride scholar. She is currently a stay-at-home mother of four children, and is married to Nick Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Sentinel Trade (September 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595230157
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595230157
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,147,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By DMR on December 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
Mary Eberstadt approaches the common belief that absent parents (either through divorce or the "necessity" of both parents working outside the home) are acceptable because 'kids are resilient.'

She systematically dissects the various arguments, both pro and con, and demonstrates the far-reaching effects on kids. Definitely an eye-opening book.

While some of the suggestions offered are mere theory (e.g., the hypothesis that young girls' fertility cycles are affected by non-related males living in the household, which may contribute to earlier sexual experimentation), it is research worth reading.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAME on June 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is a wake- up call to America. It makes a very strong case for the conception that the increasingly troubled state of American children is connected to parental absence from the home. The increase in recent years in rates of teenage suicide, mental health problems, childhood sexual abuse, alcoholism, drug- abuse, obesity Eberstadt connects with the fact that America's children and young people are more and more left alone, and unsupervised.
She points to two major factors which have led to more and more single- parent families, the first is the historically high- rate of divorce and the increasing rate of illegitimacy. But is not only in the single - parent families but in the homes in which there are two working parents in which absenteeism from the family has increased. She points out that today seven out of ten mothers work outside the home. And that half of them would continue to do this even if they did not need the money. She says that what benefits the parents as individuals might not necessarily be of benefit to the children. And she points too to a widespread effort to conceal the unpleasant conclusion that a working parent, and especially a working parent may do more harm for the children than the good. She in this regard points to evidence which suggests that the families which do have a parent at home for most of the time have less disturbed and problematic children than those who do not. She cites Francis Fukuyama who says that one reason Americans from Asian families do so well in education is that the mothers of these families devote themselves more to home and children.
This is an important and illuminating wake- up call to America.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Shore on April 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a must-read for all parents. It documents what we all thought all along but were too afraid to say: mothers desperately need to nurture their children at home. Their influence, their love is irreplaceable. Our nation is now reaping the harvest of mothers who have "turned off their hearts" to work long hours away from their helpless little ones. The meteoric rise in substance abuse, obesity, depression, anxiety and a host of other social ills can be largely attributed to the breakdown of the family: missing Dads (who play an absolutley critical role in a child's healthy development) and especially moms. The "hand that rocks the cradle" really does "rule the world". We need Dads to help support their wives in nurturing their children at home. The author's research is vast and well documented. This is a brave and essential book for parents and policy makers alike.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kathy on November 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This hard hitting no apologies book examines some of the most destructive child rearing practices in the United States. This book addresses "the other side" of daycare- the side that many American parents refuse to acknowledege.
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5 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Snowcrane on June 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
Is it that parents don't care? Or is the uglier truth that SOCIETY doesn't care? And by society, I mean us. After all, we vote the folks into office who make public policy. And our policies in the States rarely put the needs of parents - and by extension, children - at the forefront.

I love how smugly the author makes parents the bad guys. Hey Mary, I can't wait to see my boss's face when I tell her I need a new shift that ends at 2 so I can be home for my kids. I know she and the rest of the company will cheerfully support my decision to tighten my belt, let go of some luxuries, and embrace a simpler life for the sake of my children... oh wait, been there, done that, was told "This is a 40 hour position. If you wish to resign, you could apply for a part-time position in the company... which currently we don't have. And, part-time employees are not eligible for medical benefits." America's employers aren't interested in flexible solutions for parents, and our child-free co-workers file grievances whenever policies seem to give parents leeway to attend to their families.

And it's great to shake her disapproving finger at single parent families, but it's not like all of those women rushed joyfully into single-dom. Plenty of women have been shocked to see their husbands walk out the door... and those women have to rush out to get work, because even though men seethe and insist they're being bled dry, child support is a laughably small amount. Oh wait, that's assuming you're even getting your child support - it's still fairly simple to not live up to the responsibility of supporting a child. Not that I am bashing the gentlemen, though Mary essentially does so in her left-handed way for the entire book.
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