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am 13. Juli 1999
This is a great book by a woman who is, it will be no surprise to know, much maligned and hated by the Right side of America's political spectrum. No doubt you, dear reader, have heard some of this ranting and perhaps have even read it among the reviews of this book. Had these lock-step followers of the crown prince of ignoramuses, Rush Limbaugh, and the like actually taken the time (and the intellectual courage) to even listen to this book, they would perhaps have arrived at a different conclusion as to its worth. Then again: perhaps not. But I am wasting my time telling you either what you already know, or what you wish to forget. The point is that Hillary Clinton has spent much of her adult life thinking seriously about how we raise our children in a post-modern world. Truth to tell, many of her conclusions are -- hold on, folks -- actually reasonable and always well-thought-out. The title, "It Takes a Village," was taken ourt of context by conservatives and twisted into some kind of Maoist re-education camp, no doubt presided over by the Right Wing's favorite dragon lady. In truth, Mrs. Clinton is merely making the point that Burkean conservatives such as Russell Kirk and that most respectable school of conservative thought have long made: that we do not function as individual automatons in the world, that we live and breath as part of a larger community, and that this community calls forth obligations as well as expectations. Only "conservatives" operating out of the Ayn Rand school of selfishness should have any serious objections to this book. For them, all is reduced to the heroic individual, standing athwart traditional morality and all the rest, bowing only to the crinkled, papered god of money. Unfortunately, this school of thought -- and their ideological bedfellows who know better but go along for the ride, the neo-conservatives -- is predominant in political discourse on the Right today. That is why Mrs. Clinton's book, well-written, well-argued, and, in this tape, well-read by one of America's greatest women, is attacked. Trying to operate in the twenty-first century with an ideology crafted for an agrarian republic is, at best,problemnatic. That such efforts are taken seriously is a cause for far greater alarm than that occasioned by "It Takes a Village." Take it from a former conservative Republican.
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am 1. November 1999
... to rationalize any other parental combination that isn't natural. I thank God I was raised by a "mother" and a "father". I didn't have a perfect childhood, (far from it), but I have seen what happens to kids who were raised without a "mother" and a "father".
First of all, I am NOT a member of the religous right. I did not vote for Republicans (for President) in the last two elections. I DID read this book from cover to cover with an open mind. I tried to understand what the author was trying to say, and try and understand her reasoning.
Let me first say that I admire Mrs Clinton. It takes a lot of guts and determination to put up with all the cr@p that her husband put her through these last two years. For that she has my respect.
But she is wrong. It doesn't take a village. It takes two loving, caring, encouraging, uplifting parents to raise a child. (More SPECIFICALLY, it takes a "mother" and a "father" to raise a child.) Any other type of parental/village/care-giver combination other than a "mother" and a "father" puts a child at a disadvantage, and greatly decreases that child's chances at access to mainstream society. That's the truth.
Allow me to quote a very outspoken democrat, who I'm sure voted for President Clinton in the last two elections. "The problems with kids today, and the reasons why our family's are so messed up, and why kids are SO messed up, starts when a child refers to his/her gramdmother as MOM!" This was spoken by Chris Rock. He is so right.
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am 19. Juni 1999
Mrs. Clinton, a careful scholar of modern life (much of it in the University of HARD KNOCKS for the last 7 years)provides us with a worthwhile model of growing a productive and useful society. Using many of her childhood memories as the cornerstones of her thinking, she has provided a work that we will do well NOT TO IGNORE. Someone will raise "our children." Make no mistake about that....someone already is raising "our children." I was raised by a grandmother, and a "village" who, deep down, had my very best interests at heart. In many Non-American societies, the children are actually part of the entire neighborhood, and the neighborhood/village/suburb feels and takes responsibility for the well-being. Even God knew that a child was more than one mother and one father could adequately care for...thus he made GRANDPARENTS, and aunts/uncles/cousins, and neighbors who always have a stash of ice cream.
MRS CLINTON, if you read any of these reviews: Please accept my WELL DONE...and best of luck in the New York Senate Race...too bad I live in TN. I'm a card carrying republican, at that!
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am 25. Januar 2000
Not very well written. Hillary wants to eliminate the roles of "mother" and "father" and instead turn children over to society at large. Bleh, socialist garbage. Also, numerous errors and incorrect references appeared throughout the text.
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am 26. Juni 1999
those who insist on this book being about communism are quite simply missing the point! look around and see how so many PEOPLE actually INFLUENCE our children as they grow. the book's intent is to inspire all of us to be kind and UNDERSTANDING to the children we come in contact with, AS A PATH TO ENRICH OUR SOCIETY, independent of cultural, political, or cultural experience. FAMILY is central to hillary's discourse; as it feels the support of the entire community, family comes out of isolation and vulnerability and into strenght. THE STRENGHT OF FAMILY, THE CARE OF COMMUNITY.
