About the Authors
The Factbook grew organically out of the copious research we accumulated to get up to speed on issues related to the stories I was researching for my non-fiction book, Why Do I Love These People?: Honest and Amazing Stories of Real Families. For instance, to properly interview a woman who had been pushed into a forced marriage, I needed the history and cross-cultural perspective on arranged marriages, and how forced marriages compared, and what defined each – this in turn quickly led into an exploration of the history of unions, and then romantic love. I began this search on my own, but because every question gave way to more questions, I quickly called upon my friend Ashley Merryman to conduct some of the library and scholarly research.
Each prospective family brought up new issues to learn: adoption, poverty, family traditions in every culture, et cetera. At the same time, we were accumulating media coverage on family trends, and we found some of it to be missing the mark, particularly in failing to address the richness of families’ cultural, ethnic and religious traditions. At a certain point, we decided to create an internal (for-our-use only) web site full of memos on family practices around the world. No sooner was it done than we needed the benefit of history too. At that point, I felt this material was simply too valuable not to share with others, and we began morphing all of our research and our memos into The Factbook, a publicly available web site that would comprehensively examine family trends.

About Po Bronson

Po Bronson is the author of five books, most recently Why Do I Love These People? His prior book, What Should I Do With My Life?, was a #1 New York Times bestseller. His books are available in 20 languages. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and NPR’s Morning Edition. He has an MFA from San Francisco State University and a BA from Stanford University. He co-founded the San Francisco Writer's Grotto, a writers' collective, with Ethan Canin and Ethan Watters in 1994. He is on the board of directors of Consortium, a national distributor of over 70 fine independent presses. He lives in San Francisco.

About Ashley Merryman

Ashley Merryman is a writer and attorney living in Los Angeles. She previously served in the Clinton Administration in various positions, including as a speechwriter / researcher to then Vice-President Al Gore. Her play, Metanoia, has had staged readings in Los Angeles and Chicago, while her editorials appear in the National Catholic Reporter and other publications. She has a JD from Georgetown, a BFA from the University of Southern California, and a Certificate in Irish Studies, from Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Further Credit to Jayson Adams and Circus Ponies' Notebook
This web site was created using the incredibly useful Mac software “Notebook,” created by Jayson Adams and available through his company, Circus Ponies. We highly recommend this software especially for any substantial document that is being created simultaneously by more than one person. Without this software, the project would not have been feasible.