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For more than twenty-five years, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton has made children her passion and her cause. Her long experience with children -- not only through her personal roles as mother, daughter, sister, and wife but also as advocate, legal expert, and public servant -- has strengthened her conviction that how children develop and what they need to succeed are inextricably entwined with the society in which they live and how well it sustains and supports its families and individuals. In other words, it takes a village to raise a child.
This book chronicles her quest -- both deeply personal and, in the truest sense, public -- to discover how we can make our society into the kind of village that enables children to grow into able, caring, resilient adults. It is time, Mrs. Clinton believes, to acknowledge that we have to make some changes for our children's sake. Advances in technology and the global economy along with other developments society have brought us much good, but they have also strained the fabric of family life, leaving us and our children poorer in many ways -- physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually.
She doesn't believe that we should, or can, turn back the clock to "the good old days." False nostalgia for "family values" is no solution. Nor is it useful to make an all-purpose bogeyman or savior of "government." But by looking honestly at the condition of our children, by understanding the wealth of new information research offers us about them, and, most important, by listening to the children themselves, we can begin a more fruitful discussion about their needs. And by sifting the past for clues to the structures that once bound us together, by looking with an open mind at what other countries and cultures do for their children that we do not, and by identifying places where our "village" is flourishing -- in families, schools, churches, businesses, civic organizations, even in cyberspace -- we can begin to create for our children the better tomorrow they deserve.