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  Throwaway Dads

The Myths and Barriers That Keep Men from Being the Fathers They Want to Be

By Ross D. Parke and Armin A. Brott

ISBN: 0-395-6041-5, Pages: 272, Price: $ 24.00 HC
Pub-date: 25 January 1998 (USA)

Are fathers biologically unfit to parent? Are organizations such as Promise Keepers and NOW helping or hurting fathers?  Why, in a society whose definition of "parents" has expanded to include same sex partners, do we perpetuate the 50s philosophy that a father's main role is that of "provider?"

Fathers are, of course, vital to child rearing.  Studies have proven that children with active fathers are far happier and better adjusted than those without.  Despite this, we are bombarded with negative images: in movies and television shows fathers are portrayed as uninterested, lazy, or bumbling; newspapers and magazines are full of stories about neglectful, abusive, or deadbeat dads.  The overall message is consistent-fathers are not nearly as important as mothers to the family.

In Throwaway Dads, Armin Brott and Ross Parke explode these myths and examine other obstacles that prohibit fathers from having deep relationships with their children, thereby hurting children and our society as a whole.  They look at the dubious achievements of both the men's and women movements in reevaluating the roles of both sexes, and discuss actions people of each gender can take to counteract the damage.  They also dissect ways that corporations have limited fathers' roles, and detail how companies can be more "father friendly."  Furthermore, they suggest steps in addition to the Family and Medical Leave Act that our government can take to ensure that dads are allowed to play an active role in raising their children, and to encourage them to do so.

Brott and Parke contend that men want to be better dads, and a first step in reaching this goal is to increase awareness of the barriers they face.   This book is an invitation to explore these issues and to join in the process of getting men more involved.

Ross Parke has six children and is a professor of psychology at the University of California at Riverside.  He has more than thirty years of experience researching and writing about fatherhood.  Armin Brott is the father of two girls and lives in Berkeley, California.  He has written about fatherhood for the New York Times and the Washington Post, and has discussed the topic often on radio and television, including the Today show.  His previous books are The Expectant Father, The New Father: A Dad's Guide to the First Year, and A Dad's Guide to the Toddler Years.

To obtain tour information and a copy of Throwaway Dads, or to schedule an interview with the authors, please contact Lissa Warren at (617) 351-3240 tel., (617) 351-1109 fax, or via e-mail at lissa_warren@hmco.com.

 -----------------------------------------
Praise for Throwaway Dads

"Too often in recent years, the debate about fatherhood in America has been polarized between two equally unsatisfying opposites: the gender warriors who view fathers as unnecessary if not dangerous, and the traditionalists whose defense of fathers rests on the belief in rigid gender roles.  Throwaway Dads by Ross Parke and Armin Brott offers an inspiring alternative vision, shattering many myths along the way."
 -Cathy Young
Author of Ceasefire! Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve
True Equality

"Throwaway Dads is an essential guide not only for fathers but for a culture that is not sure what to do with them.  This book has the potential to redefine fatherhood in America."
 -Michael Gurian
Author of A Fine Young Man and The Wonder of Boys

"For far too long, American society has perpetuated the myth that fathers are at best superfluous, and at worst dangerous, to the well-being of their children.  Parke and Brott explode this myth with facts and uncommon insight, and offer a compelling vision for recapturing responsible fatherhood as a valued and cherished ideal."
 -Wade F. Horn, Ph.D.
President of the National Fatherhood Initiative

"Throwaway Dads is an enormously important book which combines a trenchant account of how American society sidelines Dads with a package of practical solutions.  Modern-day Dads will derive a great deal of comfort and support from this book."
 -Sylvia Hewlett, Ph.D.
President of the National Parenting Association

"Just as Susan Faludi's Backlash revealed an unwitting social conspiracy against women's achievement, Throwaway Dads reveals an unwitting conspiracy against men's involvement with their children. Parke and Brott break new ground in this important and hard-hitting book."
 -James A. Levine, Ed.D.
 Director of the Fatherhood Project, Families and Work Institute, NYC

"An interesting and valuable book - Americans' approach to parenting has been too mother-centered."
 -Betty Friedan
Founder of the National Organization for Women

"A wide-ranging, cool-headed response to the current predilection for dissing all the dads."
 -Kirkus Reviews

Updates:
2001 02 11 (format changes)
2013 03 29 (format changes)