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Making Marriage Work: A History of Marriage and Divorce in the Twentieth-Century United States / Edition 1

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Overview

By the end of World War I, the skyrocketing divorce rate in the United States had generated a deep-seated anxiety about marriage. This fear drove middle-class couples to seek advice, both professional and popular, in order to strengthen their relationships. In Making Marriage Work, historian Kristin Celello offers an insightful and wide-ranging account of marriage and divorce in America in the twentieth century, focusing on the development of the idea of marriage as "work." Throughout, Celello illuminates the interaction of marriage and divorce over the century and reveals how the idea that marriage requires work became part of Americans' collective consciousness.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It certainly claims a place among works about the social history of American marriage."—INTAMS

"Fascinating. . . . Would be an excellent addition to a course on the sociology of marriage, family or gender roles."—Journal of Social History

"An intellectual and cultural history of modern marriage and divorce leavened with rich insights into married love and labor. Celello revises and refines the history of twentieth-century marriage to a story of experts successfully persuading couples that marriage requires work."—The Journal of American History

"The book's strength is in demonstrating the tenacity of the idea that marriages can be saved through hard work and the persistence of gender imbalance, which continues to place the burden of the effort on women."—Choice

"A lucid description of the rise and sociological impact of the concept that spouses must work hard to make their marriage work."—Catholic News Service

"A lively history. . . . Accessible and enjoyable too."—The Feminist Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807872215
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Kristin Celello is assistant professor of history at Queens College, City University of New York.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Making Marriage Work 1

1 The Chaos of Modern Marriage: Experts, Divorce, and the Origins of Marital Work, 1900-1940 13

2 Can War Marriages Be Made to Work? Keeping Women on the Marital Job in War and Peace 44

3 They Learned to Love Again: Marriage Saving in the 1950s 72

4 Radical Feminists, Liberated Housewives, and Total Women: Searching for the Future of Marriage, 1963-1980 103

5 Super Marital Sex and the Second Shift: New Work for Wives in the 1980s and 1990s 133

Epilogue: Still Working 163

Notes 167

Bibliography 207

Index 223

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