Battleground of Desire: The Struggle for Self -Control in Modern America

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $6.39
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 91%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (5) from $6.39   
  • New (1) from $56.00   
  • Used (4) from $6.39   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$56.00
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(433)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Clean, unmarked pages. Good binding and cover. Hardcover and dust jacket. Ships daily.

Ships from: Boonsboro, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by

Overview

In recent years, Peter N. Stearns has established himself as the foremost historian of American emotional life. In books on anger, jealousy, "coolness," and body image, he has mapped out the basic terrain of the American psyche.

Now Stearns crowns his work of the past decade with this powerful volume, in which he reveals the fundamental dichotomy at the heart of the national character: a self-indulgent hedonism and the famed American informality on the one hand, and a deeply imbedded repressiveness on the other.

Whether hunting and gathering tribe or complex industrial civilization, every social group is governed by explicit and implicit guidelines on how to behave. But these definitions vary widely. The Japanese worry less about public drunkenness than Americans. Northern Europeans adhere to stricter standards than Americans when it comes to littering. Today, we swear more now and spit less, discuss sex more and death less.

With an emphasis on sex, culture, and discipline of the body, Stearns traces how particular anxieties take root, and how they express inherent tension in contemporary standards and a stubborn nostalgia for the previous nineteenth century regime.

Battleground of Desire explodes common wisdom about Americans in the twentieth century as normless and tolerant, emphasizing that most of us follow a litany of rules, governing everything from adultery to bad breath.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The study of manners, rudeness, and personal comportment might seem elusive for researchers interested in how social mores and cultural and economic forces have intersected in different periods of U.S. history. But both Caldwell, a literary critic, and Stearns, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, have uncovered a wealth of fascinating material that sheds new light on the processes by which moral values and rules about personal behavior have been made, enforced, broken, and discarded by successive generations of Americans. Stearns's approach is more comprehensive--his focus is on patterns of self-control and social regulation from the Victorian era to the late 20th century, and he tackles such topics as hygiene, child development, and human sexuality. He finds that the "American approach to control surely tends toward excessive worry and self-denigration." Some Americans "may impose so many standards on themselves that enjoyment and releases become excessively difficult." As a result, "we may not, to put the case bluntly, have enough fun--even as we divert ourselves by buying another product or watching another show." Meanwhile, Caldwell emphasizes the rise of self-appointed "etiquette watchdogs" and the difficulties that even the most sophisticated moralists encounter in trying to formulate coherent guidelines for personal behavior in the office, on the subway, at weddings and funerals, and in cyberspace. Both books have their virtues as works of scholarship, but of the two authors Caldwell is the more lively by far; his book has that "can't-put-it-down" quality that is the mark of an exceptionally strong prose stylist. The result is an insightful and amusing study that deserves a wider, nonspecialist audience.--Kent Worcester, Marymount Manhattan Coll., New York Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Stearns (history, Carnegie Mellon University) explores the history of American self control and discusses the wide social implications of self control as a characteristic prescribed by every culture in different ways. He investigates issues that define American attitudes towards morality, sexuality, and disciplines of the body, covering the Victorian legacy through current norms. In comparing trends throughout our cultural history, he points out that there has been no collapse of impulse control or moral demonstration between the eras, only a shift in form. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814781289
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter N. Stearns is Provost and University Professor at George Mason University. Since 1967, he has served as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Social History. His numerous books include World History in Documents; American Behavioral History; and Anxious Parents.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
I The Issues
1 The Heart of the Matter 3
2 Models and Guidelines 30
II The Victorian Legacy and the Beginnings of Change
3 The Victorian Style 55
4 Transitions 92
5 Causation 107
III Twentieth-Century Standards
6 New Combinations 133
7 Sexuality 187
8 The Body and Health 252
9 Addiction and Disease 291
IV Conclusions and Suggestions
10 Conclusions 323
11 An Agenda for Evaluation and Change 353
Notes 369
Index 427
About the Author 434
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)