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The Abolition of Marriage: How We Destroy Lasting Love Hardcover – March 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing; First Printing edition (March 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895264641
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895264640
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Antoinette Aubert on October 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Gallagher has produced an intelligent, much needed treatise. Her hypothesis is that marriage no longer exists. With no fault divorce one person in a marriage can end it anytime they choose for any reason. The traditional social contract of mom at home and dad at work depended on the legal contract that bound dad to mom, forever. Without that legal contract the social contract was destroyed as well. A woman who stays at home with her children today is a walking a tight-rope without a net. Gallagher points out that many women choose career over home out of fear, not necessity or ambition. She defends traditional marriage not in romance novel terms, but in the very real impact family breakup has on children. Gallagher explains why marriages should be saved even when not blissful. The value of marriage lies in working through difficult times more than in idealized romantic illusions.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By oceanamoon on February 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Would more women want to stay home and take care of the house and kids if we respected them for it? As of right now, women who stay home(or want to) are punished by people in our society we look down on them as though it is not real work. But what work could be more valuable than to raise the next generation?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Steven Svoboda on November 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
How time flies. Eight years ago, nationally syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher wrote the somewhat unfortunately titled book "The Abolition of Marriage" and it took me until now to get around to reading it. Once you do get past the title, Gallagher's work here (which focuses on the US but mostly applies to Canada too) is simply awe-inspiring. I can't think of a more important book I've read in the last ten years, inside or outside of gender issues.

"The Abolition of Marriage" is a virtual pentathlete of a book, excelling on so many different levels. In terms of quality in non-fiction writing, as far as I am concerned, the line starts behind Maggie Gallagher. She is equally pre-eminent in her ability to marshal facts from seemingly diverse areas of inquiry and integrate them to arrive at truths that seem obvious only after she has demonstrated them to us. This is sheer brilliance, folks.

Moreover, Gallagher evidently cares deeply about society and people and the serious harm both have suffered from the inestimable erosion matrimony has suffered in recent decades. Following in the steps of her previous book, Enemies of Eros, she names the Greek concept of "eros," of irrational, exuberant love for one's immediate family (spouse and children) as a key to our welfare in all areas of life. Paradoxically, marriage is more useful and attractive the more demanding and restrictive it becomes. Spouses with children are the pillars of society, paying taxes, providing a foundation that can help sustain a community. The absence of the traditional family is correspondingly highly correlated with a community's decline; if the percentage of married couples with children in a neighborhood drops below a critical tipping point of about fifteen percent, trouble is likely to follow.
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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 1996
Format: Hardcover
This book is a major eye-opener on too many issues to list.
You won't think the same about marriage, divorce, and the long-term
consequences of both. I've been married for 11 years, and have 3 kids.
After I read this book, I've figured that, come hell or high water,
my wife and I are sticking together forEVER. Far, far more at
stake in marriage -- and divorce -- than most of us realize. This
book is a profoundly disturbing -- and much-needed -- wakeup call about
the consequences of divorce. And if you or someone you know has
been thinking about getting divorced -- READ THIS FIRST.

Cannot recommend this book too highly.
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21 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book challenges much of the conventional wisdom that US society has adopted since the beginning of the modern welfare state and the sexual revolution. Ms. Gallagher outlines many of the destructive results that these modern trends have brought to bear on marriages and families.
After reading the book, it is hard not to question the liberalism that has changed our society in the past 40 years.
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18 of 27 people found the following review helpful By G W Thielman on April 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Ms Gallagher presents a compelling argument against the current "no fault" divorce laws currently in effect in America. Unilateral divorce permits one impatient and self-centered defaulting party to dissolve a sacred economic and emotional bond for no reason, or as Gallagher wrote, "we gained the right to divorce and in the process lost the right to marry." The cost of this state of affairs has been wrecked lives-of abandoned spouses and neglected children, turning partnerships into games of prisoner's dilemma. Defenders of such encouragement of irresponsibility demand to be freed of any responsibility of reflecting carefully on their choice of mates or the effort required to develop a loving relationship. Such an attitude indicates either a willful blindness to the public consequences of private actions or a callous disregard to the lives of others. Gallagher's recommendation to terminate unilateral divorce would be a welcome relief, but as she points out, the federal constitution's "full faith and credit" clause currently functions to facilitate dissolution rather than affirm marriage. Changing this dynamic (plus permitting "discrimination" on the basis of marital status) while preventing collateral damage from nationally recognized bugger unions presents an interesting challenge. Whether the real adults in society can revitalize this crumbling legal and moral institution yet remains to be seen. _Abolition_ presents a clarion call.
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