Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-02-25
- Reviewer: Staff
According to Weekly Standard senior writer Last, hoofbeats are nigh: his "three horsemen" of the apocalypse—"cohabitation, widespread contraceptive use, and liberal abortion policies"—are riding America's population into the ground. Last claims this is not the fault of women working outside the home or the increasing prevalence of higher education, though still largely attributes it to them. The road to population stability is fraught with disincentives to have children and, statistically, America's fertility rate is "artificially" bolstered by non-white new immigrants and citizens; a borderline racist claim cited, confusingly, as part of the "coming disaster." The book is rife with garbled statistics, and Last blatantly muddles causation and correlation to drill his points home. He states that couples with children are less happy than their childless counterparts; yet, for him, the well-examined life requires sacrificing personal goals and shallow pleasure for procreation-as-self-actualization, period. Moreover, Genghis Khan is cited for his global influence through Y-chromosomal paternity. Quantity versus quality of parenting is not addressed, even though today's parents spend more total hours with their children. For Last, the eponymous biological clock has become a moral imperative, and, in his view, the areligious, "shacked up," blue-state Americans are failing. (Feb.)