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The way we never were : American families and the nostalgia trap

Author: Stephanie Coontz
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Book Group, [2016] ©2016
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : Revised and updated edition, 2016 editionView all editions and formats
Acclaimed historian Stephanie Coontz provides a myth-shattering examination of two centuries of the American family, sweeping away misconceptions about the past that cloud current debates about domestic life.
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Stephanie Coontz
ISBN: 9780465098835 0465098835
OCLC Number: 945216926
Notes: First published in 1992.
Description: xliv, 531 pages ; 21 cm
Contents: Introduction to the 2016 edition --
The way we wish we were: defining the family crisis --
'Leave it to Beaver' and 'Ozzie and Harriet': American families in the 1950s --
'My mother was a Saint': individualism, gender myths, and the problem of love --
We always stood on our own two feet: self-reliance and the American family --
Strong families, the foundation of a virtuous society: family values and civic responsibility --
A man's home is his castle: the family and outside intervention --
Bra-burners and family bashers: feminism, working women, consumerism, and the family --
'First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Mary with a baby carriage': marriage, sex, and reproduction --
Toxic parents, supermoms, and absent fathers: putting parenting in perspective --
Pregnant girls, wilding boys, crack babies, and the underclass: the myth of black family collapse --
The crisis reconsidered --
Epilogue to the 2016 edition: for better AND worse: family trends in the twenty-first century --
Acknowledgments --
Notes --
Responsibility: Stephanie Coontz.


The Way We Never Were examines two centuries of American family life and shatters a series of myths and half-truths that burden modern families. Placing current family dilemmas in the context of far-  Read more...
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Editorial reviews

Publisher Synopsis

Los Angeles Times "A treasure... Coontz's ample evidence exposes the falseness, sentimentality and self-righteousness of most public statements about the family." New York Times Book Review "Often Read more...

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