There’s No Place Like Work: How Business, Government, and Our Obsession with Work Have Driven Parents from Home

Confronting the abundant evidence that children suffer when their mothers leave them for the workplace, Mr. Robertson asks why it has nevertheless become the norm for mothers to work. The rise of feminism seems the obvious answe…

Confronting the abundant evidence that children suffer when their mothers leave them for the workplace, Mr. Robertson asks why it has nevertheless become the norm for mothers to work. The rise of feminism seems the obvious answer, but until the 1960s, the women’s movement zealously fought against mothers’ being forced to abandon their homes for wages. The important change, Mr. Robertson discovers, has been in society’s view of work, which we once saw as a means of supporting family life but now pursue as an avenue of self-fulfillment.

Accompanying this cultural sea-change were coercive new policies in business and government that deliberately stacked the deck against one-income families. The response of both political parties to the needs of families, Mr. Robertson shows, has been laughable. Democrats embrace the new feminist mania for working mothers, and Republicans will not threaten the corporate grip on parental priorities. He concludes with an outline of sane family policy and an account of how some intrepid men and women have prevailed against the anti-family current.

Mr. Robertson takes a dim view of the scientific pretensions of much of the literature on work and family. Ideological prejudices have proved easy to hide in a forest of statistics and data. Studies and polls are useful only if the interpreter is grounded in the truth of the human person and the indispensable role of the family.

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