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I had planned to give a copy of Elizabeth Gilbert’s newest book, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage, to all the divorced people in my family as a gag gift. Then I broke out the abacus and realized I am not made of money. Committed should be required reading for the one-half of the American populace that can’t stay married (and their kids). Gilbert, herself divorced, is sympathetic to these people. And while the book doesn’t attempt to solve the “divorce crisis,” it does delve into the cultural roots of our growing inability to stay together: the West’s bastardization of Christian and Greek views on marriage (till death do us part vs. till I don’t want you no more), the fact that Americans expect their spouses to be their best friends, and that generally, getting married is so easy that we don’t really have to think it through before saying, “I do.”

GILBERT SPEAKS AT 7 P.M. AT SIXTH & I HISTORIC SYNAGOGUE, 600 I ST. NW. $30 (INCLUDES a COPY OF THE BOOK). (202) 408-3100.