Just when the clamor over "traditional" marriage couldn't get any louder, along comes this groundbreaking book to ask, "What tradition?"
In Marriage, a History, historian and marriage expert Stephanie Coontz takes listeners from the marital intrigues of ancient Babylon to the torments of Victorian lovers to demonstrate how recent the idea of marrying for love is - and how absurd it would have seemed to most of our ancestors. It was when marriage moved into the emotional sphere in the 19th century, she argues, that it suffered as an institution just as it began to thrive as a personal relationship. This enlightening and hugely entertaining book brings intelligence, perspective, and wit to today's marital debate.
©2005 SJ Coontz Company (P)2016 Tantor
First, the narration was very dry. This is a much more interesting book than the narration suggests.
Also, the narrator pronounces nuclear "nuke-you-ler" about a thousand times. Nuclear families are obviously going to come up a lot in a book like this, and every time it did it made me physically cringe.
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
If you thought you knew something of the history of marriage, you are most probably mistaken -- a lot. This start with prehistoric times, goes through Greek, Roman, Egyptian, middle ages, Renaissance, 1800, 1920s, the golden age of marriage, 1970-1990, today, and most probably tomorrow. If you think that is a tall order, it so is. Ms. Stephanie Coontz does an excellent job laying it all out. You will find yourself shaking your head often. You will realize how far we come and how seriously marriage has been used as tool. Sometimes you will be angry, sad, dismayed. Though when you finish, you will understand the institution better. I am better off for listening to this. Thank-you Ms. Coontz.
This book is fascinating. I did find that last third or so less interesting, as it moved into theorizing about modern marriage. The narration was excellent, except for the narrator's irritating tendency to say "newkiller family".
There is so much to learn here about many different cultures and the history of my own
please, speak, faster.
No. It has a lot of information about time periods that span all of recorded human history. I wanted to take the time and digest what I was listening to and place it in my minds web of history
I had to speed up the reading speed to about 1.15-1.20. It just felt too damn slow before that. It is my only criticism of the reader and easily adjusted.
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