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Judith WarnerStephanie Coontz's new book, which traces the evolution of marriage from the Stone Age to the Internet Age, extends into the realm of matrimony the franchise that Coontz developed in her now-classic work of American social and economic history, The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap . In that 1992 study, Coontz took apart many of the received notions and clichés through which Americans have tended to construct their ideas of what constitutes "normal" family life, focusing particularly on the occluded aspects of the "Ozzie and Harriet" 1950s. Now, in Marriage, a History , she takes a longer and broader view, examining matrimony over the millennia and across various cultures. In so doing, she neatly, entertainingly and convincingly deconstructs a number of our most cherished and least examined beliefs about the bonds that tie men and women together, for better and for worse.
— The Washington Post