We are relearning that marriage is not optional. The evidence started piling up in 1965 with Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report on the breakdown of the African-American family. In 2012, Charles Murray took us on a walk through Fishtown where we met a white (often non-)working class. In 2014, Kevin Williamson reminded us in National Review that cities do not have a monopoly on human misery with his vivid account of the social collapse in Appalachia. Sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox continues to produce clarifying scholarly work on marriage, family structure, and civil society. Free-range thinker George Gilder named the stakes: “If the family collapses, it will take a welfare state to take care of the women and children, and a police state to handle the boys.”

—Stephen Schmalhofer: “Fathers Day with the Sisters”


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