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It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good [Paperback]

By Rick Santorum, Benito Cereno, Les Mcclaine (Illustrator), Voula Grand (Contributor), Merrin Lazyan (Contributor), Lubos Merhaut & Marta Ottlova
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Item Number 102192  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   451
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.1" Width: 6.42" Height: 1.38"
Weight:   1.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 15, 2006
Publisher   Intercollegiate Studies Institute
ISBN  193223683X  
EAN  9781932236835  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...

Among politicians of national stature today, there is perhaps none more respected as a principled conservative than Rick Santorum. In "It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good," Santorum articulates the humane vision that he believes must inform public policy if it is to be effective and just. An appreciation for the civic bonds that unite a community lies at the heart of genuine conservatism. Moreover, Santorum demonstrates how such an approach to political, social, and economic problems offers the most promise for those on the margin of life: the poor, the vulnerable, and minorities who have often been excluded from opportunity in America.

Santorum argues that conservative statesmanship is animated by a sense of stewardship for an inheritance. But what do we inherit as Americans? And how can we be good stewards of that inheritance? Building on Robert Putnam's discussion of "social capital," the habits of association and trust that are the preconditions of any decent society, Santorum assesses how well, in the past generation, Americans have cared for the "fabric" of society. He explores in detail various dimensions of social and cultural connection that are the foundation of the common good. And he presents innovative policy proposals for the renewal of American society at all levels.

Throughout his book, Santorum emphasizes the central role of the family--in contradistinction to the metaphorical "village" of the federal government, as promoted by Hillary Clinton--in achieving the common good. With a sustained argument touching on first principles throughout, this ambitious and original book is a major contribution to contemporary political debate. "It Takes a Family" further establishes Santorum as the leader of reform-minded civic conservatives in America.

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More About Rick Santorum, Benito Cereno, Les Mcclaine, Voula Grand, Merrin Lazyan, Lubos Merhaut & Marta Ottlova

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Rick Santorum was a candidate for the Republican nomination for president of the United States in 2012. He served in the US House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995 and in the US Senate from 1995 to 2007. He is the founder of Patriot Voices, a grassroots community that is committed to promoting faith, family, freedom, and opportunity, and to being a voice for those who often cannot fight for themselves. Rick and Karen, his wife of 22 years, are the parents of eight wonderful children: Elizabeth, John, Daniel, Gabriel Michael (deceased), Sarah Maria, Peter, Patrick, and Isabella. Rick is also an accomplished author, having penned the 2005 New York Times best-seller It Takes a Family.

Rick Santorum was born in 1958.

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Product Categories
1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Social Sciences > Political Science > Public Policy   [1558  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Government > Social Policy   [838  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General   [22730  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
It Takes a Family, Supported by the Village  Apr 22, 2007
As per Rick Santorum, "Throughout this book, ...I will be discussing different types of 'captial' and how family breakdown - out-of-wedlock births, divorce, cohabitation, and absentee parenthood - has depleted that capital in recent decades. For it sometimes happens that the patrimony we inherit has not been well cared for by the immediately previous generation....The village elders don't seem to understand that a stable marriage is the greatest protection for children and the most powerful energizer of their success....Ten years after a marriage breaks up, research has shown that approximately two-thirds of children report that they haven't seen their father for over a year....Marriage matters because children matter....The conservative solution to the problems of low-income America, is to structure all our programs around the family, to work with the family rather than against it....In developing my understanding of social policy, I have learned a lot from the tradition of Catholic social thought. In that tradition, there is an important concept called subsidiarity, the principal that all social challenges should be addressed at the level of the smallest social unit possible, preferably the family" (pp. 9 - 68).
A Decent Discussion of the Platitude "Compassionate" Conservatism  Apr 15, 2007
It is often said that Conservatism is nothing more than a home for vipers and hatemongers. I do not think that is the case at all, although fighting against that grain is difficult in a society which has taken all pains to convince us of the evils of men like Rick Santorum. Santorum's book proffers the now-trite form of conservatism known as "compassionate" conservatism, an adage which has become the primary banner of the contemporary Republican Party.

In many ways, Santorum's ideas propose solutions which are palpable to bigger-government thinkers. The book is mostly a platform for reflecting on two things: (1) The centrality of freely-associated bonds over top-down governance and (2) The role of government in redeveloping this. By its very nature, (1) is incontrovertible when placed against the hard facts of reality as we live. The world works ground-up and no other way. It is (2) that is more exposing of Santorum, for it proves that a "conservative" Republican is capable of thinking like a "compassionate liberal" in many of his governmental policies.

However, my positive assessment of the text ends here. I have great qualms about anything that lauds "compassionate conservatism" as though conservatism is, in its roots, uncompassionate. In many ways it is a farce which only tries to play on words for political power. Additionally, it does a great disservice to conservative governmental ideals which must play a role in the reform (or truly revolution) of government. In many ways, Santorum's ideas become platitudinous and also deny the reality of the multifarious problems facing an ever-expanding federal government.

While he does redirect all of his policy efforts toward the edification of the family, I believe that he makes the error of bowing to the label of "compassionate conservatism" in an attempt to place a bandage on a culture which may indeed need a revolution, not mere reform. In spite of my disappointments, much truth lies in his assessment of the centrality of the individual and family, so I give the text 3-3.5/5 stars.
Veritas!  Jan 22, 2007
In, It Takes a Family, Rick Santorum successfully provides a picture of the last forty years of American history in light of the founders' vision for the republic. While the founders envisioned a national community and communities, each possessing specific functions, today, we are overcome by top-down directed society.

Santorum sets out to explain the fundamental differences in the liberal and conservative visions for America. In drawing a dichotomy, he defines the liberal vision as one of the "Bigs" and "Village Elders," and the conservative vision as one of families. Santorum defines the Bigs as the big universities and public schools, big businesses, big national labor unions, big news media, big entertainment, and the federal government. He then provides instances of how the liberal vision and its projects have failed America. For example, he argues that the liberal idea of "no-fault freedom," a freedom that celebrates the individual above the community, is key in the decline in social capital, the increases in absentee parents, divorce, out of wedlock pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, abortions, and many other ills plaguing American society today. In contrast, he argues that the conservative idea of societal engagement through families, civic and fraternal associations, clubs, churches, and small businesses, provides a common-sense and effective approach to combating the effects of the failed liberal project. Further, he contends the conservative approach provides a way to sustain the American republic.

Santorum not only points out the shortcomings of the liberal project for America, but he scornfully rebukes conservatives for dismissing Americans who are poor, disadvantaged, and less well off. He argues that the failure to practice fundamental American ideas has increased the power of the Bigs and that Americans must now, and forever, work through families to provide the commonsense and equitable alternative to the liberal project.

Unsurprisingly, in response to the failed liberal programs such as no-strings-attached welfare, no-fault divorce, and promotion of relativism in public schools, he argues for an increase in welfare to work programs, assistance to first time homebuyers, assistance to disadvantaged parents, promotion of marriage, and school choice. Also, he presents examples of these and many other programs that are either on or getting on the conservative agenda.

Santorum does a good job in highlighting the trials and tribulations of poor and low-income Americans and proposes many commonsense policies to mitigate their plight. With the exception of dividing the liberal and conservative visions for America, he does not divide Americans into an Us vs. Them dichotomy. He promotes the idea that although liberal ideas were well-intentioned and have led to serious problems, we Americans are all in this together. We are responsible for each other and we must be good stewards of ourselves, our neighbors, our community, and our country.

I think this book will be helpful for those raising families as well as those who are single.
Politicians who think they are writers need to think again  Jan 19, 2007
Boring and out of touch describes this book by Santorum. I am a Republican, and I can honestly say that I am glad he is out of office.
bye bye Ricky Rat  Dec 17, 2006
Hooray - may Sick Rantorum find out just how cold it is in the world that thinks men who say mothers with limited incomes need to learn "struggling is not necessarily a bad thing" belong in. Happy struggling, Ricky Rat, ye who gave yourself pay raises while fighting attempts to increase minimum wage, who declared his sympathy for fighting AIDS in Africa but compared gays to "man on dog sex." My guess is you won't be on U2's guest list much longer, despite trying to link your campaign to Bono's good works.

One of my favorite moments of an evening of viewing CNN's election coverage was watching that pompous gasbag Bill Bennet melt into a pile of foul-looking disgust as his neocon creepies got voted out one by one and the balance of the power in the House was declared Democrat. May these hateful, intolerant, weasels choke upon their plate full of crow as the march to 2008 regime change gathers steam and join Sick Rantorum in history's dustbin of Neanderthals.

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