Cover image for Marriage : just a piece of paper?
Marriage : just a piece of paper?
Anderson, Katherine.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Grand Rapids, Mich. : Eerdmans, [2002]

Physical Description:
410 pages ; 25 cm.
General Note:
"The companion book to a national PBS documentary narrated by Cokie Roberts."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ536 .M3215 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



"Marriage - Just a Piece of Paper? goes beyond conservative-liberal battles over the state of the American family and addresses head-on the difficult question of marriage itself, weaving together scores of revealing interviews with children, adults, and well-known experts, the book poignantly captures their voices and the complexities of their loves, hopes, disappointments, and heartbreaks." "We hear from children of divorce, young African-American men teaching fatherhood skills, and young couples trying to decide whether to live together or marry. We hear from mothers, fathers, ministers, judges, and therapists. We also hear from prominent politicians and scholars, including Joseph Lieberman (U.S. senator from Connecticut), Sam Brownback (U.S. senator from Kansas), William Julius Wilson (Harvard University), Judith Wallerstein (author of The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce), David Blankenhorn (Institute for American Values), Wade Horn (National Fatherhood Initiative), Linda Waite (coauthor of The Case for Marriage), Frank Keating (governor of Oklahoma), and Judith Martin (better known as "Miss Manners")." "Tied to a nationally broadcast PBS documentary narrated by Cokie Roberts, the book goes far beyond the film by providing more and fuller interviews. For anyone interested in life's most significant relationship, Marriage - Just a Piece of Paper? will prove an invaluable resource."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Author Notes

Katherine Anderson is a veteran print and broadcast journalist whose many job titles include planning editor for ABC News and news director for the University of Chicago; she served as the managing editor of this book and as a producer of the documentary on marriage
Don Browning is professor of ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School, author of nine books, and director of the Religion, Culture, and Family Project
Brian Boyer, an Emmy Award-winning film producer, is the executive producer and director of the documentary film Marriage -- Just a Piece of Paper

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Almost everyone aspires to marriage something these books go to some lengths to explain, albeit in completely different ways. As the title suggests, I Like Being Married is an unabashed celebration of marriage; it's fluff but enjoyable fluff. Leach, executive director of Orbis Books, and Borchard, author of the children's book series "The Emerald Bible Collection," have collected bits and pieces quotes, stories, traditions, and even top-ten lists that show why people take pleasure in matrimony. The quotes and stories come from both celebrities (e.g., George Bush, Winston Churchill, Celine Dion, Natasha Richardson, C.S. Lewis, and Mel Gibson) and regular Joe and Jane Does. Charming and well edited, it contains just enough variety in length and subject to be interesting, yet it is also cohesive. Public libraries should purchase. The companion book to a PBS documentary that aired Feb. 14, Marriage Just a Piece of Paper? is far more serious in tone and scope. Although it is also a smartly chosen mlange of quotes from different people, it focuses on the societal changes that have led to increased divorce rates, cohabitation, and single motherhood despite the beneficial aspects of marriage. Sociologists, politicians, ministers, and the occasional person on the street are all given a chance to explain whether they think marriage especially as it relates to the raising of children is in decline and, if so, what might be done to stop that decline. Editors Anderson and Brian Boyer worked on the documentary as managing editor/producer and executive producer/ director, respectively, and Don Browning is a professor of ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Given that the effects of divorce on children is a major topic (see, e.g., Judith Wallerstein and others' The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce and E. Mavis Hetherington and John Kelly's For Better or for Worse) and that many patrons probably watched the PBS special, this book should be on all public library shelves. One caveat, however: the lack of an index makes it less useful as a research tool. Pam Matthews, MLS, Shaker Heights, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Don Browning
Prefacep. ix
1. Where are We and How did We Get Here?p. 1
Nissap. 5
John H.p. 13
Marline Pearsonp. 16
William J. Dohertyp. 20
Tom W. Smithp. 25
Judith Staceyp. 32
Jeffp. 39
Judithp. 45
David Blankenhornp. 51
William Julius Wilsonp. 57
Orlando Pattersonp. 62
Leslie and Richp. 68
Erinp. 73
Larry Bumpassp. 74
2. What About the Children?p. 79
Blakep. 83
Abep. 85
Sandyp. 90
Judith Wallersteinp. 92
Judge Helen E. Brownp. 106
John C. and Christinap. 110
David Roykop. 120
Olivia and Adamp. 127
Abbiep. 134
Patrick Murphyp. 142
3. Looking for Lovep. 147
Antonia and John M.p. 151
Larry Bumpassp. 158
Linda Waitep. 163
Rickyp. 170
Scottp. 175
David Popenoep. 180
Stacyp. 187
Bishop Arthur M. Brazierp. 192
Colleenp. 195
Judith Martinp. 199
David Blankenhornp. 204
4. Looking Backp. 207
Lisa Sowle Cahillp. 211
Steven Ozmentp. 219
John Witte Jr.p. 230
5. Is There a New Inequality?p. 243
Sadiep. 247
Judith Staceyp. 254
Amyp. 256
Geraldine Jensenp. 259
6. What About Fathers?p. 265
Ron Johnson and Young African-American Menp. 269
U.S. Senator Joseph Liebermanp. 287
Wade Hornp. 294
Sadiep. 300
William J. Dohertyp. 302
Stacyp. 304
Ronald Mincyp. 306
Patrick Murphyp. 311
U.S. Senator Sam Brownbackp. 313
7. Where are We Going?p. 319
William Galstonp. 323
Judithp. 331
Wade Hornp. 332
Oklahoma Governor Frank Keatingp. 335
Ronald Mincyp. 340
Larry Bumpassp. 344
Evan Wolfsonp. 349
David Frump. 359
Leslie and Richp. 366
Bishop Arthur M. Brazierp. 368
Diane Solleep. 372
Marline Pearsonp. 382
Orlando Pattersonp. 386
William J. Dohertyp. 392
Peterp. 399
William Julius Wilsonp. 401
Nissap. 407
John Witte Jr.p. 410