The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap “Leave It to Beaver” was not a documentary, Stephanie Coontz points out; neither the. By Stephanie Coontz In , I published The Way We Never Were: American Families And The Nostalgia Trap, a search for the supposed. The Way We Never Were has ratings and reviews. Wealhtheow said: Coontz presents the historical facts of American family life and political and.

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Did she seriously just use a personal anecdote to prove her point?

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. I was disappointed because I expected a lot of new content; however, from what I can tell, only a revised werre and conclusion have been added, which means most or all of the essay-content contains references that are somewhat outdated for readers under the age of Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon.

Domestic violence and incest, she points out, have in fact always occurred more commonly in families with rigid, patriarchal gender roles like those emblazoned on TV in the ‘s. This book is a must read history. In the penultimate chapter, for example, a crisp reframing of the myth of black-family collapse leads to a reinterpretation of the “family crisis” in general, putting it in the larger context of social, economic, and political ills.

The Way We Never Were: American Families & the Nostalgia Trap

The Family and Outside Intervention. Open Preview See a Problem? She provides a lot of evidence, about both the reality and the stories.

Traditionally, mothers took care of children, not just their own children. While I’m never a fan of blame-the-victim thinking, I wasn’t always sure where Coontz’s factual information ended and her agenda began.


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Customers who bought this item also bought. This myth-shattering examination of two centuries of American family life banishes the misconceptions about the past that cloud current debate about “family values.

Tue Way We Never Were: Here she provides strong evidence that many of the traits we consider normal and traditional are actually historical aberrations that occurred mostly among some white, middle-class families in the USA in the s.

She argues that historical mythologizing about family life distracts nevre from constructively examining how best to serve families and communities. Truthfully, I want to own this book so I can return to it often. Now, I think that’s a good thing to do, but the wwy is that she’s clearly liberal and is making a liberal argument, so her criticism of the “liberal” argument often either involves criticizing a weird strawman argument that few liberals really believe or muddles her point a bit since she does mental gymnastics to try to sound balanced.

The Way We Never Were: American Families & the Nostalgia Trap by Stephanie Coontz

Every political cycle we see an increase of nevee that the American family is in decline and many of our woes are due to this decline.

It’s more of a research book than a “popular nonfiction” book, writing to inform and not to entertain, so it may come off as dry and occasionally heavy on academic jargon.

Introduction to the Edition. Anyone advocating a patriarchal family model taken from back in time when men, women, and children knew their place ws to study the history of the American family first, and Coontz adeptly proves that few have. Basic BooksMar 29, – History – pages. Three and a half stars, rounded up but I’d rather have had that half-star option!


The Way We Never were was originally published in but still sounds current almost twenty years later.

The Way We Never Were – Author Stephanie Coontz

This is as true today as it ever was. Here’s just one example. After the war nevee were expelled from thier jobs or qay to do the same job at a lower pay and they were encouraged to stay home and raise families. Buy the selected items together This item: New Book for spring! And while I found myself glossing over much of the statistical information most of which I assume is too outdated to be useful outside a purely historical contextI was delighted to find that The Way We Never Were offers a highly intelligent and nuanced look at family life in twentieth century American history.

If you want to know “how it used to be”, I really think one should read neveer.

Best and worst of all, it provides frighteningly prescient insights about the risks we face if we sustain certain courses of action inimical to the health of our democracy.

Battered women were regarded as masochist’s who provoked their hubands into beating them. She stands so solidly on a foundation of historical facts that all sides of a discussion will be stumped and enlightened.

Born to coonyz father living on veterans disability pension, Gramm attended a publicly-funded university wy a grant from the War Orphans Act.