A review of "Father and Child Reunion" by Warren Farrell, Ph.D. ISBN 1-58542-075-1
"Father and Child Reunion", by Warren Farrell, Ph.D., is an outstanding book, packed full of insightful statistics, examples, and citations. The direct way in which Farrell cuts to the heart of complex problems is inspiring.
Although "Father and Child Reunion" is not intended to be a reference book, it could easily serve as one. The book is meticulously researched, with almost five hundred footnotes. Dr. Farrell has carefully documented his subject in great detail, with a voluminous amount of supporting data.
It should be stressed, however, that this is not one of those dreary tomes that one has to wade through, fighting off sleep while searching for the 'good stuff'. On the contrary, it is a thoroughly enjoyable book that moves right along with the aid of a great deal of interesting material gathered by Farrell. The 'good stuff' isn't hidden; it jumps out at you from nearly every paragraph.
Farrell provides a number of illuminating explanations for some of the most common (and persistent) misconceptions regarding divorce, custody, and fatherhood. His careful dissection of the issues leaves little to chance- every facet is closely examined and laid bare.
Step-by-step, Farrell shows how fathers can be systematically removed from their children's lives, through the 'well-meaning' efforts of courts, social perceptions, and government offices. These things provide the tools, motives, and methods that permit fathers to be treated as second-class citizens in divorce and custody matters.
Farrell touches on a key point, something called the "presumption of perversion". This is a recent social attitude wherein all men are viewed with suspicion, and are thought not to be trusted around children because of their (presumed) proclivity to molest. Farrell states it succinctly when he says that in the space of a decade or two, we've gone from "Father Knows Best" to "Father Molests". This unconscious social mis-perception contributes to (and may well indeed be responsible for) many of the current prevailing anti-father attitudes in society.
Farrell also skillfully explains what appear to be some contradictory statements. For example, he shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that children fare better when they live with single fathers than they do when they live with single mothers, yet he also states that fathers aren't better parents than mothers. How can this be? Farrell explains how both of these statements are true, and why they are, in fact, not contradictory.
Warren Farrell discusses sex abuse charges in a way that makes some seemingly incomprehensible incidents understandable. Farrell gives a credible explanation of what likely causes a certain number of the spurious charges of abuse that appear during divorce situations, charges that have no foundation in truth.
"Father and Child Reunion" is a book that should be required reading for every judge, GAL, evaluator, attorney, and social worker. The insights and knowledge gained would be invaluable, and would without a doubt change the way justice is dispensed in family court.
Erin Pizzey, who opened the first shelter in the world for battered women, comments on Farrell's book, saying "this time he has surpassed himself and written 'the bible of fatherhood.'" We agree. Simply put, "Father and Child Reunion" is a 'must read'.
Based on price as well as content, we rate "Father and Child Reunion" as a 5-star resource (on a scale of 1 to 5).