I, too, share Friedland's concern when I turn on the TV, watch movies, listen to FM stations during school mornings and am constantly barraged by sexual jokes, innuendos, etc. I kept reading and reading hoping to discover where it had all gone wrong in America and what the "big" difference is when compared to Rome, Italy.
So, while I was compelled to keep reading (and found the characters of Rome quirky and interesting) - I was highly disappointed with Friedland's ironic reasoning.
He blames the lack of family values and the barrage of sex on feminism - yet he also blasts religion, George Bush while praising Democrats (his mother is a card carrying Communist) and Obama.
He praises Obama as a leader that the youth are longing for and looking to for guidance. I cant...even...while reading this book, reporter James Foley had just been beheaded by ISIS. Obama was on a 2 week vacation and took time out to do a five minute press conference then literally was on a golf course fist bumping his golf buddies less than 6 minutes after the speech - all while the Foley family were tearfully, tragically, giving a press conference regarding the brutal murder of their son. Obama jetted off to Las Vegas the day after 4 American's were slain in Benghazi. Obama spends more time appearing on talk shows and entertaining celebrities in the White House than he does actually leading. A leader? Hardly.
It is not feminism that has caused a moral decay in this country.
Let's start with the unraveling of families in the black community. This started with Lyndon B Johnson's plan to give welfare to poor - IF the father is the family was not present. The black family before the 60's was strong both in faith and in each other. Today, over 70% of black children are raised by single mothers.
I great up at the hand of a liberal mother. I can't begin to tell you the confusion and sense of entitlement it had on me. I grew up thinking that sex was a "right" and not an honor to be shared with someone very significant.
Though feminism is an important part of our history, it has been hijacked by politics and the entertainment industry. Who runs Hollywood? The left. Even "Glee" a "family" show promoted affairs (married teachers cheating - hey, it's okay!). And Grey's Anatomy is should be called Sex With Everyone Hospital.
In Rome - Friedland states that "Character is Fate" - that criminals aren't tolerated (rape is virtually non-existent compared to USA stats). In America, we not only lack Character, we have a political party that consistently cheats on their wives (Edwards, Wiener, Clinton, Spitzer, Kennedy) yet, this same political party screeches that women are powerful and men should respect them (but rarely do Democrat men walk their talk! Obama pays women 18% less than men, and of the 200+ times he's golfed (so far) how many have been with women? ONCE.)
Democrats advocate for criminals. They do not hold criminals accountable - and instead seek to lay blame on a "broken system" of some sort which they can fix if you donate!
Friedland states in America, men have to "depend on wives" and are isolated from men, which creates resentment. I highly agree. But look at who created that culture: Democrats.
Let men have their own golf courses! I thought it was a sad day indeed when Augusta accepted women. Is nothing sacred?
I loved going to bridal showers and baby showers where I could bond with women and gossip about men and talk about fashion and just be myself. Now, I dread (and often skip) the parties if they are "co-ed" - please. Now I have to be on my best behavior and frankly, it sucks.
on page 308 (galley copy) - Friedland states that Religion seeks to control lovemaking because it is the way to control the lives of others. Huh. Well, you could easily switch out the word "religion" to "Democrats" and point to abortion (anything that stops something from living is murder. That is a fact.) You could point out the hysteria over Sandra Fluke - who was smart enough to attend Georgetown University, but apparently, not smart enough to be able to figure out how to afford a pack of condoms at 1.99.
There is an incident where Hannah (his daughter) flips out because she is expected to cheat by her classmates. In Rome, cheating is the equivalent of socialism. Students believe the smart should share the answers with those who didn't study or aren't as gifted. Hannah flips out and believes "Reward is proportional to effort."
HAHAHA. How ironic. This made me furious! Because YES, reward is PROPORTIONAL to effort. At one time, it was the AMERICAN WAY until it was hijacked by the Democrats who preach "fair share!" Was not long ago that Michelle Obama called for American's to sacrifice. Huh. Well, I would think that the Obama's would somehow practice what they preach and not jet off to ski vacations, million dollars lavish vacations abroad, etc, when they (the Obama's) - urge Americans to sacrifice.
And yet, Friedland wonders why America is doomed?
It is Friedland and his political beliefs that have doomed our children. What he worries about, what he observes, are spot on. That he can't figure out how it happened and blames the far right and (ironically) feminism, is actually quite scary.
Excellent reads for Friedland (or anyone wondering where the decay of our youth took place) might want to read: Andrew Brietbart: Righteous Indignation, Blacklash by Deneen Borelli, or any book by Ben Carson.
David Mamet's book on how he woke up from his liberal nightmare is also a really fascinating and smart read: The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of America.
I could go on and on and about my observances and disagreements to the points Friedland makes, but honestly, if his immersion in Rome didn't wake his mind to the importance of family, character, respect, values, morals, faith, and to realize that all those things are the very things Democrats sneer at and replace with self gratification at all cost, dependency on government not family and community, then I doubt a passionate review would make any sort of sense to him.
Well, when I began this review, I was unsure how many stars to rate this but now I can confidently give it 1...it was too long, it was an entertaining look at Italy, but nothing I haven't read (Frances Mayes and assorted other writers, and the new fiction book Abroad by Katie Crouch - set in Italy based on Amanda Knox story, brilliant!) and had I journeyed many days with Friedland reading an overly long book only to discover his reasoning for the decay of love in the USA was frankly, illogical and ridiculous, was not worth the time I invested.
However, the one silver lining was this quote that I love, "Without stories you exist...but it is not life." And that was from a woman in Rome. Beautiful.