ON-Lion Letter

The United States has the highest family-fragmentation rates in the industrial world.  Nonmarital birth rates for the nation as a whole are 40%, with proportions dramatically higher in many communities as defined by race, ethnicity, or geography.  Divorce rates, while moderating in recent decades, are still estimated at about 40% for first marriages and 50% for second ones.  Together, this fragmentation impacts millions of children as well as adults, leading to educational, economic, and other losses that in turn lead to lower social mobility and deepening class divisions.


In his forthcoming Broken Bonds:  What Family Fragmentation Means for America’s Future, Mitch Pearlstein explores the declining state of the American family and what its disintegration means for our future.  Based on candid interviews of more than 30 leading family experts across the political spectrum -- from Lawrence M. Mead to Bradley Prize recipient Heather Mac Donald to former Minneapolis Mayor Don Fraser -- Pearlstein ruminates on the political, social, and spiritual fallout of this trend.  In honest and frank conversations, he and his interviewees fearlessly diagnose the problems that many have been too timid to explore and suggest ways to reverse these trends that threaten our social fabric.


Pearlstein is founder and president of Center of the American Experiment in Minneapolis.  The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supported his work on Broken Bonds.

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