Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage

Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage

by Stephanie Coontz
4.3 17

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Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
historygirlintexas More than 1 year ago
I bought this book after reading references to it in Elizabeth Gilbert's new book Committed. Coontz offers an interesting thesis--that marrying for love is a relatively new phenomenon. In an age where conservatives constantly talk about the sanctity of marriage and how gay marriage is a threat to our society, I highly recommend people read this book to gain more perspective on other reasons why people were getting married. Sometimes it was out of necessity-people needed protection, financial or otherwise. In my opinion, the book really got interesting once Coontz reached the Enlightenment period, but I'm biased--I am more interested in modern history than earlier periods. I really enjoyed this cultural history.
keithgatling More than 1 year ago
This book should be required reading for anyone who purports to talk about the "traditional marriage," or how current cultural changes will destroy marriage. I expected Ms Coontz to show that the "Ozzie and Harriet" marriage, that so many of us have come to see as the "traditional" model was a relatively recent development. What I didn't expect to find was that it was just one of many transitional forms marriage has taken over the three centuries since romantic love entered the marriage equation, leading us to where we are now. Ms Coontz show how despite the cries of alarmists both now and in the past, marriage is a very flexible institution, and one that is bound to be with us for many centuries to come. If you find yourself in a conversation with someone who is blathering on about "traditional values" and "traditional marriage," I urge you to buy two copies of this book. One for you and one for them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book lifts the veil on the historical, present, and potential future of marriage. In the twenty years I have been married, I have bumped into many of my own assumptions about what 'being married' really meant, and have experienced the necessity of being flexible about my own marriage and those of others close to me. This book is informative, entertaining, and ultimately optimistic about the varied nature of marriage and how marriage might address a multitude of individual needs. I highly recommend it!
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MsWhimsy More than 1 year ago
Although the book makes some interesting points, I wound up giving up on it as it became quite repetitive.  I felt like I was reading a thesis  that was not well organized. I thought I would be reading a history of marriage, and although there is history in there, it is so badly organized that it is had to find the 'history'. Very disappointing.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
For the baby boomers, fed the idealistic 1950's view of marriage, but without the benefit of prior knowledge of the history of marriage and its status, the 1960's poised them for the greatest brick wall domestic crisis ever when combined with the emerging emphasis upon women's rights, and the opportunity for women to work, but without equivalent value to the social and government aspects of citizenship rights that has always accompanied and been a part of the male identity as citizens. The greatest tragedy is that it fell disproportionately upon single mothers who had the practical responsibilities of men, but the social status of women. No single effect could have damaged women more than the easy no fault divorce process that enabled men to escape the responsibilities of marriage and abandon women (many with children) to fend for themselves, abandoned to their own feeble and meager resources - un-altruistically with the consent of government, and often, encouraged by empty or false promises of safety and security. In this respect, love did not conquer marriage marriage conquered love, and divorce conquered both women and the promise of child welfare in a wholesale plunge into individual domestic irresponsibility, a plight that lingers indefinitely for millions. The alternative to the orphanages of the past is, and shouldn't be single parenthood that justifies bare survival as a sign of a healthy society, twisting the old philosophy of marriage and the new into a contorted monster that threatens everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What I enjoyed most about this book was the forward and honest way she dispels myths surrounding marriage. The relevance of this history is profound. Given the state of politics today it behooves anyone interested in having an informed debate on marraige related issues to read this. The well researched and documented material makes referencing her sources easy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Marriage is a topic that everybody has an opinion on. Part of what makes this book so interesting is that even if you don't agree with the conclusions the historical facts are impeccably researched and documented. The wide array of cultural perspectives on marriage help sheld light on the debates surrounding marriage and family in the western world. The places where the conclusions of popular debates are accurate and where they are not.