Need A Gift? Buy My Book

There’s nothing like having a mailing list of two million people when you’re in the mood to make some quick cash.

Focus on the Family Chairman James Dobson devotes his entire June newsletter to advising people to buy copies of his book, Life on the Edge, and give them away as graduation presents. The book is designed to target the 16 to 26 crowd – and includes a vexing excerpt about how young women really just want to get married and have babies, but can’t admit it because of today’s “liberated society.”

Keep reading for Dobson’s pitch.This is how Dobson begins his June newsletter, sent to two million Focus on the Family subscribers:

“If you’re like Shirley and me, this time of year probably finds you shopping for graduation gifts. Whether it’s a member of your own family or perhaps the son or daughter of a co-worker or friend, most of us probably know at least one person who is graduating from high school, college, or graduate school this spring.

“If that is true for you, I can suggest a gift that might be appropriate. It is a book I wrote for young people in one of those transitional periods. I called it, Life on the Edge, and it has sold more than one million copies. Here is an excerpt that will give you a feel for its content and approach. It might also speak to your heart.”

If you are between sixteen and twenty-six years of age, this book is written specifically for you. Others are welcome to read along with us, of course, but the ideas are aimed directly at those moving through what we will call the “critical decade.”

The decisions you make under those circumstances may lock you into something you will later hate. And there are social pressures that influence your choices. For example, many young women secretly want to be wives and mothers, but are afraid to admit it in today’s “liberated” society.*

Furthermore, how can a girl plan to do something that requires the participation of another person – a husband who will be worthy of loving her and living with her for the rest of her life? Marriage may or may not be in the picture for her. Yes, there’s plenty to consider in the critical decade.

Not in the market for a graduation present? That’s OK. You can send the ministry and media empire cash anyway (last year alone Focus on the Family raked in $150 million).

This is how Dobson signs off, in the newsletter:

“In closing let me say that Focus on the Family continues to be in need of your financial assistance. Anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated.

“Have a great summer.”

*Bold added

Cara DeGette is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential, and a columnist and contributing editor at the Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at

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