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New Family Values

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  748 ratings  ·  127 reviews
Drawing on dozens of intimate audio interviews with families from all across the country, award-winning psychologist and writer Andrew Solomon redefines what it means to be an “ideal family” in America today. Solomon observes that America, led in large part by the women’s, civil rights, and gay rights movements, has undergone a radical social shift in the last few decades. ...more
Audiobook, 6 pages
Published December 6th 2018 by Audible Studios
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  748 ratings  ·  127 reviews


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Barton Hacker
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
This "book" disappointed me, but to understand why, I should probably explain a little about myself.

I am a privileged white male; yet this does not define who I am. Rather, I am a single father, having gone through a divorce nearly ten years ago. I have chosen not to remarry, but am in a committed relationship with a wonderful woman with two children of her own. We have been together for five years, living separately, but we nonetheless act as one large family. My son considers her kids siblings
...more
Sara
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fascinating listen (and free right now for audible subscribers through December). I could physically feel my mind expanding during this because the topics discussed I've just never given much thought to. As someone who for now has pushed away any mention of having kids with both hands the interviews conducted with families across America presented in this audio book show the truly diverse way that a 'family' can form outside of the traditional structure, from foster care, adoption, th ...more
Michael Huang
Dec 15, 2018 rated it liked it
It’s an informative program about beyond typical traditional families: those with same-sex parents; with single parents; with polyamory; foster or adoptive families; families needing fertility helps. They certainly have their challenges just like traditional families but clearly also have additional challenges posed by law, social norm and pressure/prejudices etc. For instance:

* One woman in a same sex couples gave birth to a baby. The other woman is not even legally accepted as a parent. This w
...more
Andie
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Andrew Sullivan discusses the various ways people now arrange themselves into families from gay relationships to single parents to polygamy to polyandry to no children at all. Throughout all of his discussions with the various participants in each group, Sullivan maintains an open minded understanding and acceptance of each person's choice of how to live his or her life.

Family is where one finds it and everyone needs to be open to the choices that people now make.
Jeanny
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
The author did a marvelous job identifying & interviewing nontraditional families in today's society. I appreciated the author's dedication to getting these stories out. Giving a voice to the reality of what family is today is vital. It was an interesting book with an important message. I give it 4 solid stars


This book counts towards my Cliterary Genius 2018 Book Challange: Read 6 non-fiction book. This is book 2 of 6.
Mehrsa
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really love Andrew Solomon and his books. He’s an excellent writer and a compassionate soul. This is an audible book so it doesn’t shine light on Andrew’s strength, which is his pride. Still, it’s such a good exploration of different family arrangements. My favorite section was the CPS one highlighting how poor families live in fear of the state taking away their kids. I wish there was more on that, but it was still very good
Cassandra
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I hesitantly started listening to this, but ended up really loving it. Part way though I considered putting it down and starting something else, because it didn't hold my interest at every story. But it shouldn't have to, though. And that's OK. At times, it got very emotional. I am a white, upper-middle-class, heterosexual woman who is married to a man and who has biological children, yet I still fit into a few of these categories. I've been a surrogate and have given birth to someone else's bab ...more
Kit
One paragraph, or maybe two were about family values. The rest explored various ‘new’ family structures and the trouble they face in society. I think the book is a good and useful read. I would have given it a 4-star if it didn’t feel like a bait and switch through the poor title choice. I was confused for a bit.

I did appreciate greatly the two critical statements regarding family values: critical criteria for a family: integrity, loving-ness, and purposeful-ness.’ Kids do well when they are ‘h
...more
Christian
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Listening to this felt like the equivalent of finding out that a movie you really enjoyed has a sequel you didn't know about, except that it's a direct to video sequel with a much lower budget and only one of the original cast, but you watch it anyway and are pleasantly surprised to find that it's not that bad. What I'm saying is that this is the Tremors 2 of non-fiction books.

In Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity Andrew Solomon explored in depth families in which
...more
Brenna
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is phenomenal. Filled with some incredible insights. I never really considered top much how it must be for same sex parents raising kids and what the roles would look and feel like for them. I never knew of some of the horror stories people who use surrogates go through (or how much they make! Like for real, it got me thinking haha). I am very thankful for the insight and chances to peer inside these many faceted worlds for a few hours. It also really got me thinking of what it meant when m ...more
Krista Lukas
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-books-read
A thought-provoking audio program that was about different kinds of families as opposed to the traditional mom, dad, and kids. Andrew Solomon commented on and interviewed homosexual couples, surrogate mothers, fertility treatments, adoptive parents, foster families, polygamous, polyandrous, single parents, childfree families, and childless families. His goal is for society to face up to the fact that few families reflect the traditional model anymore, and to value the structures that have taken ...more
Sara
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"If you assume that people with each kind of family structure share common ground with other people in the same situation, the numbers remain small. But if you acknowledge single person, child-free, child-less, foster families, etc. all face the same kinds of disadvantages, then the population of people living outside the mainstream, becomes so vast, that it very nearly is the mainstream."

Such a fun listen, I really enjoyed the commentary podcast-like style Andrew Solomon brought to his audiobo
...more
Krystle Johnson
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing audiobook. As a person who is child free, I felt very validated and seen. I also learned a lot and increased my tolerance. I would highly recommend this book for everyone trying to figure out the value of family and the importance of family as well as what different types of family could look like. It’s an excellent learning experience. I felt like the author and person voice in the audiobook took a lot of care research to explain the families without patronizing the listener ...more
Arturo Mijangos
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audible, audiobook, family
A note on my ratings:
* Bad
** Not-Bad
*** Good (Topic, story was interesting/compelling)
**** Great (The writing was great and well organized)
***** Amazing (I want to share it, re-read it, apply it)

I chose this book because I wanted to explore the topic of family from a different perspective. Does Andrew Solomon explore all possible types of families? No, but I believe he was deliberate in choosing types of families that readers might not encounter often.

I enjoyed listening to perspectives that I h
...more
Christien Hughes
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was eye opening! Wow! I have my own family situation that I find is interesting to explain—these make me thankful for what I have.

Family to me, is in the heart. I have family members that are related to me just as I have people related to me who aren’t family. I do realize there has to be some standard, but we shouldn’t hold on so tightly to our view as “THE” view that we disenfranchise everyone outside. This book made that evident.

There are people fighting...literally fighting to be
...more
Jackballoon
Dec 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audies
So many types of families, but I couldn't identify with any of them. however the audiobook was well written and the author was easy to listen to.
Jennifer
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was so good - explored multiple viewpoints of what a family is.
Vaia DellaMorte
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Awesome Awesome AWESOME Listen!!
Christie Bane
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was the first Audible Original that I ever listened to, and it was pretty damn good. It's a book about the different configurations of families that make up modern society -- two gay parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, multiple-family households, polygamous/polyamorous families, adults who choose to be childless... I for one applaud the fact that society is finally accepting the idea that family is whatever the individuals involved say it is.

This book is pretty interesting. It's bas
...more
Dave Shields
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a very interesting collection of stories compiled into a single narrative. It covers a wide variety of new family structures in the modern world and challenges the status quo of marriage, love, children and parents.

There is a clear LGBTQ bias (it’s written by a gay man) and a strong focus on non white, non religious people. So I feel that some stories such as those about foster and adoption could have served better with a different perspective. As a moderate liberal with a Christian ba
...more
Michael Travis
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not my cup of tea. Interesting information but seemed pointed to political and social views.
Rayo VM
Jan 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Cuando Andrew Solomon le confesó a su madre que era gay, ella le dijo en tono disgustado que su mayor dolor era que no tuviera hijos y que terminara solo e infeliz. Resultaba que estaba equivocada. Andrew se casó con un hombre y es padre de dos hijos (por subrogación). El único dolor que tiene es que su madre se extinguiera tan pronto que no haya vivido para verlo.

