Summary: Marriage--Just a Piece of Paper? goes beyond conservative-liberal polarities in addressing timely marriage issues head-on. Skillfully weaving together scores of revealing interviews--with adults and children, with well-known professionals and ordinary citizens--the book poignantly captures the varied lives and voices, hopes and heartbreaks, and successes and failures that make up the reality of marriage in American society today.
Among the prominent figures ...show more who speak out in these pages are Joseph Lieberman (U.S. senator from Connecticut), William Julius Wilson (Harvard University), Judith Wallerstein (author of The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce), David Blankenhorn (Institute of American Values), Lisa Sowle Cahill (Boston College), John Witte (Emory University), Wade Horn (National Fatherhood Initiative), Linda Waite (coauthor of The Case for Marriage), Sam Brownback (U.S. senator from Kansas), William Galston (domestic policy advisor in the Clinton administration), Judith Stacey (Council on Contemporary Families), Frank Keating (governor of Oklahoma), and Judith Martin (better known as "Miss Manners").
Other perspectives come from judges, ministers, therapists, young African-American men who teach fatherhood skills, and children of divorced parents. Well-known and unknown persons alike address significant questions: Is marriage truly in decline? What are the personal and social costs of divorce? Is simply living together an answer? What about same-sex marriage? What can communities, government, the academy, and churches and synagogues do to support married life? Providing both a survey of the history of marriage and an honest assessment of the state of marital unions today, the book suggests ways that marriage can remain a viable institution into the twenty-first century. ...show less