Executive Director's Recommended Readings



Fatherless America by David Blankenhorn

The most urgent domestic challenge facing the United States is the re-creation of fatherhood as a vital social role for men, according to David Blankenhorn, founder and president of the Institute for American Values. His compelling presentation of the "culture of fatherlessness" describes more than the physical absence of a father from the family; what is most troubling, he maintains, is the growing belief that fatherhood is an unnecessary function. Mr. Blankenhorn examines various demographics of fatherlessness and presents his recommendations for rediscovering the goal of "a father for every child." cautioning that unless the trend of fatherlessness is reversed, the "decline of child well-being and the spread of male violence" will not be arrested.


The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch is one of my heroes. Randy, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, gave his last lecture while diagnosed with terminal cancer. His last lecture focused on --"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"—and not about dying. He stressed the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment. Through his book Randy is having a major impact on his children’s development although he is deceased. Randy is an inspiration to fathers everywhere. 



Climbing Jacobs Ladder by Dr. Andrew Billingsley

Dr. Andrew Billingsley addresses the strengths and weaknesses of African American families, concluding that their strengths are "by far more powerful and contain the seeds of their survival and rejuvenation." Drawing on many studies and using numerous charts, Dr. Billingsley discusses African American family structure, then goes on to consider the legacy from Africa, family patterns during slavery and after, and the rise and fall of the black working class. Stressing the African American family's adaptiveness, he shows how the extended family, as well as community institutions, can serve as stepping stones to success. The black church, self-help and government can all play a part in bolstering the African American family. 


The Purpose of Boys by Michael Gurian

Family therapist, Michael Gurian observes that many boys are struggling to find a sense of purpose. Michael Gurian paints a grim picture of boys who have lost their footing; many are failing in school; turning to drugs, alcohol or gangs; and engaging in violent behavior. Michael Gurian attributes this disturbing trend to a lack of purpose and urges parents, (I strongly emphasize fathers) to help their male offspring channel their energies into productive lives.




The Connected Father by Dr. Carl Pickhardt

Many fathers feel unprepared for their child's adolescence. Dr. Carl Pickhardt stresses that fathers need to become informed about changes and challenges that normally unfold. Helping caring fathers navigate the four crucial stages of adolescence, The Connected Father describes:  how fathers can learn to be better listeners, why they have trouble communicating and what to do about it, different emotional changes between mid- and late-adolescence, how to encourage independence while setting limits, and how fathers can talk to teens about drugs, sex, the internet, relationships, and more.



 The Marriage Problem by James Q. Wilson

In this study of the implications of broken marriages, James Q. Wilson suggests that there is a direct connection between Americans' tolerance for no-fault divorce and unmarried co-habitation and the country's rising rates of childhood delinquency, teenage births, abuse and single-parent families.





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