• Marriage and Civilization

  • How Monogamy Made Us Human
  • By: William Tucker
  • Narrated by: Patrick S. Korten
  • Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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Marriage and Civilization

By: William Tucker
Narrated by: Patrick S. Korten
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Publisher's Summary

In his stunning new book, Marriage and Civilization, author William Tucker looks at the evidence from biology, evolution, anthropology, history, and culture to come to a remarkable conclusion: it was the monogamous pairing of male and female - unusual among mammals - that led to human evolution. Moreover, it is monogamous marriage that has shaped Western Civilization, giving us our sense of justice, undergirded Western democracy, and is the greatest institution we have for perpetuating human freedom and happiness.

Yet marriage is now under threat - and perhaps not in ways that people suspect. We could actually see the de facto abolition of marriage, with the state taking many of the responsibilities formerly assumed by the nuclear family.

Among Tucker's many eye-opening observations:

  • How primitive polygamy was a retrogression from the original monogamous structure of the human family
  • Why monogamy was essential to the development of ancient Greek democracy
  • Why it was the Catholic Church, not the Bible or Christianity in general, that was the great defender of monogamous marriage in Western Civilization
  • Why polygamous societies - from primitive farming communities, to the Mongols, to the Muslim world, to the early Mormons - are internally violent and have bloody borders
  • Why same-sex marriage - utterly irrelevant, in evolutionary terms - is a distraction from the real marriage debate we should be having
  • The prospects for monogamous marriage - and the dangers if it collapses

Marriage and Civilization might be the most important, provocative, and talked-about book of the year.

©2014 William Tucker (P)2014 Regnery Publishing

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Opinions and far-out speculations

This book presents the dubious claim that monogamous marriage is a corner stone of civilisation. 'Civilisation' is never defined, but from the author's perspective, the supreme example of civilisation seems to be the 1950s USA and Victorian Britain. There are numerous problems with the arguments in the book, and one could fill many pages criticising it. An example of the shaky line of thinking is that polygamous societies are described as fundamentally violent and monogamous societies as comparatively stable and peaceful. The book then mentions various conquests and horrors performed by cultures practicing polygamy. The text is completely silent about the endless wars taking place in Christian Europe for most of the last millennium. Even more noteworthy since taking Victorian Britain as a prime example of civilisation built on monogamy, it does not mention Britain's imperialism and colonialism and the cruelties that it entailed.
The only reason I finished this book was that I had just listened to "Sex at Dawn" by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá. That book is also extremely speculative although of a higher quality. "Sex at Dawn' is a crusade against monogamy, and I used ‎"Marriage and Civilisation" as a counter balance. You might want to do the opposite if you decide to listen to Tucker's book. The only real conclusion that I am able to make after listening to those two books is that the relationship between human biology, sexual desire, sexual practice, sexual norms and society seems to be overwhelmingly complex and poorly understood. Chances seem to be that anyone who claims to understand what constitutes civilised, natural or divine sexual practice are expressing their own opinions covered in historical, scientific or religions jargon.

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An Excellent book but it's so negative about Islam

The book is very good and in an interesting topic, well researched and highly but he seems to no nothing about Polygamy in an Islamic world,he make an artificial connection between Polygamy in Islam and violence,he talks like the Monogamous Western Civilization is a peaceful civilization which something makes anyone laugh,while the polygamous Muslim civilization is a violent civilization while exactly the opposite is the true,I encourage the author to visit one of the Islamic country by himself and see what's happening in the real world instead of his wrong assumptions, other wise the book is excellent especially in the last chapters that discusses the Modern western family and the Radical attemps to destroy it, recommend to everyone but do not believe the part of the Islamic world.

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Good until opinions overtook facts

I very much enjoyed this book until the last chapters where factual information seemed to stop and opinions and political views overruled. This tainted the material that came before.

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Very informative

I was impressed with the wide array of examples of points and places in history through which the author tells the story. it's especially helpful information in the wake of the new world of online dating.

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Entertaining history lesson

It flight trough history with detail and crash in an abrubt conclusion. I recomend it as a hope for mobogamus mariage.