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The Dadly Virtues

Adventures in the Worst job You’ll Ever Love

Edited by Jonathan V. Last

From the all-star cast who brought you The Seven Deadly Virtues comes a book with a look at the good life… or the crazy-stressful-overwhelmed life… of a father.

The Dadly Virtues is a tongue-in-cheek collection of encouragement and guidance for any stage of fatherhood, from pacifying babies to prepping for senior prom, from cutting the cord to getting the first, “Best Grandpa” t-shirt. P.J. O’Rourke sets the stage with the chapter, “What Do Men Get from Fatherhood? Besides What They Put In …” and then is followed by:

  • Matthew Continetti’s, “Newborn Terror: The Moment You Realize that ‘Bundle of Joy’ Is a Euphemism for Something Very Different.”
  • Stephen F. Hayes’ “Siblings: The Best Gift You’ll Ever Give Your Kids.”
  • Jonah Goldberg’s “Get Your Kid a Dog: The Moral Case for Pets.”
  • Tucker Carlson’s “In Praise of Adventure: How to Fill a Child’s Life with Excitement and Danger (without Getting Them Killed).”
  • Michael Graham’s, “Dating: Enjoy the Movie and Please Keep the Impregnation to a Minimum.”
  • Christopher Caldwell’s “College: It’s Not as Bad as You Think; It’s Worse.”
  • Andrew Ferguson’s “Emerging Adults and Empty Nesters: Just When You Had Fatherhood All Figured Out.”
  • Toby Young’s “The Dark Side: Bad Parenting and the Things We Think, but Do Not Say.”
  • Joseph Epstein’s “Thanks, Grandpa: Grandfatherhood and the Spirit of the Age.”
  • And more.

Father-to-be, two-time-dad, or granddad, each essay will make you laugh and, at the same time, reinforce your commitment to the virtuous—the dadly—life.  

Acknowledgments / xi

Introduction: On Fatherhood, Manliness, and Failure / 3
Jonathan V. Last

Chapter 1: What Do Men Get from Fatherhood? Besides What They Put In … / 17
P. J. O’Rourke

Chapter 2: Newborn Terror: The Moment You Realize That “Bundle of Joy”

Is a Euphemism for Something Very Different / 25
Matthew Continetti

Chapter 3: Siblings: The Best Gift You’ll Ever Give Your Kids / 36
Stephen F. Hayes

Chapter 4: Television and Kids: The Beauty and Pain of TV / 45
James Lileks

Chapter 5: Get Your Kid a Dog: The Moral Case for Pets / 58
Jonah Goldberg

Chapter 6: In Praise of Adventure: How to Fill a Child’s Life with Excitement and Danger (Without Getting Them Killed) / 66
Tucker Carlson

Chapter 7: Catechesis: Teaching Your Kid about God / 73
Larry Miller

Chapter 8: Surviving School: It’s Just as Bad the Second Time Around / 84
Joe Queenan

Chapter 9: Sports: Advice for the Care and Feeding of the Child-Athlete / 94
David Burge (aka Iowahawk)

Chapter 10: The Dark Side: Bad Parenting and the Things We Think, but Do Not Say / 104
Toby Young

Chapter 11: The Talk: The Birds and Bees Aren’t What They Used to Be / 113
Matt Labash

Chapter 12: Dating: Enjoy the Movie and Please Keep the Impregnation to a Minimum / 127
Michael Graham

Chapter 13: College: It’s Not as Bad as You Think; It’s Worse / 137
Christopher Caldwell

Chapter 14: Emerging Adults and Empty Nesters: Just When You Had Fatherhood All Figured Out / 146
Andrew Ferguson

Chapter 15: Love and Marriage: How to Talk to Your Kids about the Most Important Decision They’ll Ever Make / 156
Rob Long

Chapter 16: Thanks, Grandpa: Grandfatherhood and the Spirit of the Age / 166
Joseph Epstein

About the Contributors / 177