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Publisher's Summary

"Does anyone date anymore?"

Today the authorities tell us that courtship is in crisis. But when Moira Weigel dives into the history of sex and romance in modern America, she discovers that authorities have always said this.

Ever since young men and women started to go out together, older generations have scolded them: That's not the way to find true love. The first women who made dates with strangers were often arrested for prostitution; long before "hookup culture", there were "petting parties"; before parents worried about cell phone apps, they fretted about joyrides and "parking".

Dating is always dying. But this does not mean that love is dead. It simply changes with the economy. Dating is, and always has been, tied to work. Lines like "I'll pick you up at six" made sense at a time when people had jobs that started and ended at fixed hours. But in an age of contract work and flextime, many of us have become sexual freelancers, more likely to text a partner, "u still up?"

Weaving together over 100 years of history with scenes from the contemporary landscape, Labor of Love offers a fresh feminist perspective on how we came to date the ways we do. This isn't a guide to "getting the guy". There are no ridiculous "rules" to follow. Instead Weigel helps us understand how looking for love shapes who we are and hopefully leads us closer to the happy ending that dating promises.

©2016 Moira Weigel (P)2016 Recorded Books

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amazing

when I first bought this book, I was thinking it was going to be about how hard relationships can be, and how to work on them to make them better. I was surprised when it turned out to be more about the history of dating and American cultural norms behind it. the book was so informative, I loved it. it was very sociologically oriented to study the dynamics between two people who are dating or married. It was quite enjoyable.

at times, it was kind of hard to follow whether or not the narrator was reading a quote from another study or not, but other than that, I would highly recommend it.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Amazing book!

This book is a thoughtful look through time, gender, race and class in the U.S. Who knew speed dating was invented by a rabbi! Thanks a million!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Gillian
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 02-14-17

Not Meant To Be Useful, But Quite Fun

"Labor of Love" isn't a how-to book, so don't go in expecting that. Rather, it's a historical look at dating and the way we flounder around looking for that fleeting something.
In earlier times, a couple was focused on the same goal; nowadays we look within ourselves seeking to have something gratified, never understanding that it's what we bring to the table and to our culture that matters.
This book covers everything from "calling" on someone to "hooking up" (and boy does college mess with our dating code, or what?) From Girls Gone Wild, to the AIDS epidemic. From "settling" to speed-dating to dating apps to geo-location.
It's not a heavy in-depth read, but it sure is interesting, and Kyra Miller delivers it decently enough with plenty of tongue-in-cheekiness.
By the way? Weigel thinks the best way to change our culture is by banding together and organizing. As somebody with PTSD from my dating years, if I ever go back out there, I say we Unionize...!

31 of 35 people found this review helpful

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entertaining and interesting enough

interesting look at the history of dating, and its relationship to economic trends. Pretty well written, although it tries too hard to be poetic in places. The links between the labor market and how that changed dating were the strongest. The pop-sociology parts seemed forced in. all in all interesting and a nice quick listen. entertaining and informative

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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What a great audible!

From beginning to middle and and end, this audible had me inganged. It dropped knowledge about "love" from way back in the day til now- the modern digital era. Drawing from scientific data and other well known sourcessource. It gave me a new way to not only look at love but perhaps a new way to pursuit it. Highly recommend it!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lindsay
  • Denver, CO, United States
  • 02-22-17

Who knew there was so much history to dating?!

What made the experience of listening to Labor of Love the most enjoyable?

The whole book flowed so well. At no point did it feel like a lecture; dry and boring. The information was captivating and informative.

What does Kyra Miller bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Kyra's narration is lovely though there wasn't anything I felt that she did that you wouldn't get from reading the book.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

It's hard to narrow down to just one tidbit but I really appreciate that she including gay and lesbian dating culture in her exploration too. <br/><br/>And she stated that during the show "Seinfeld", Jerry dating 66 women on the show, none of them too serious, because that would have changed the whole dynamic of the core group of characters.

Any additional comments?

Fascinating look at the history of dating. Who knew that there was so much history behind something we've all been doing for so long? At no point did it feel like a lecture; dry and boring. The information was captivating and informative. Moira also includes gay and lesbian dating culture and talks about the less that appealing aspects of dating that we have all been through. This isn't a self-help book about how to date. It's an interesting exploration of how we date and why.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Unexpected Destroyer of Internalized Misogyny

Fascinating history. Thoughtful social commentary. Destructive to misogyny - especially heretofore unrealized internalized misogyny.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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unfinishable

rambling and speculative and while comments on trends are offered it is neither educating nor based on research

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Realize why now dating makes me uncomfortable

So much of this book details how artificial the act of wooing seems to be, before and after the invention of dating. It doesn't shatter any since of romance, but allows me to wonder if there are other ways to woo by deconstructing what we perceive as normal. I'd like to see how dating evolves into the future as technology alters our economics, communications and travel capabilities. Hopefully this book receives an update when that happens.

AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

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Superficial Treatise

Interesting topic but lacks depth. Not sure what this book adds. More political and strident about women's disadvantages in the dating realm than historical. Tone is bitter, narration likewise. Recommend skipping.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful