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Marriage, a History (NonFiction)

May 19 2006 at 12:45 PM
Stephanie Coontz  (Login chapteraday)
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Marriage, a History
by Stephanie Coontz
Buy book: $15.57

In this surprising landmark book, family historian Coontz explodes every cherished assumption about marriage, starting with the notion of the traditional marriage.


 


 
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Irene
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marriage

May 24 2006, 9:07 AM 

Very interesting historically re: marriage and romantic love. Most unknown to me previously. Eye opening!

 
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Doris
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Marriage, a History -

May 24 2006, 2:37 PM 

Sounds like a most informative and interesting book on the tradition of marriage - today and throughout history -
a book to put on my to read list under the heading "educational" -

 
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Defeated

May 24 2006, 9:02 PM 

Reading this book I feel like I have been defeated--I believe in love and marriage. I am single and would love to be in love and loved again. What is our purpose, is it just to have open sex with every Tom, Dick, or Harry. I would love to be committed to someone that truly love me, call me old fashion, yes I am.

 
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Lorinda
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Keep believing...

May 26 2006, 12:46 PM 

I have been married 27 years-not to say there are not bumps along the way, but marriage is important. I am not so upset as Cindy, for people should know there are many different cultures who adhere to various beliefs, but it is not meant to drag down the "American Way"...Americans are doing it themselves. You will find someone, don't worry.

 
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Marriage, a History

May 25 2006, 1:17 PM 

I am very interested in reading this book. I have heard that monogous marriage between a man and woman is a relative new phenomenon. I was unaware of that.

 
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Cindy
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Marriage, a History

May 25 2006, 6:23 PM 

Who wrote this book. What a lot of slush!! The best I can say is it is marginally interesting. What is the point of this author? Is there a desire to do away with the one man to one woman marriage standard of the West? This seems to be a thinly disquised piece of propaganda targeting the traditional family and marriage beliefs that the US and other western countries have held to be ideal for our culture and civilization.

While the book may be interesting, some of the opinions of people regarding marriage are stated like they are facts of the whole time period or peoples of whom she writes about. The extramarital relations of the ruling class of Europeans during the Renessainse did not necessarily reflect those of all levels of society. There are many opinons and statements made by one member of a society and I guess the reader is to take this as historical truth, representing that whole society. This author sometimes makes sweeping statements based on little pieces of facts, sometimes just opinions of one member of that culture. Has anyone else looked up the information on the Dagon tribe lately?

The latest installment of this book has humans being compared to animals!? This work seems to say or lead to the thought that it isn't necessary, historically significant or needed, to stay sexually committed to ones mate, since so many alleged other cultures on a global-scale past and present do not have the Western ideal of marriage.

There is more than one native Alaskan people and the Northern Eskimos she mentioned may not even go by that name, Eskimo. It would be helpful if she takes one area, Alaska, and talks about all the marriage examples for the "Eskimo's" in all of Alaska.

Anyway, I don't really like the book. There is nothing new under the sun, but it doesn't make it correct or acceptable to practice what she is discussing and seems to be elevating. She could look at what the harm could be by the practices she is reporting on.

 
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Kristi
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I have to agree

May 26 2006, 11:42 AM 

At first I did find it very interesting but once she started comparing human marriage with animals the author lost me. After today's read I really got the impression that she was trying to downplay the instituion of marriage as we know it today as being nonrelevant. That may not be the case at all but I don't think I'll be finishing this one to find out.

 
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to: Cindy Re: Marriage

May 26 2006, 12:01 PM 

I couldn't tell. Have you already read the book?

 
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Sheryl
(Login mamalemma)

Wow, I'm surprised!

May 31 2006, 10:58 AM 

I came to the forum to see if folks were enjoying the read as much as I was, and was quite shocked to see so much vitriol. I didn't AT ALL get the impression the author was trying to undermine the western standard of marriage. More than anything, this seems a book of anthropology -- and frankly, something that SUPPORTS marriage in all its varied and sundry forms. In our western, idealized version of marriage, the normal highs and lows don't match this "perfect love, perfect companionship" nonsense we're all fed. It's refreshing to read that years ago, marriage expectations were far different, and people lived full, happy lives. It actually gives me strength to STAY married.

It's sad that our country has become so ├╝ber-political that any exploration of any sensitive topic causes so much agita. Remember, people, the US is a small portion of the world population, and cultural differences should be studied with an open mind. How else but by studying other ideas can we be so confident our personal ideas are ideal?

This book is definitely on my library list; thanks Suzanne and co.!

 
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