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am 22. Januar 1997
I read the First Lady's book roughly a year ago, shortly after it was released. I read it for two reasons. One, because I wanted to read it. Two, because I wanted to see if she could actually write and wasn't just using her position to ensure her place amongst my bookshelf.
I am more than happy to say that she fulfilled my hopes. She IS a good writer. The text moves fluidly from subject to subject. There isn't an overuse of mumbo-jumbo and psycho-babble as so many "How to raise your kids books" use. It is peppered with anecdotes from the First Lady's own life. That adds a certain charm and openness to the work. You can almost imagine Mrs. Clinton sitting down with you for a cup of coffee explaining her feelings on the subject. It is well written.
As for the political side of it, (This is unavoidable) The First Lady has many detractors, many. Too many will not read the book because they do not like democrats. Others, because they do not like the author's husband. That is tragic. There can be no sound reason for passing up this work.
Others have commented on the fact that Mrs. Clinton refers to a better time and a better way of raising children (her family's way). It is viewed as elitist and uncommon, for so many, unrealistic. Why? My own parents come from families very much like the one that Mrs. Clinton comes from.
I have heard the stories a thousand times. There were always neighbors watching over my father and keeping him out of trouble. Always an extended family that was made up of the neighborhood or street on which my parents lived.
I do not find the First Lady's history unrealistic. Her idealism about a better way is needed. We need idealists. They give us something to hope for, a goal to reach.
Then finally the title has come under fire from such sources as the man on the street to the Republican National Convention. It takes a village, an African proverb. It means that in order to raise a child you need the help of many, many people: Teachers, grandparents, husbands, wives, police officers, librarians, nurses, doctors, even (and possibly most importantly) the baby-sitter.
Mrs. Clinton extends the meaning to take in the entire nation. We are all responsible for the welfare of our nation's children. We are all responsible for their education. We must all take part in the miracle of raising a child together.
Now more than ever we must be a village. We must work together. We must watch each other's back and help. It can not be done alone. In the past a village was more than adequate for producing well-rounded, intelligent, productive adults. In our time it takes every village
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am 23. August 1998
All you lowly trailer trash out there who have been dying to have all the moral, upstanding Village Elders in Washington, D.C., offer you some advice on how to get other people to fund and raise your children... better than you'd ever be able to do it all alone without the taxperson coming by and funding all those college-educated (latest and greatest theories, mind you!) HELPER people, social workers, educators, judges, lawyers, DARE trainers, sex and gang trainers, policemen, lawyers, Ph. D.s and such, to help you raise your children far, far better than uneducated ignoramuses such as yourself.... Well, here you go! Finally, now you can learn just a TINY LITTLE BIT about what all the elite can do for YOU!!!! (And your children, too... All they do, they do FOR THE CHILDREN). Maybe some day, if you study this and similar books thoroughly, you can leave the benighted masses and join the educated elites, lead by upstanding Village Elders such as Hillary-Bob and Billary-Bob. Good luck! Better start raising some funds now... Think cattle futures and coffee meetings....
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am 9. Juli 1999
Anyone who has raised a child knows that one or two people alone do not and cannot do the job completely. Our neighbors, our church, our schools, our friends, grandparents, sometimes total strangers all have an influence on us and our children. We no longer have the luxury of living in homes with extended families, as families in other countries do. I don't know how anyone can imagine that Mrs. Clinton is arguing for government intrusion in the way we raise our kids. If seeing that our schools are the best or our health care is the best then I guess you're right. We do not rely only on parents to raise children, we rely on store owners to see that our kids don't buy things that are not appropriate, we rely on movie theatre managers not to admit kids to R rated movies, we rely on teachers to teach our kids the 3Rs--in other words, the community. A parent's job is to teach kids values and to love them.
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am 12. Januar 1999
If our society were totally homogenous politically, religiously, etc. her "It takes a Village" would probably work. But you see, it is not. For instance, in this hypothetical village, should the official political view be a democratic one or a republican one? Should the religious view be areligious, or inclined to a specific religion such as Buddism, Islam, or a brand of Christianity? What should be done to those who don't conform to the ideals of the village and threaten to upset this ideal system?
The weakness of her premise is in the diversity of cultures found in these United States. If our government is to be the mediator of this village environment, just whose culture should the government promote? It sets the stage for a global, one-world government, big brother society.
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am 11. September 1998
At the time this was written Hillary Rodham Clinton was the Champion for National Health Care. Until this book was published no one knew that her defintion was so dangerously different.
She suggests that the Government take control and authority for rasing each child.
Parental authority was under attack long before this book came about, but this book was the clear wake up call for Fathers and Mothers who do care. This book like others, i.e Judith Rice Harris, are incredibly offensive. The assumptions are that Mom and Dad don't care, career is more important, we don't have time so let the Government take over.
If you haven't read it, do so, only to understand the liberals have a plan and a strategy to eliminate your authority as a parent.
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