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It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good Hardcover – July 4, 2005

2.6 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


I am amazed at the depth and breadth of information, wisdom, and sensitivity. -- Dr. Laura C. Schlessinger Internationally Syndicated Radio Talk Host, Author of The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands

In his book, Rick Santorum combines theory, principle, and practice. . . . -- The Hon. Stephen Goldsmith, former Mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana

Senator Santorum is one of the stalwart defenders of human life and the pro-family cause. . . . -- James C. Dobson, Founder and Chairman, Focus on the Family

Senator Santorum leads the way among elected officials in understanding and appreciating the importance of the family. -- Jennifer Roback Morse, author of 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage

[A] reaffirmation of the moral, spiritual, and ethical characteristics that have blessed America since its founding. -- Jack Templeton, President, John Templeton Foundation

About the Author

Rick Santorum has served in the United States Senate since January 1995, where he has been elected to a second term as Republican Conference Chairman, the party's third ranking leadership position in the Senate. As Conference Chairman, Senator Santorum directs the communications operations of Senate Republicans and is a frequent party spokesman. He is the youngest member of the leadership and the first Pennsylvanian to hold such a prominent position since the 1970s.

While Senator Santorum is proud of his accomplishments as a lawmaker and public servant, he is most proud of his role as a husband and father. Senator Santorum and his wife, Karen Garver Santorum, are the parents of six wonderful children: Elizabeth, John, Daniel, Sarah Maria, Peter, and Patrick.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute; 1 edition (July 4, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932236295
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932236293
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,228,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
You can tell that Sen. Santorum wrote this for the conservatives and independants. At times he his aggressive towards liberalism, which according to his principles (which he is entitled to have) he is justified in doing so. He tries to fully explain why he believes what he does.

In order to understand his mindset, you have to try to peel away all the different you've heard about him and read his words. Step out of Twitter, Facebook, Fox News, MSNBC and the news and let him explain himself. Then decide for yourself what you think. For example, there was great controversy about his position on the role of working women. If you read the book, however, you see that he is simply trying to say that stay-at-home motherhood is equally admirable as professional working women. That doesn't sound too hateful to me...but then again, I do lean conservative.

Anyway, this book is a good read for people who want to either:
(a) learn about Sen. Santorum and his base beliefs about society and the role of government. I personally was intrigued by his thoughts on "subsidiarity"...this should be mentioned more
or (b) people who seek to understand what conservatism is about. While his language and choice may upset more liberal-leaning readers, if you can bear through it you will learn there is much that conservatism has to offer beyond rhetoric.

It would be interesting to do a comparative study between this book and Hilary Clinton's work "It Takes a Village"...it may provide some insight as to why liberals and conservative never seem to agree on anything.
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Format: Hardcover
This is another example of political and social discourse presenting the platform of a presidential candidate. Like many books like it, the author and politician focuses on their strengths and avoids describing elements of their platform that could be too easily scrutinized due to their ignorance in the matter. Rick Santorum has a personal interest, strength and experience in debating family and moral values. "It Takes a Family" describes trust in "capital" terms where the family is the bedrock of America's social, cultural, economic, educational and intellectual "capital".

Rick Santorum makes it very clear that his book is an attack on Hilary Clinton's "It Takes a Village". His statements against the village "elders" derides the collectivist and relativist agenda that he concludes is destroying America. It would also be helpful to compare this book to John Kerry's platform agenda where both Kerry and Santorum are all about programs to restore America. However, Kerry's detailed ideas rely on government programs and financing while Santorum places heavy emphasis on citizen duty and non-profit organizations, if still receiving "faith-based" government funding.

Even if John Kerry's agenda was more politically comprehensive, touching even foreign policy and international trade, both Kerry/Clinton and Santorum debate an essential crux in political theory. How does one ensure that liberty and freedom do not beget self-indulgence? From Aristotle to Augustine to Hobbes and now 2016, philosophers have known that liberty without selflessness would be tempted to destructive indulgence. For Santorum, liberty requires duty.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Much of this book falls into philosophical name calling of political beliefs. These conservative views that are not defended on grounds of empirical evidence, although conservatives would defend these views on faith. This book argues that liberalism has infested the news media, the entertainment media, and the shapers of educational policy and, in doing so, has destroyed our societal structure and made the middle class and lower class less off, and that it will be strong families that will be needed to save our society.

The book ignores that Democrats argue their policies can create strong families: policies such as family and medical leave that allow working parents to spend more time with their children, minimum wage increases that will allow many families to even fight rising above the poverty level, and protecting labor benefits, particular health care benefits, that will allow families, even high income families, survive devastatingly high health care costs. Few will, and no one should, argue that strong families are not important. Yet, strong families do not occur, as Santorum and conservatives think, by hoping they miraculously emerge. Santorum rejects the economic policies advanced usually by Democrats that will create the economic conditions for families to thrive. Instead, the "tax and spend" Republicans think that throwing a little bit of money towards the issue is the solution. This book heralds spending $300 million on a public education campaign boosting marriage . I fear it is simplistic to think that will solve society's problems.
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