Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture


Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
8.57 X 9.14 X 0.88 inches | 0.01 pounds

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About the Author

Naomi Cahn is the John Theodore Fey Research Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School, a Senior Fellow at the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, and a member of the Yale Cultural Cognition Project, for which she and her co-investigators have received outside funding to conduct research on public attitudes towards gay and lesbian parenting. She is the author of Test Tube Families and the co-author of several other books, including a leading family law textbook.

June Carbone is the Edward A. Smith/Missouri Chair of Law, the Constitution and Society at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Professor Carbone writes extensively about the legal issues surrounding marriage, divorce, and family organization, especially within the context of the recent revolutions in biotechnology. She is the author of From Partners to Parents: The Second Revolution in Family Law and co-author of the third edition of Family Law, with Leslie Harris and the late Lee Teitelbaum.


"Red Families v. Blue Families is a fascinating, groundbreaking look at the ways in which the red versus blue political divide reflects an even deeper divide in family life and sexual values. Cahn and Carbone have updated the old maxim that the personal is political, and enormously enriched it, with hard data and subtle observations."--Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker

"This fascinating and surprising book will change the way we think about the culture wars. Naomi Cahn and June Carbone reveal a series of unexpected truths about marriage, divorce, and sexual behavior in Red states and Blue states. Some highlights: College educated women are far less likely to divorce than those without college degrees. Only a quarter of evangelical teens abstain from sexual activity more than other teens. And expanding access to contraception, rather than abortion, is the best way to delay marriage and promote stable families. By using invaluable data to cut through the ideological posturing that has distorted American politics, Cahn and Carbone point us toward a less polarized future."--Jeffrey Rosen, Legal Affairs Editor, The New Republic

"The book's illuminating (if very technical) statistical data and dispassionate approach render it invaluable." --Publishers Weekly

"An illuminating analysis...Cahn and Carbone make a strong case for formulating family laws through the existing federalized family legal system so they are not victimized in culture wars inflamed by vote seeking politicians."--ForeWord Reviews

"Wonderful...The book is primarily a study of the way in which different family forms have emerged in different parts of the country, and the political ramifications of the polarized value systems that result. But the data it contains reveals a deep incoherence in the American government's family planning policies. --Andrew Koppelman, Balkinization

[An] important new book Whether Cahn and Carbone are right will take time and subsequent scholarship to learn; but their story is both plausible and sobering. Plausible, because it brings so many aspects of the culture wars into sharper focus. Sobering, because the economic and cultural forces battering traditional family norms show no signs of abating--but the new, education-centered pathway to adulthood is often least accessible to those who need it most. --Jonathan Rauch, National Journal

"Provocative." --The Week

"Cahn and Carbone argue that family law in the United States has been increasingly polarized...They conclude that as a result family law has been rent in two, and they seek to find places where these different family systems still overlap, allowing identification of a new family model geared for the postindustrial economy."--Law & Social Inquiry

"An insightful companion to any intellectual debate about the political, legal and cultural divide in our country today...The book is both fascinating to read and fast paced, leaving you hooked from beginning to end. Whatever your position on the issues presented in the book, you will walk away well informed about the political and legal divisions
that have resulted in a culture divide in our country today, will be well versed in critical issues bubbling at the top of the family law agenda, popular culture, federalism and law and science issues that are the forefront today."--Law and Politics Book Review