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The Daddy Shift: How Stay-at-Home Dads, Breadwinning Moms, and Shared Parenting Are Transforming the American Family Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0807021200 ISBN-10: 0807021202

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807021202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807021200
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,320,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Jeremy Adam Smith is a most purposeful father, a periodic Stay-at-Home Dad who sees his role as not just a choice that's best for his family but as a sign of a rapidly changing societal landscape. . . . His new book, The Daddy Shift, is a chronicle of a time that he predicts we will look back upon as the start of permanent change.—Lisa Belkin, New York Times

"A combination of scholarly research (citing economic and historical trends, sociological and psychological studies, and labor statistics), revealing profiles of stay-at-home dads and their families, and poignant anecdotes from Smith's own life. The personal passages are the book's most affecting ones, as Smith reveals himself not as some know-it-all superdad but as a learn-as-you-go parent who had to sort out his own complex feelings."—Regan McMahon, San Francisco Chronicle

"His investigations are very well researched, and he's pursued them with a rigorous intellectual integrity that makes his arguments engagingly persuasive. The result is an impressive book that even the childless should read, for at essence, The Daddy Shift is not just about stay-at-home dads, but about the changing roles of men and women in society."—Mothering

"A gentle but persistent appeal to get beyond all those preconceived notions and make the choices that work best for ourselves and our families."—Body + Soul

"Forty years ago, a man who wanted to share child care equally with his wife would have been called 'deviant,' and a wife who wanted him to would have been condemned as an 'unnatural' mother. The Daddy Shift shows how far we have come and how much we have to gain by completing this revolution in marriage and parenthood."—Stephanie Coontz, author of Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage


From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jeremy Adam Smith’s writing has appeared in Moth­ering, the Nation, San Francisco Chronicle, Utne Reader, Wired, and elsewhere. A magazine editor, blogger, and former stay-at-home dad, Smith lives in San Francisco with his wife and son.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Jeremy Adam Smith writes about parenting, science and technology, popular culture, urban life, and politics--sometimes all of them at once.

He is author of The Daddy Shift (Beacon Press, 2009), which the San Francisco Chronicle calls "amazing," author Michael Kimmel calls "impassioned [and] insightful," and the New York Times praises as "a chronicle of a time... we will look back upon as the start of permanent change." He is also the co-editor of two science anthologies: The Compassionate Instinct (W.W. Norton & Co., 2010) and Are We Born Racist? (Beacon Press, 2010).

Currently, Jeremy is a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. He the founding editor of Shareable.net, where a series he developed and edited with the nonprofit news site Public Press won an Excellence in Explanatory Journalism Award from the Norther California chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists. He is also the former senior editor of Greater Good magazine, which was nominated for multiple Maggie and Independent Press awards during his tenure.

Jeremy's essays, short stories, and articles have appeared in Mothering, The Nation, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Utne Reader, Wired, and numerous other periodicals and books. He has also been interviewed by many media outlets, including The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, The Today Show, The Talk, USA Today, Nightline, The Daily Beast, numerous NPR and CBC shows, ABC News 5, NBC News 11, and Salon.com. He is a regular guest on The Takeaway, a drive-time morning show co-sponsored by New York Times, BBC World Service, and WNYC.

He lives in San Francisco with his wife and son.

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Customer Reviews

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I recognized myself in this book and would recommend it without hesitation.
Marc A. Vachon
Most fathers I know are very involved with their families and are proactive home cooks, laundry washers and folders, dishwashers, etc.
M. Schneider
If you want to read a really smart book on fatherhood, look no further than Jeremy Adam Smith's "The Daddy Shift."
Dana Glazer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Marc A. Vachon on July 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I sat on this book for quite a while. My reluctance stemmed from an expectation that this was going to be a dry academic review of childraising dads. Boy, was I wrong. Yes, it does put the shifting of gender roles in perspective but in a way that was totally accessible to me.

The couples profiled are real and Smith does more than introduce us to them. He shares their history, context, struggles and desires for the lives they are tending. The couples are complex with varied motivations and don't fit neatly into any preconceived notions of existing family models.

