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

Touching on economics, ideals, gender roles, child rearing philosophy, marriage, religion, families, this book has taught me so much about our history that I never learned in school. I was nevet surprised that Coontz does much more. Jun 12, Wealhtheow rated it really liked it Shelves: Want to Read saving…. The way we never were: Placing current family dilemmas in the context of far-reaching economic, political, and demographic changes, Coontz sheds new light on such contemporary concerns as parenting, privacy, love, the division of labor along gender line The Way We Never Were examines two centuries of American family life and shatters a series of myths and half-truths that burden modern families.

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

wers Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. Nov 14, Susan added it. In the third chapter “My Mother Was a Saint”she offers an analysis of the contradictions and chasms inherent in the “traditional” division of labor.

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. Affluence had become almost a right; the middle class was growing. Now, I think that’s a good thing to do, but the problem 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.


Go ahead, quiz me. A marvelously relevant history book. Jul 02, Sdluvingit rated it liked it. Customers who bought this item also bought.

Well, if you thought Donna Thr represented a long line of traditional family values, or even the typical s family, it seems you were mistaken. American families and the nostalgia trap Stephanie Coontz Snippet view – Hesistant to identify her opponents, she doesn’t emphasize it.

This book suggests that we should keep our eyes open to creeping incursions wfre our self-image.

My only complaint is a minor one. Apr 14, Tracy nevee it liked it. I had bought it under the impression that her writing style would be as fluid and wry as it was in the introduction, but she scrapped it to make room for statistics.

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

They pop up every now and then in between long passages of statistics. Without understanding the true issues, solutions that actually address them are very difficult to come by.

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. 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. SelfReliance and the American Family. She takes careful aim at traditional historical narratives, which typically seek to establish one or two central metaphors and then bend historical events to fit them.


At the end of the s, all the trends characterizing the rest of the twentieth century suddenly reversed themselves. This book is extremely informative, well-cited, and connects the dots on pretty much every single issues related to the US family you could ever think of.

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

I am anxious to know what she would report on the American Family in the last couple of decades. This is important in determining how we can develop tthe that address the real issues impacting families and affect real solutions to the problems. Although this book is not entirely up to date, since cootnz focus is on the historical development of the family or families in the U.

Absolutely everybody who is a member of a family, or thinks families are important should read this book. View all 3 comments. If you want to know “how it used to be”, I really think one should read this. In the past, weree found fulfillment outside the home. This revised edition includes a new introduction and epilogue, looking at what has and has not changed since the original publication inand exploring how the clash between growing gender equality and rising economic inequality is reshaping family life, marriage, and male-female relationships in our modern era.