- Hardcover: 296 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (June 1, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520274067
- ISBN-13: 978-0520274068
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City 1st Edition
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From the Inside Flap
With a clear-eyed honesty and frankness, Edin and Nelson probe the experiences of fathers among our urban poor, and what they discover is both surprising and hopeful. Edin and Nelson should be applauded for their bold on-the-ground research which pushes us to consider that men whose lives are often marked by disorder having children can often be a stabilizing force. Doing the Best I Can turns many of our assumptions about fatherhood on their head.” Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here
"Doing the Best I Can will change the way we think about unwed fatherhood in the inner city. The book, based on in-depth interviews with low-income black and white fathers in Camden NJ and Philadelphia, is a real page-turner. Nelson and Edin’s well-written narratives on the lives of low-income fathers, their role as fathers, and relationships with their children are replete with fresh insights. This compelling book is a must-read."William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University
I am confident that this book will instantly become the leading source of information on the nature of unwed fatherhood today. It shows a new path of intimate life for unwed young men, suggesting that marriage is no longer central in low-income young adults’ intimate partnerships. It will be an eye-opener, a detailed portrait we have not seen before.”Andrew Cherlin, Johns Hopkins University
This book smashes the stereotype of poor dads as the hit and run’ or deadbeat’ men who care only about casual sex and have no interest in the resulting kids. It is also unflinchingly honest about the sometimes egregious behavior of the men. Its poignant narratives and astute analysis make it the book to read on poor fathers.”Paula England, New York University
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They found a surprising number of men who wanted and tried to be part of their children's lives although they were rarely able to provide for their support and had definitions of fatherhood that differed from traditional middle class standards. A number had been influenced to change destructive habits by having a child in their life. The authors suggest hope for policies involving these men more extensively in their children's lives, but to an untrained outsider the almost universal lack of education, a steady job, ability to maintain sobriety or avoid criminal activities make such goals noble but questionable. They would certainly need the assistance of role models which none of them have ever had.