The Evolving American Family

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Novelist and social documentarian Po Bronson grew up - like millions of American kids - with divorced parents in what he calls a dysfunctional family.

He thought he'd never marry. He tried once and divorced. He thought he'd never have children. He wrote bestsellers out of California and put family out of his mind. Then it all changed.

Now Po Bronson is a husband and father. Family, he says, is an evolving organism. Our understanding and expectations of it are changing. And despite its many trials, he says, the golden era of family is not in our past but in our future.

In his new book "Why Do I Love These People?" Bronson looks at 21st century families where daughters question their fathers, where mothers are better off without husbands, where children grow up without fathers. He also looks inward, at his on-and-off relationship with his own parents.

Hear a conversation with Po Bronson about the future of the evolving American family unit.


Po Bronson, best-selling writer and author of "What Should I Do with My Life? The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question." He also writes book reviews, humor pieces, op-eds, performance monologues and screenplays. His new book is "Why Do I Love These People?: Honest and Amazing Stories of Real Families."

David Popenoe, co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, where he is also professor of sociology. He is author of "War over the Family" and "Life Without Father: Compelling New Evidence that Fatherhood and Marriage are Indispensable for the Good of Children and Society."

This program aired on November 16, 2005.


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