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Domestic Revolutions: A Social History Of American Family Life

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ISBN-13: 978-0029212912
ISBN-10: 002921291X
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Domestic Revolutions: A Social History Of American Family Life + Major Problems in the History of American Families and Children (Major Problems in American History Series)
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

American family structure has changed radically in the 300 years since patriarchal Puritan days, when it was the basic political, religious and educational unit of state and community, maintain Mintz, University of Houston associate professor of history, and Kellogg, his wife, who teaches anthropology, also at Houston. The authors vividly evoke a diversity of family patterns and experiences among racial and ethnic groups, including Afro-American slave kinship networks. They discuss how changes wrought in working-class families by the agricultural and industrial revolutions, the Great Depression and WW II affected family roles and relationships. Emerging from the relative stability of the 1950s and the largely mythical ideal of the nuclear family, today's aging, individual-oriented society, transformed by a sexual revolution, considers the family in whatever formcohabitation, single-parent households, "blended" families from several marriages, among othersas a means of personal fulfillment for both partners, with public institutions taking over many of its traditional roles. Illustrations.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This clear and comprehensive synthesis of recent scholarship shows that the American family, influenced by circumstance, has undergone great transformations and served various social and economic roles over the years from 1620 to the 1980s. The book is exceptionally valuable for its attention to Native American, Afro-American, and ethnic family organization, and childrearing customs and their influence. Extensive footnotes compensate for the lack of a bibliography, reviewing the literature of the field. A useful text for history and sociology courses, this is also valuable as an overview of a relatively new field.Mary Drake McFeely, Univ. of Georgia Libs., Athens
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: The Free Press (April 3, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 002921291X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029212912
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Bob Fancher on October 14, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This nearly-twenty-year-old book still has much to commend it: comprehensive scholarship, easy-to-read (though not sparkling or tight) prose style, and no heavy-handed ideological agenda (though the author's values and assumptions aren't hard to discern).

On the down side, there's not much by way of interpretive framework, and what's there wavers between incoherence and airy-fairy hand-waving.

On the former, for instance, the authors seem both (a) to want to see a significant set of fairly stable "family values" that lasted from the late eighteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, which are overthrown by late-twentieth century changes, and (b) to show the overwhelming diversity of family life, and the enormous deviations from the alleged stable values, during the same period. But point (b) seems to prove point (a) wrong.

On the airy-fairy issue, they have this notion of "the family" as resilient, rising to all sorts of challenges and adapting to all sorts of strains. But it's hard to tell what they mean by "the family" in that context, since they identify no core set of traits, no base-line definition, that pervades the enormous range of "families" they so effectively describe. One could just as easily use the info they present to argue that "the family"--meaning the child-producing, and/or sex-regulating unit of society--is, as conservatives fear, becoming decreasingly important among forms of human affiliation, more peripheral to decision-making and social life.

The info-overpowering-the-analysis problem even goes to the paragraph-by-paragraph level.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Hynes on May 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is probably my favorite book on U.S. social history. While academic, it's written in a very readable style. The authors make the history of American families extremely interesting, and they shatter some of our more romantic cultural myths. I referred to this book when I wrote my master's thesis on the U.S. household economy of the 1930s during the Great Depression. My first ancestors in this country lived in New England in the early to mid 1600s, so I find these accounts fascinating, as I can imagine how all of my ancestors since that time lived their lives in our developing country and culture. I highly recommend this book to students, history researchers, or the curious casual reader.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mom of many Sons on December 30, 2012
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I found true value in this book however it was so wordy some of the value was infinitely lost by this. i read this for my History of American Family class and it was priceless in value for understanding the history of traditions of nearly all family types through history.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Renzo A. Meza on October 2, 2012
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This easy-read book goes into great detail about the structure and practices of many different contemporary and historic American families. Once you read it you'll have a new found appreciation for people from all races and cultural backgrounds.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas on October 25, 2011
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The book is in great condition. The price was much, much lower than I had expected. Thanks for being so easy to do business with.
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