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.
|Publisher:||The University of North Carolina Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Kristin Celello is assistant professor of history at Queens College, City University of New York.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Making Marriage Work
1. The Chaos of Modern Marriage: Experts, Divorce, and the Origins of Marital Work, 1900-1940
2. Can War Marriages Be Made to Work? Keeping Women on the Marital Job in War and Peace
3. They Learned to Love Again: Marriage Saving in the 1950s
4. Radical Feminists, Liberated Housewives, and Total Women: Searching for the Future of Marriage, 1963-1980
5. Super Marital Sex and the Second Shift: New Work for Wives in the 1980s and 1990s
Epilogue: Still Working
What People are Saying About This
Through most of history, people worked in their marriages, not on them. This highly readable book traces the way that marriage 'experts' developed and changed the 'rules' for marital work over the course of the twentieth century, even as they have continued to make wives more responsible than husbands for getting the work done.Stephanie Coontz, The Evergreen State College, author of Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage
Shrewd, lucid, and compelling, Making Marriage Work is a revelation. Celello shows how family sociologists and marriage counselors advanced an implicit ideology that virtually every marriage (regardless of its quality) was worth saving, that hard work can make almost any marriage successful, and that making marriage work was first and foremost women's responsibility. This book is a model of the kind of engaged history that can inform contemporary debates.Steven Mintz, Columbia University