Beyond the personal stories we also get the long view of how men's views have changed in relation to caregiving. I found the information compelling and thought provoking. I loved the "myths of caregiving fatherhood." Ranging from the myth that Dads opting out of work is a luxury of the educated elites to the myth that the decision for a man to stay home with children is always an economic one.

This book stares down the stereotypes around male nurturing and offers explanations, willing examples, and historical trends to highlight the changes happening all around us.

I'm not a stay at home dad but rather part of the masses of men who do more childcare than their own fathers. I recognized myself in this book and would recommend it without hesitation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Schneider on September 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With his latest book, The Daddy Shift, Jeremy Adam Smith sets out to explore the "movement of fatherhood from solely breadwinning to both breadwinning and caregiving." He does this by drawing on data from various fields of study (economic, religious, sociological, psychological), as well as examples of real families with "reverse traditional" caregiving/breadwinning models. This mix makes the book very readable, and also provides food-for-thought to draw on as each of our families find our own way.

Certainly we see the shift that Smith describes within our at-home Dads group, but I also see a shift for my dad friends who work full time outside the home. Most fathers I know are very involved with their families and are proactive home cooks, laundry washers and folders, dishwashers, etc. I see many Dads at pick-up and drop-off at my son's pre-school. Dads organize playdates. Dads make doctor's appointments. It seems to me that no aspect of family life is the exclusive domain of one parent over the other. Smith's research points to a gender convergence, "an ever increasing similarity in how men and women live and what they want from their lives."

Smith's research also helps to debunk the many myths associated with dads as caregivers. Though my decision has always felt natural and reasonable, like many stay-at-home dads, I have felt the little jabs coming from the outside world--the lady on the street that asked, "Where's Mommy? Baby needs his Mommy" or the preacher that claims stay-at-home dads are lazy and going to hell because we don't provide for our family, or the legislator from Missouri that excludes stay-at-home fathers from legislation because "Mothers are natural nurturers. Fathers are not. It goes back to the hunter and gatherers type.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dana Glazer on September 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As a filmmaker who is making a documentary on the same subject matter as "The Daddy Shift," I've read tons of books on fatherhood, but I have to say that Smith's book is probably the best of the stack. Not only is the book incredibly well researched and thoughtful but it is truly inspired. This is a must read for any dad who wants to gain a greater awareness of all things dad. Smith takes us on a journey through time, exploring in great depth not only his own experience of fatherhood but how the role of dad has evolved up to this point. The heroism of the other dads he includes in the book is extraordinary. The chief argument in Smith's book, that Stay-At-Home dads are the pioneers of a new movement of fathers, is very convincing.

If you want to read a really smart book on fatherhood, look no further than Jeremy Adam Smith's "The Daddy Shift." You will gain from it a knowledge of the role of dad you would probably never in a million years have considered.

Dana Glazer
Director
The Evolution of Dad Project
[...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kit Fry on June 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was such an amazing resource for egalitarian leaning couples. We don't have children yet, but we're trying to get a general sense of how we want to manage our lives around our children. It's an emotionally charged issue. Mr. Smith did an amazing job discussing such a touchy subject.

Both my husband and I really enjoyed this book. I was thrilled to find a book that my husband would want to read too. It's hard to ask someone you love to read a bunch of books that emphasize the woman's point of view. It's incredibly disappointing that raising children is considered a woman's issue. Most men I talk to and read about want kids just as much if not more than their wives. If that's the case, women can't be the only ones sacrificing their careers and enjoying their children. I love the idea that we can both sacrifice for our children. Therefore, we can both enjoy to full benefit of our children and helping them learn and grow.

Mr. Smith clearly researched this topic in depth. I enjoyed the discussion of historical family models as well as the many anecdotal details. The one weak point I saw in his analysis was his final recommendation on a societal scale. Though it was interesting and clearly showed how much he enjoyed his family's choices, it felt a little out of the blue. The book as a whole seemed mostly focused on the fluidity of raising children and how rigid roles are more a hindrance for childcare. But, in the end, he recommended a rigid social model in which the parent who carries the baby to term takes a year off for intimate infant care and the other parent starts to fill in more after that when the first returns to work.
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