It is easy to find alarming statistics on escalating violence, addiction and economic inequality in developed countries and stubborn poverty in the third world. The fascinating question has to do with cause. New York Times #1 bestselling authors Richard and Linda Eyre’s new book The Turning: Why the State of the Family Matters and What the World Can Do about It contends that the social and economic challenges faced not only in the United States, but throughout the world, are the direct result of an unprecedented and widespread turning away from family. The negative effects of this turning are apparent in the youth of the world today:
- In São Paulo, Brazil, more than 1.2 million “street children” are addicted to cocaine;
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death for American fifteen-to-twenty-four-year-olds;
- Great Ormond Street Hospital in London has treated girls as young as seven or eight for eating disorders;
- In Ethiopia, nearly half of the children under the age of six work 30-hour weeks; and
- In the past year there have been over 64 school shootings in the U.S., equaling more than one shooting a week.
The Turning uses research findings, statistics (like those listed above), and the Eyres’ personal experiences at home and abroad to show that families are essential to the survival and success of civilization.
With the well-being of the world at risk, The Turning will move readers in a way that will raise personal reflection, discussion, and action to return the family to its necessary position as the recognized and prioritized basic unit of society.
But far more than a book of statistics and political suggestions, this is a book for parents—parents who want to better understand the world their children are growing up in and who want to create a family culture that is stronger than the internet culture, the peer culture, and all the other influences that flurry around our children every day.
As Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat opened our eyes to the cause-and-effect aspects of the global economy, The Turning will open the eyes of readers across the world to the means-and-ends connections between stable families and households and the world’s ability to meet its social and economic challenges.
As Harvard’s Clayton Christensen and best-selling author of The Innovator’s Dilemma states, “This book gives us a common cause, and a clear way to frame and explain the causality of today’s problems.”
In the spirit of Friedman’s The World is Flat, Richard and Linda Eyre examine the connections between the world’s mounting social problems and the breakdown of families and look deeply at the root causes of family disintegration—the false paradigms that confuse the priorities of parents and influence the kind of policies and practices in larger institutions (from media to government) that threaten families both economically and emotionally.
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About the Author
Richard and Linda Eyre are New York Times #1 bestselling authors whose writing career has spanned four decades and whose books have sold in the millions. They have appeared on virtually all major national talk shows including Oprah and Today, and have seen their books translated into a dozen languages. They write a syndicated weekly newspaper column and currently spend most of their time traveling and speaking to audiences throughout the world on families, parenting, and life-balance (and trying to keep up with their twenty-six grandchildren). The Eyres’ vision statement is “Fortify families by celebrating commitment, popularizing parenting, bolstering balance, and validating values.”
Richard and Linda Eyre are New York Times #1 bestselling authors whose writing career has spanned four decades and whose books have sold in the millions. They have appeared on virtually all major national talk shows, including Oprah and Today, and have seen their books translated into a dozen languages. They write a syndicated weekly newspaper column and currently spend most of their time traveling and speaking to audiences throughout the world on families, parenting, and life-balance (and trying to keep up with their twenty-six grandchildren). The Eyres’ vision statement is “Fortify families by celebrating commitment, popularizing parenting, bolstering balance, and validating values.”
Table of Contents• I—The Crux: Everything Starts with Family and Everything Ends without Family
• II—The Curse: "Social Problems" that Are Crushing America
• III—The Crisis: Deteriorating Families Are the Cause and Everything Else Is the Effect
• IV—The Culprits: Large "New" Institutions that Substitute for Small "Old" Families
• V—The Conundrum: Parents Have the Power, but It Is Smothered by False Paradigms
Intermission: Families Will Have to Revive Themselves, but They Will Need Help
• VI—The Celebration: Finding the Joy of Choosing the Better Part
• VII—The Cure: Making Your Family Culture Stronger than All Other Cultures
• VIII—The Cause: Something to Believe In . . . Creating a Movement from the Inside Out
• IX—The Case: For Greater Family Focus within the Public, Private, and Non-Profit Sectors
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Overview: It is no exaggeration to say that this is a book that I have waited for my entire adult life. I have always been passionate about the importance of families, and have tried to share how integral the family is to success of individuals, nations and the world--yet I’ve not been able to articulate it sufficiently. But now, Richard and Linda Eyre have done just that, in a powerful and convincing way. “The Turning” is equal parts eloquent, well-researched, and realistic, yet practical and hopeful. The statistics in the Eyre’s research illustrate a frightening truth, that when the family fails, so does government, commerce, education, and individual well being--every facet of our world is harmed. The opposite is also true-- where the family succeeds, every other part of life prospers. This book educates on why the success of families is pivotal to the success of the world, and explains the dangers to the family. It also inspires and presents a strategic battle plan to save families and have media, government and economic spheres understand the benefit to them of proactively supporting families. The part that I liked best: As a mother, I appreciated the bold language used to assure me that what I do really DOES matter. As the Eyres’ discussed the importance of parents and the danger of delegating our children’s care to others, even very loving and capable people, they used a lot of analogies, such as “the substitute is never as good as the first string player” (pg. 83). They also compare some parents to general contractors hiring subcontractors--electrical, plumbing, ect. and likened it to how often we “subcontract” our children: nannies, sports, school, after school programs, dance lessons, tutors, etc. They underline that all of these people and activities are not bad, but ask the question “do these activities support or take away from the family?” They also addressed the “cult of the individual” and explained why it is a danger to everyone when taken out of proportion. How This Book Made an Impact In My Life, Especially as a Mother: This book made me re-evaluate how our family spends time and what we do when we are together. It made the point that in our efforts to provide for our children, give them every opportunity, help them develop talents and have time with friends, we are actually taking away something much more valuable because we are always so busy. In addition, “attention is focused on competition and comparison rather than on cooperation and communication. (pg 116) In essence, we often take away deep and real relationships that last a lifetime and that give meaning and purpose to life, often in exchange for the superficial and short term. The other part of the book that really made an impact on me was the strategic plan to re-take the family and put it at the forefront of society. This part made me want to stand up and cheer, to take up the banner and carry the cause forward. The Eyres’ make a case for moving away from anti-(fill-in-the-blank: abortion, poverty, drugs, crime, etc), and move toward promoting a cause which we are for: the family, which in turn brings health, prosperity, and true and lasting happiness. This book will start a movement. If people everywhere start implementing it’s ideas, we can save our children from becoming depressing statistics, save our struggling economies, strengthen our governments, be better educated and informed and we will all have more meaning and purpose in our lives. I am excited to give this book to families as a gift, encouraging others to learn as I have, that “turning our hearts” towards our families is a very practical way to more happiness and overall success.
Well worth the time an money to read this. Well put together, well researched. exposes a crisis that we need to deal with on a global scale and must start with ourselves and our homes.
This book is definitely an eye opener! Family is important to me, but it's amazing how the world thinks otherwise! You can't argue with statistics, and they show that today's youth is in real trouble, and at the root of it are problems in the family unit. "The Turning" addresses these and other problems (some I had no idea even existed) and gives examples on how we as a nation and as individuals can turn these statistics around. A MUST READ for any one who values family or the future of our nation!