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A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce Hardcover – September 23, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Vivid [and] deeply felt.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Told with intelligence and passion . . . This book is a must.” —Raoul Felder, The Huffington Post

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Alec Baldwin graduated with a BFA from New York University. As an actor, he has been nominated for a Tony Award and an Oscar, and has received an Emmy. He stars in the award-winning television series 30 Rock on NBC.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1St Edition edition (September 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312363362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312363369
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,182,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Speaking from experience and as a woman, Mr. Baldwin is right when he relates to the CA courts as a woman's court. Fathers are treated as second class citizens and then mothers and children complain when the father's no longer stay in contact. Trust me, at some point you just want to ask the judge, "How much to not see the kid at all?" Wealth or not Alec Baldwin has got this one right.

The previous reviewer needs to READ THE BOOK instead of watching interviews and judging Mr. Baldwin's political beliefs. I doubt if he understands the California Family Court system all the way from Sweden.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
And it's not easy to speak of these matters in contemporary America, but Baldwin's line about being pulled into the American family law system is akin to being tied to a truck and then dragged down a gravel road late is excellent. As he put it, no one can hear your cries, and it is not over until they say it is. I'm sorry that Mr. Baldwin had to go through what he did but hope that this memoir/analytical work sways minds and adds to the preponderance of the evidence concerning the lack of justice men now find in our courts of law. Protecting women is fine but the juridical operationalization of this notion has resulted in the persecution of the opposite sex. People need to be aware about what's going on so I'm appreciative that Baldwin is using his fame for the worthy and noble purpose of generating awareness. The great thing about this book is that the author does more than tell his own story. He includes the narratives of several men who experienced the same horrors he did. In conclusion, I'm very grateful Mr. Baldwin has graced us with this publication.
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Format: Hardcover
I couldn't put the book down! It's well written and reads like a novel page turner, filled with suspense, intensity of emotions, and drama.

Having just completed a divorce myself as a mother of two where I kept not only the welfare of my girls' future emotional and psychological well-being primary, I also considered with utmost care the feelings of their father that I could no longer stay married to. So this meant that we took our time with mediation, we personally served our papers to one another, and shared in 50/50 joint custody. We agreed to all this and more not only for our children but for our own individual futures. This has kept our family emotionally whole and now a year later are thriving as a new kind of family! Unfortunately, as just one example in the book, this was not the same for Kim Basinger who had Alec Baldwin served with their Separation Papers, which is more a punch to the gut than most women (and men when reversed) realize. How can anyone respond without retaliation, swords drawn and ready for battle? And then, of course, how can one not eventually lose control of one's anger when legal minefields release destruction and anguish at every step along the way. Sure Alec was wrong to hurl such words and accusations at his daughter on the phone, but I can see the path to that call more clearly now. So sad. Oh yes, and BTW, "leaking" that call to the public had to have been horribly painful for their daughter--and all for what? To show Alec as a bad man? Surely there was no consideration whatsoever for the child!

And then the climax of using and abusing the legal system to inflict the parental alienation tactics I think is reprehensible.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While Alec Baldwin and I are diametrically opposed politically, we are unfortunately completely aligned in our experience of an outrageously expensive divorce and custody battle (both of us have spent well over a million dollars fighting for our "rights" to be a father) fraught with gutless participants, unwilling to recognize the true costs of parental alienation on the lives of the children to whom they claim to have the best interests in mind.

While I was attracted to the book by my own dismal experience with the Los Angeles "family courts judicial" system, I was expecting to read a whining, salacious text vetting out the bad behavior of Baldwin's unrepresented ex. Fortunately enough, whether through Baldwin's own good sense or because those dirty details were sealed by court transcripts, most of those were keep out of the book. Instead, Baldwin delivers enough of his own personal details to make the painful point of a father locked out of his daughter's childhood and he, more importantly, devotes a fair amount of the book to the insight he has gained about the realities of Parental Alienation, how it is identified, how it manifests itself and how you might approach marriage, divorce and co-parenting to mitigate it.

This book stands out in the limited, but growing body of material on this subject. Making the point that if a parent with the resources of Baldwin can't win the fight for equal custody, how can anybody else. What was his crime? What did he or his daughter do to deserve the punishment?

With some limited examples from other parents, Baldwin also attempts to round out his own experience. Frankly, I think he held back. Parental Alienation is worse than you can imagine.
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