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A Gildered Cage

"All mental revolutions are attended by catastrophe."
—W. Winwood Reade

George Gilder's strength as a writer is his ability to create vivid mythic archetypes saturated with his own romantic feelings. He is not comfortable with ideas unless they are strong, simple ideas that lend themselves to vivid evocation of feeling rather than complex rumination: the lure and mystery of women, the bonds of family, the love of God. His best books are the three he wrote during the 1970's: Sexual Suicide (reissued in 1986 as Men and Marriage), Naked Nomads, and Visible Man. All three books were essentially about the same subject: the laser-fast speed with which men disintegrate, bringing down the social order with them, when they do not marry or stay married. Gilder's specific target was the surge in the divorce rate that accompanied the simultaneous sexual and feminist revolutions. During the 1970's, the divorce-to-marriage ratio rose to one-to-two, where it remains to this day, bringing with it such phenomena as the feminization of poverty and the CEO's Second Wife, that glitzy creature who replaces in the life of a powerful man the woman who bore his children.

Visible Man focused on one particular aspect of this familial decay, the breakdown of the black family and the surge in antisocial behavior by black males...

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