It’s the dirty little secret of parenting: Children take things from us. It starts with our sleep, time, and dignity. And it ends with our savings and, sometimes it seems, our sanity. And yet, somehow, in the end, it’s all worth it. That’s the strange, engrossing, occasionally bizarre phenomenon of fatherhood.
Part instructional guide, part meditation, and part war journal, THE DADLY VIRTUES is a collection of gut-busting chapters from an all-star lineup of essayists and humorists, edited by Jonathan V. Last. At a time when 40% of children are born out of wedlock with no father committed to raising them and when manliness – and one of its central components, fatherhood – often seems under assault in the popular culture, THE DADLY VIRTUES is a hilarious rallying cry in defense of dads everywhere.
Fatherhood is a mixed bag of fun, fury, and failure. So much is lost—no more catnaps during football commercials, no more exotic vacations or impromptu day trips. And yet, as acclaimed authors P. J. O’Rourke, Jonah Goldberg, Tucker Carlson, and others write, there is so much to be gained.
The book includes tongue-in-cheek encouragement and guidance through every stage of fatherhood, from pacifying babies to prepping for the senior prom, from cutting the umbilical cord to getting your first “Best-Grandpa” T-shirt. Topics include:
(1) P.J. O’Rourke on the uncanny similarity between fathers and turkey basters.
(2) Tucker Carlson on how to fill a kid’s life with adventure and excitement – without getting her killed.
(3) Stephen F. Hayes on why a sibling is the best gift your kid will ever receive – even if they resent you for it.
(4) Jonah Goldberg on the moral case for every family having a pet.
(5) Matt Labash on talking to your child about the birds and the bees – and why the birds and the bees aren’t anything like they used to be.
(6) Matthew Continetti on mastering the art of changing a newborn’s diaper while keeping his urine off the wall.
(7) Toby Young on the things fathers think, but never say – and why Machiavelli is the best guide to parenting you’ll ever read.
You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. Above all, you’ll want to be a dad – and if you’re already a dad, it will make you nostalgic for the best moments of fatherhood and a little less depressed about the worst.
Jonathan V. Last, editor/author of The Dadly Virtues: Adventures from the Worst Job You’ll Ever Love.
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