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The Dadly Virtues: Adventures from the Worst Job You'll Ever Love Hardcover – May 18, 2015
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“The book is a compilation of stories about fatherhood and is a refreshing change over all the books out there written from women’s perspective of parenting.” —Dr. Helen Smith, PJ Media (March 15, 2015
“Some of the country’s most highly-respected conservative journalists and opinion makers have come together and penned a new book. While these journalists are best known for their writings on political matters, the subject of this new book is something far more important. Parenting. More specifically, fatherhood.” — Dan Joseph, MRC TV (May 7, 2015)
The book is arranged chronologically, from new fathers to grandfathers, but you should start with the final essay, Joseph Epstein’s reflections on being a single father and then helping raise his grandchildren. Amongst the frat, Epstein is the man, a mensch, the incredibly cool alumnus everybody wants to be—or at least write as well as. —Mike Hubbard, Ricochet
“The book covers all stages of fatherhood: expecting and experiencing a first child’s birth; seeing one’s family expand; dealing with children in relation to religion, athletics, college, dating, marriage and moving out on their own or back home; and eventually becoming a grandfather.”
“The readers who might benefit most from the book are those about to be fathers. Describing it as ‘part instructional guide, part meditation, part war journal,’ Last writes: ‘It is, frankly, the book I wish I’d had back when my first child, Cody, was born.’” —Alan Wallace, TribLive
“In the best-selling 2014 book The Seven Deadly Virtues, editor Jonathan V. Last makes the case for gratitude as the as the best of the virtues, surpassing justice, curiosity, prudence and all others.” —Marty Wiggins, Tyler Morning Telegraph
“What author Jonathan Last has assembled here is a distillation of what it means to be a father, told through the stories of fathers who happen to be gifted writers, as well as being absolutely hilarious. Each chapter has its share of funny war stories, but each also has some deep insights into the ups and downs of raising kids. There is timeless wisdom in these comical stories. Plus, this book has an essay by Matt Labash who many claim is the funniest writer in America these days. But don’t be surprised if your eyes get misty at the closing chapter on becoming a good grandfather.” —Sue Randleman, Crossville Chroncile
"In the new book The Dadly Virtues, fathers - from all walks of life and from all stages of family life - share their insights about what being a father means to them. And they do it with a liberal dose of irreverent humor. . . . Every journey needs a journal, and The Dadly Virtues is an excellent collection of journal entries about the fatherhood journey. The book makes you think, laugh and remember; you can’t ask for much more than that." —Wayne Parker, About.com
“Depending on the author, the humor ranges from quiet dry wit to don’t-drink-your-coffee-while-reading-because-you-will-snort-coffee-through-your-nose funny. P. J. O’Rourke’s chapter on how fatherhood turns men into adults will make you chuckle. Tucker Carlson’s exploration on filling your children’s lives with excitement and danger will make you laugh. So will Toby Young’s on bad parenting, Andrew Ferguson’s on empty nests, Rob Long’s on marriage, and Joseph Epstein’s on being a grandparent.”
“The chapters are not just about jokes. Each dispenses wisdom about some aspect of fatherhood. Any dad who had gone through “the Talk” on sex with their children will identify with the embarrassment experienced by Matt Labash. You may not be as into shared experiences in television watching with your children as James Lileks, but he reminds you of some shared experience with your children.”
“Fathers who have been through the experiences related by the authors will nod in agreement. Fathers who have yet to go through some aspect of fatherhood outlined will get useful pointers. The Dadly Virtues is out in time for Father’s Day. It is a book with application past Father’s Day. This book is one that will resonate throughout the year.” —Mark Lardas, Galveston County Daily News (June 7, 2015)
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JVL & Co. show us fatherhood as a bridge. What we know about fatherhood we learned from our fathers. How we are with our children is what they will learn and know about it, too. JVL's own introductory essay is about paternal failures, how to accept their inevitability and how to live with the regrets. Bridging from our own fathers to our own kids, we all swear to avoid making the mistakes of the former while raising the latter. This rarely works. In fact, forget about it. Once you've manfully considered all your own fatherly failings, it's a lot easier to give the old man a break. Maybe there's a lesson for life in there.
My own dear progenitor was fond of booze and babes. He was married six times, four before I was out of the house. He begat five of us by three different women, whom he was obliged to marry in those quaint days. He adopted two more, prior children of wife number four. At the age of eighty-two and well under the influence he took another man's life in a head-on collision. Talk about mistakes? Boy, howdy. He lived five years after his release from prison. When I gave the eulogy I acknowledged his failings. But I recounted his successes: service to his country in war, a prosperous business, love of his state and town, and, especially, us, seven brats who made up, mysteriously, impossibly, a family. In him there was fatherhood enough.
These are smart, hilarious, and touching pieces all, well arrayed by the editor, from the tumescent throbbings of adolescent boys to marriage, conception, children, school, college, grandchildren. They will make you want to write your own about your dad and your life as a dad. It's a guidebook, really, by guys who have lived in those same places. Buy one for every new or prospective father you know.
Mr. Last and the authors managed to pull off something that's worthwhile as a book that could stand up against many (and better than many) in the "Parenting" section of the bookstore but could just as easily be a standout in the "Humor" section. I highly recommend it and plan to give it to my father and brothers for Father's Day. And I bet mothers would not only relate but be afforded many laugh-out-loud or eye-rolling moments (there's an early essay describing the new dad's terror at being left alone with the baby for about two hours that rings all too true). All in all a great and uplifting read.
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1) It politicizes fatherhood. Almost every author writes for the conservative outlet The Daily Standard.Read more