i have to give this book 5 stars to make up for the excessive grumbling about the sound quality in other reviews. Here is the deal on the sound. They play background music for the first 30 seconds of a chapter. Those 30 seconds are offensive to modern ears. However, this problem can also serve the point of the book. The first 30 seconds of each chapter can literally serve as an example of a superficial cultural expectation which could be used to subvert the real content of the book and of its value to family life. If you are not buying the book because of these sound reviews then i would recommend the book all the more.
I doubt if the cultural and historical comparisons of families in this book will ever be better told. Further relevance of this comparison to the crisis of meaning that both families and individuals suffering under today could not be more precise. Its not a nostalgic book about the good ol days but rather a search for meaning for today. The author is fair about the good ol days and mentions the bad "sound quality" moments.
Her clarity about the dangers of viewing family problems solely from a psychological or only from a culture perspective is brilliant and as clear as i have ever read about it. The skill with which the values and words of our grandparents and our fading parents are extracted to our benefit is a talent only a few surgeons can perform.
And though the book is not from the latest tablet and smart phone era, it ironically rings clearer! I think this could be because at least the previous television-video-games-cell-phone era was actually easier to identify than today's comprehensive talking portable computer surfaces.
Further, the joy and promise of these novel devices clouds us more than even more primitive devices did only a few years back. Yet living in this latest era that is beyond outrage characterized primarily by the inhumanity of rootless corporate globalization , political hijacking, global fundamentalist regression and ruthless and callous work conditions, families need to understand how families have survived as long as they have.
This is so convincing and so well done. I rarely take in a book this deeply and earnestly. I could not find a single place to really argue or gripe. This is a timeless work that deserves your time at least once through. The conclusions are profound and have shaken for the better my faith based view of the world. She almost apologized that she ended with Derrida and I appreciated her doing so, but she should have clearly ended with Zizek.
The Fat Free Atheist Chocolate Ice Cream Cookie Bar. It would have been the perfect cherry on top of her perfect point.
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