Su historia forma parte de la serie de entrevistas que componen este audiolibro donde Solomon recorre Estados Unidos para mostrarnos
...more
Arpine
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I have a lot of respect for the people who had the courage and willingness to share their stories with the world – and that’s why this book is getting two starts and not one. Other than that, the book was a disappointment. Despite the multitude of family arrangements described here, it is very one-dimensional, and the gist of each story is the same: there is a stigma of what a family should be, and there are people who are brave to break the stigma. They overcome challenges to make things work. ...more
Maria
Families are hard and the definition of family is shifting. Legal definitions always lag behind, and some families on the margins are left without protections that they expect and/or need.

Why I started this book: Looked like a short, quick book.

Why I finished it: I finished this in tears. There is a lot of pain in the world, pain when you want to be a parent and can't or pain when you were a parent but you have no legal rights to your child. Solomon focuses on gay parents, surrogacy, polyandry a
...more
Juan Rivera
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lecturas-2019
Families as they described them and how they told us they should be, are less and less. Not because they are bad values, but because there are many ways of seeing life and expressing love among human beings.

On this subject I liked the book: "New Family Values" by Andrew Solomon, which presents controversial topics such as:

Children of homosexual marriages: And it shows that the comments of the problems of the children in this type of marriages have been diverted and do not show the reality. A chi
...more
Randy Daugherty
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The American Family, in the 1960's it was considered to be two parents of the same race,1.5 kids, a dog, cat, picture perfect. Today less than half of American families look like that.
Society along with the norms has changed, we have lesbian couples, gay couple, interracial couples, we have single parents accounting for a large portion of families whether it be a single mother or father. We have kids who have grown up under the care of DCFS, adopted children , the list goes on and on.
This famili
...more
Angela
Dec 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed Far From the Tree, and "New Family Values" is like an inverse of that: instead of children who may not be who their parents set out expecting to raise, this is about families who are somehow different than the traditional norm (though, as it turns out, they outnumber two parent, heterosexual and culturally homogeneous households with a couple of biological children). A cross between a lengthy podcast that would fit in topically alongside "This American Life" (indeed, Solomon put ...more
Amy
Apr 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I am struggling with how to rate this book, so let me break it down:

-as an audiobook: 1 star. The audio cuts in and out, volume changes multiple times. It felt like someone was trying to record audio from a TV documentary, which was distracting.
-emotional impact: 5 stars. I cried multiple times listening to people describe their challenges and how their family came together. It also challenged my beliefs on foster care, polyamory, and polygamy. It was interesting to hear how these families of va
...more
Katie
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, non-fiction
I think Andrew Solomon ranks as the America's most compassionate psychologist/historian. I adore his work and found these stories, especially as compiled in one book, to be enlightening and so very hopeful. The main aim here seems to be to find the dignity of every type of family structure and celebrate the right of every single person to feel justified in his/her chosen way. The book leads to a lovely hope that our legal system and cultural values are evolving to embrace these new family values ...more
Casey
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this audiobook, and it’s definitely an unusual format due to having the actual people he interviewed, recorded instead of just quoted).

However - I felt it was amazing. And hopeful in some ways, even as the author scathingly criticizes some aspects of today’s society for their narrow definition of family. He tells of his own circumstances (LGBT family, many parents involved in the raising of children in the family but a committed relationship between him and his
...more
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Andrew Solomon writes about politics, culture, and health. He lives in New York and London. He has written for many publications--such as the New York Times, The New Yorker and Artforum--on topics including depression, Soviet artists, the cultural rebirth of Afghanistan, Libyan politics, and deaf culture. He is also a Contributing Writer for Travel and Leisure. In 2008, he was awarded the Humanita ...more