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Summary

The story of fatherhood and what it means to be a father today, based on a decade-long study of new and expectant fathers.

Becoming a father is one of most common but also one of the most profoundly life-altering experiences a man can have. It is up there with puberty, falling in love and experiencing your first loss. Fifty years ago a father’s role was assumed to be clear: he went to work; he provided the paycheque; and he acted as a disciplinarian when he got home. But today a father’s role is much more fluid and complex.

Dr Anna Machin has spent the past decade working with new and expectant fathers, studying the experiences of fathers and the questions fathers have: ‘Will fatherhood change me?’ ‘How do other men fulfil the role?’ ‘How can I help my child grow into a healthy, happy adult?’

In The Life of Dad, Dr Machin draws on her research and the latest findings in genetics, neuroscience and psychology to tell the story of fatherhood. She will show the extraordinary physiological changes a man undergoes when he becomes a father, investigate how a man’s genes can influence what sort of father he will be, and show how a dad makes a unique contribution to his child’s life, helping to foster independence of mind and spirit. Throughout the book, listeners will encounter the voices of real dads, expectant and established, as well as fascinating insights into fatherhood from across the globe.

The Life of Dad throws out the old stereotypes of fatherhood in an entertaining and informative journey through the role of dad - helping you decide what sort of father you want to be. 

©2018 Dr Anna Machin (P)2018 Simon & Schuster UK

Critic reviews

"A tour-de-force exploration of the forgotten half of the parenthood business. Essential reading for every expectant dad...and mum." (Robin Dunbar, professor of evolutionary psychology, University of Oxford)     

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A must read, whether you are dad yourself or not.

I was dreading this being an instruction manual for new dads. Far from it.

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fantastic book for new dad's

Have to say an amazing book for new dad's. Changed the way I thought about a few things regarding fatherhood. Would highly recommend.

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super helpful

It gave words and research to all of my feelings. I would recommend to any new or expecting Dad's.

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Brilliant for me

As a soon-to-be farther I went through a crisis of “what does it mean to be a Dad”. I’m thankful I found this book. It may go into the weeds in a few areas, but I wanted something that would give me different perspectives and ideas on fatherhood without being an instructional monologue. Thank you to the author for writing this.

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Every dad should read this!

Whether you’re a soon-to-be dad, a new dad, an experienced dad, a foster dad, an adoptive dad, a straight dad, a gay dad, a step dad, a married dad, a separated dad or a divorced dad, I highly recommend you read this book. It’s based on 10 years of research which clearly shows the vital role a dad plays in his children’s development.

I cannot recommend this enough. Every dad should read it.

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Bring Dad in the picture please

A very well researched study that asks the right question: why isn't dad in the picture? I've just had a baby and it is revolting to see that health professionals refer to the baby as mine, ask me how I'm feeling and ignore dad completely. This book is great to remind you to ask your partner: how are you feeling/coping/doing? there should be more recognition of dads and this book makes a great point as to why with carefully researched material in a very informative manner. must read.

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Finally, someone cares about dad!

Having our first child after 12 years of trying, she came along as a shock but a pleasant surprise. As a Dad and bread winner, I struggled when we got back home. I even mentioned to the health visitor, wife, our parents that I was finding it tough and how everybody asks how baby is and then how's mum.... they forget to ask how Dad it's coping. Don't be silly, suck it up, you'll be fine....! No I'm blo0dy well not fine!
This book had me saying yes and agreeing to everything.
Wives, doctors, health visitors and anybody involved with babies and children, should all listen to this audio book! The presentation is brilliant!

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  • Bob
  • 22-01-19

the importance of dads

equal parts evolutionary bio, evolutionary psych, sociology, psychology, anthropology, and other sciences this layperson missed. thoroughly researched and well-told story of dad's important role in the family and, thus, society. expertly written and perfectly narrated audio edition.