One and Only: Why Being an Only Child, and Having one, Is Even Better Than You Think - eBook  -     By: Lauren Sandler
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One and Only: Why Being an Only Child, and Having one, Is Even Better Than You Think - eBook

Simon & Schuster / 2013 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 9781451626971
ISBN-13: 9781451626971

Publisher's Description

A funny, tough-minded case for being and having an only child, debunking the myths about only children and taking glory in the pleasures of singletons: “A swift and absorbing read…may change your mind and the national conversation” (Psychology Today).

Journalist Lauren Sandler is an only child and the mother of one. After investigating what only children are really like and whether stopping at one child is an answer to reconciling motherhood and modernity, she learned a lot about herself—and a lot about our culture’s assumptions. In this heartfelt work, Sandler legitimizes a discussion about the larger societal costs of having more than one, which Jessica Grose in her review in The New Republic calls, “the vital part of the conversation that’s not being discussed in the chatter” surrounding parenting.

Between the recession, the stresses of modern life, and the ecological dangers ahead, there are increasing pressures on parents to think seriously about singletons. Sandler considers the unique ways that singletons thrive, and why so many of their families are happier. One and Only examines these ideas, including what the rise of the single-child family means for our economies, our environment, and our freedom, leaving the reader “informed and sympathetic,” writes Nora Krug in the Washington Post.

Through this journey, “Sandler delves deeply, thoughtfully, and often humorously into history, culture, politics, religion, race, economics, and of course, scientific research” writes Lori Gottlieb, The New York Times Book Review. “I couldn’t put it down,” says Randi Hutter Epstein in the Huffington Post. Sandler “isn’t proselytizing, she’s just stating it like it is. Seductively honest.” At the end, Sandler has quite possibly cracked the code of happiness, demonstrating that having just one may be the way to resolve our countless struggles with adulthood in the modern age.

Author Bio

Lauren Sandler has written on cultural politics, religion, and inequality for Time, The Atlantic, Slate, and The New York Times. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Editorial Reviews

“[Sandler] delves deeply, thoughtfully, and often humorously into history, culture, politics, religion, race, economics, and of course, scientific research… Will she or won’t she have another? The beauty of her in-depth exploration is that the larger questions she poses make this one seem beside the point.”
“There is a welcome strain of argument undergirding this well-researched and lively book: Looking out for your own happiness is not inconsistent with being a good mother. This is a vital part of the conversation that’s not being discussed in the chatter surrounding middle-class parenting.”
“[T]he author’s argument dispels stereotypes of ‘onlies’ and raises provocative questions about the American tendency toward prioritizing and even elevating parenthood over relationships, individuality, social networks and other aspects of adulthood, sometimes to the detriment of the family. Recommended as an alternative perspective on an often emotionally fraught discussion.”
“[A] thoughtful, well-reasoned book… Sandler writes movingly.”
“Sandler makes her case with zeal…. [She] certainly has a dramatic touch with language, and in her book she adduces a prodigious amount of reporting, data and research…. [T]he the data Sandler cite speak convincingly to the proposition that only children, at the very least, should not be negatively stereotyped.”
“Sandler delivers a work of fierce reporting, tender storytelling, and clear-eyed cultural analysis.”
“Lauren Sandler’s book is eloquent, articulate, persuasive, and whip-smart. But its greatest virtue may be its restraint. This is, thank goodness, no faddish argument for only children. One and Only is something much wiser and much, much more important. It’s a plea to disregard our facile (and demonstrably incorrect) stereotypes about family size and accept a universal truth: one size does not fit all.”
“Sandler’s thought-provoking—and often surprising—analysis will fascinate anyone interested in how family circumstances shape our lives.”
“Sandler powerfully debunks generations of myths about the loneliness, selfishness, and general neuroticism of only children. Her book is a must-read both for adult only children and parents of ‘just’ one—and an eye-opener for anyone interested in a fresh look at the meaning of connectedness.”
“Sandler weaves a gripping tale of motherhood and modernity, bypassing the mommy wars to expose the wider conditions in which parenting choices are made. She’s one of the most cogent commentators on feminism and family there is.”
“This book, like everything Lauren Sandler writes, is lush and riveting. Only children or people who have only children will find comfort in these pages, and parents generally should read it to understand their own choices.”
“With wit, warmth, and keen intelligence, Sandler skewers the myths about only children and their parents. If you’re tired of all the foolish generalizations, buy several copies of this book and hand them out at the playground!”
“Onlies, parents of onlies, and readers still on the fence will find the book illuminating and affirming.”

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  1. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    Intellectually stimulating -NOT a 'how to'
    January 26, 2014
    Afridelic
    A good intellectual read - references lots of research. It must be noted that Sandler is not a Christian and has (at this point in time) settled on having only one child. As a born-again believer who has one child not by choice - and being a homeschooler to boot - the book can get a little harder to read from chapter 8 onwards as she tends to depreciate the 'religious conservatives' who choose to have more than two or three children. As dangerous and unfair as it is to see mothers with only one child as selfish, career-driven, egotists, it is equally unfair and dangerous to class all mothers with more then two or three children as unintelligent, unenlightened individuals who spend their days up their ears in diapers while giving up their personal rights and freedoms. It would be a sad thing for those of us trying to find a guilt-free path through parenting our only children to break-down those who mother more. All in all though, if you can take the right to think differently in your stride, this is very well written and stimulating read. It is not a parenting book, as such, more a justification for single children families (which, in my experience, is not generally applicable to a wider Christian audience) but I did pick up some anecdotal insights that may help me help my daughter navigate the waters of her 'onliness'.
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