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Ships without a Shore: America's Undernurtured Children Hardcover – January 28, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1412807166 ISBN-10: 1412807166 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers; 1 edition (January 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412807166
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412807166
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,016,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Pierce is passionate about her concerns for the well-being of American children and youth. Her arguments . . . are well-grounded in theoretical and empirical work. . . . [What] she has to say is convincing."

—William A. Corsaro, Contemporary Sociology

"She appeals to parents who have surreptitiously surrendered the privilege of nurturing their young to day care centers and media screens, under the politically correct banner of liberation--and her appeal is compelling. Arguing that the results of this myopic social experiment have been disastrous, she sends an urgent warning that children are in jeopardy when they are deprived of their developmental need for a secure, meaningful attachment to a loving parent. This book is in effect as SOS to a sinking culture--one that has set its most vulnerable citizens adrift without social, emotional, or spiritual moorings. Highly recommended. All levels, all readers."

—S. Durr, Choice

"Gutsy and provocative, Anne Pierce presents an articulate, no-holds-barred indictment of current child-rearing practices. Read this book, and you will have plenty to talk--and to think--about!"

—Jane M. Healy, Educational psychologist and author of Endangered Minds

"Thoughtful parents will find Anne Pierce's Ships Without a Shore a provocative, even disturbing book. She challenges the ethos of self-fulfillment, personal achievement, and moral relativism propagated by conventional wisdom and popular culture, and draws a bleak picture of its effects on child rearing. Drawing on her own experience as a parent and observation of other parents and children as well as on neurological, psychological, and other social scientific research, taking a long historical perspective and appealing to the insights of an earlier philosophical and religious tradition, Anne Pierce talks unfashionably and compellingly about children's natural needs for stable parental love and care and to be taught right and wrong and have their innocence protected from corruption."

—Nathan Tarcov, University of Chicago

"Ships without a Shore provides a vivid and stinging critique of the state of affairs of our young - from babies to adolescents. Anne R. Pierce provides a compelling discussion of the key issues that contribute to child development and health as well as more subtle aspects of life such as optimism and positive expectations, from parenting to peer and media influences in our rapidly changing world. Exhibiting exceptional scholarly review, she presents arguments from a range of fields touching child development using summary and quotation surrounded by her own analyses. In this way, she raises concerns about the way in which modern forces are filling our children's lives with information and busy activities that have empty materialistic goals and do not engender introspection, enjoyment of simple pleasures. This book raises the alarm that current conditions are creating children without a moral compass... especially during developmental phases which set the capacity for these feelings to ever develop. She argues convincingly that without appropriate time to reflect on the wonders of being alive during the right developmental stages, we may be raising an antisocial and non-creative generation of children who will grow to become adults unable to reach their imaginative, altruistic and emotionally balanced potential because of this neglect and materialistic environment. This is an extremely important book on the importance and challenges of child development at our current technological crossroads at which media is able to deliver incredible "programming" to our youth to massive and potentially disastrous effect."

—James E. Swain MD, PhD, FRCPC, Child Study Center at Yale University

About the Author

Anne R. Pierce is an independent scholar with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. She has published articles on social/political issues and foreign policy and is particulary interested in transition periods in American life. She is the author of Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman: Mission and Power in American Foreign Policy, available from Transaction.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Highly recomended read!
First Time Mom
Anne Pierce reminds parents that children can learn outside institutions and structured activities; children must grow in their imaginations and especially, in love.
Mollee Branden
This type of exploration leads the reader to self examine and hence to solutions.
GarryM

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Erin on September 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a Stay-at-home-mom, I was really looking forward to reading this book. I wanted to understand the benefits of keeping children at home vs. daycare, perhaps understand how children raised in these two environments may differ, and when the best time would be for me to go back to work.

I have a Master's degree and still feel that this was not an easy read. I don't expect the research portions to be easy to read necessarily, but I feel that Pierce was just trying to display her immense vocabulary. There is something to be said for succinct writing, and this book doesn't have it. It's long, and things that can be said easily in few words are drawn out and repeated.

I could get over that, but I struggled with the content. Twenty pages into the book, I was already seeing the direction this book was taking. Horror stories about nannies, au pairs, daycare providers, etc. I'm in favor of staying home with your child, but I felt that no mother who puts her child in the care of another should read this. As a scholar, I would think Pierce would realize that there are exceptions to every rule. Just because you have a few anecdotal stories from people you know doesn't make it common. I thought it was fear-mongering and was very disappointed.

The book just felt preachy. I got some tidbits of good information, but every night as I was reading it in bed, I think I mentioned to my husband how annoying this book was and he kept telling me to stop reading. I wish I had listened.

Providing data and facts is important, and I agree with the premise... that staying home with your child is by far the best thing for them. I'm happy to see someone take this stand since it can be very unpopular. However, I was disappointed that the information was presented in such a way as to make moms who don't stay home with their children feel afraid and ashamed. It seems that it will only add to the unpopularity of this viewpoint.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By ChristineMM TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Ships Without a Shore" by Anne Pierce PhD is a unique and much needed book about the state of parenting today.

Mainstream parenting as it is being done right now is analyzed thoroughly, that is, the lifestyle of babies and children raised in daycare and toddlers taking classes and doing sports, children being raised in institutions (including public schools), children busy with after school programs, extra-curricular activities after school and on weekends and summers filled with camps. The author asks questions about how the children, the products of their parent's lifestyle choices, are turning out. With many citations to studies, the answer is that today's teens are already in a disaster state and todays youngest are headed down a sad road also. By looking at the results of these parenting choices such as the rising rates of alcohol and drug abuse, rising eating disorders, rising self-mutilation, rising child and teen depression rates, suicidal teens and detached apathetic children and teens, the author asks how they got that way and the answer is that they are the products of their upbringing: they have been under-nurtured due to the parenting decisions and lifestyle choices of their parents. Yes, the children are suffering due to the choices that their parents made.

Pierce looks back over history and seeks to find the answer to how we got here. Mothers of today who were happy with their own childhood usually choose a very different lifestyle for their own children. We who were raised in the 1970s and 1980s are being guided to parent our children very differently than we ourselves were parented. Why is that? How did we get to a place where we abandoned the typical way of parenting for thousands of years and jump to this other way?
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By CrimsonGirl VINE VOICE on July 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Anne Pierce has written a "no-holds-barred" manifesto about how American culture and lifestyle choices are hurting our children. She is searing in her criticisms of non-parental care for young kids (especially center-based daycare), divorce, out-of-wedlock childbearing, graphic violence and sex in the media, hyperscheduled kids who are shuttled from one organized activity to the next with little or no unstructured down time, the push for androgyny in the name of "gender equality" that belittles traditional masculinity and femininity, multiculturalism and identity politics run amok, and the general trend away from traditional Judeo-Christian views of morality in favor of moral relativism.

The biggest criticism I have of "Ships Without a Shore" is the author's tendency to overgeneralize from her own social circle of affluent mothers. These women are fortunate enough to have an actual choice about whether or not to work full-time outside the home when their children are young. She claims that most married employed moms are working for self-fulfillment and a luxurious standard of living. And the picture she paints of a "typical day" of a stay-at-home-mom revolves around providing one-on-one enrichment to her child with apparently no housework to be done and the father bringing home takeout. Doubtless these reflect the experiences of Dr. Pierce and her peers, but not for many moms in this country who are less well-heeled.

Overall, however, I recommend "Ships Without a Shore" for anyone concerned about children's welfare.
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