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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This book is a wonderful education. American Families in the Cold War Era. That being said, it was a dense read. New Book ws spring! Coontz presents a much-needed argument on the futility of conservative nostalgia for “the good old days,” chock-full of statistics.

Nov 14, Susan added it. This is as true today as it ever was.

The Way We Never Were – Author Stephanie Coontz

I’d like to read this book on Kindle Don’t have a Kindle? The Way We Really Are: Worth a read if the subject matter interests you but be advised that it’s a commitment, and should be read critically. I’ll just quote a couple of paragraphs. It’s also good to see economic context accounted for when discussing the US family.

Apr 17, Donitello rated it really liked it. Life in the s was no different. This book is chock full of well-referenced information on many aspects of American living since the early s. 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.

Placing the American family in its historical, cultural, economic, and philosophic context, Coontz co-ed. There’s far more data in the book, hopefully this will wet your appitite to investigate further.

Please try again later. An important book debunking the myth of the “traditional” family, and the political claims often made about the deterioration of the family as the core of various social ills. Go ahead, quiz me. To her credit, Coontz’s personal agenda doesn’t appear to extend beyond the general goal of improving life for all Americans; she successfully eschews sectarianism, and instead focuses on laying bare our true enemy: In doing so, she draws upon her deep knowledge of the way that families have evolved over time, revealing that our “family values” have always been specific to our time, place, class, ethnici Stephanie Coontz is a serious scholar and historian of relationships, marriage, and families.


Most interestingly, she uses data to demonstrate how changes in family structure often have more to do with overall social trends than gains by those pesky feminists and morally loose populations per se. The s do not present a workable model of how to conduct our personal lives today, Coontz argues, and neither does any other era from our cultural past.

Want to Read saving…. She begins a lot of her chapters laying out the “liberal” and “conservative” argument for a certain topic, before criticizing “both” of them. Coontz looks at the history of families in the US to see what the true “traditional” families have been.

She cites well and often.

I especially appreciate how this book looks at the history and structure of US families in relation to community. From “a man’s home was his castle” to “traditional families never asked for a handout,” this provocative book explodes cherished illusions about the past. Traditionally, mothers took care of children, qe just their own children.

The family Clinton has presented itself as an up-to-date survivormodel, replete with storytelling about family trouble – the beaming young couple who have worked past their problems, the working mother of the candidate, the once drug-addicted and imprisoned brother.

Stephanie Coontz is a serious scholar and historian of relationships, marriage, and families. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics.

The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap – Stephanie Coontz – Google Books

If you like your life, but are afraid you aren’t doing it right, relax. Seeing our own family pains as part of a larger social predicament means that we can stop the cycle of guilt or blame and face the real issues constructively, Coontz writes.


Despite agreeing with her much of the time, I still found these chapters a bit sloggish — she does best when she is offering a historical view of the American family. Does anyone in the year really still believe the s family is any kind of model for life? Nefer is a lot of buzz about “traditional families” but what does neverr really mean? She mentions the fact that the greatest change since the ‘s has been the empowerment of women to take charge of birth control when engaging in pre-marital sex and the opening of th workforce to middle class as well as working class women.

The Way We Never Were: Without understanding the true issues, solutions that actually address them are very difficult to come by. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. The most important of these is the hollowing out of the American middle class and the nefer gap between normal citizens and the ultra-wealthy, especially when it comes to quality of life and political influence.

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

Did she seriously just use a personal anecdote to prove her point? You think that we’ve got new and original family problems these days?

Household staff helped raise the children and keep house and mothers involved themselves in various forms of social work. Books by Stephanie Coontz. The Way We Never Were: And while I found myself glossing over much of the My mother is a professor of American history, and many of my earliest memories pertaining to her professional life involve her unabashed enthusiasm for this book.

Absolutely everybody jever is a member of a family, or thinks families are neveer should read this book.