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Making Marriage Work: A History of Marriage and Divorce in the Twentieth-Century United States Hardcover – February 1, 2009

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews


A lively history. . . . Accessible and enjoyable too.--The Feminist Review

An intellectual and cultural history of modern marriage and divorce leavened with rich insights into married love and labor. Celello revises and refines the history of twentieth-century marriage to a story of experts successfully persuading couples that marriage requires work.--The Journal of American History

It certainly claims a place among works about the social history of American marriage.--INTAMS

The book's strength is in demonstrating the tenacity of the idea that marriages can be saved through hard work and the persistence of gender imbalance, which continues to place the burden of the effort on women.--Choice

A lucid description of the rise and sociological impact of the concept that spouses must work hard to make their marriage work.--Catholic News Service

Fascinating. . . . Would be an excellent addition to a course on the sociology of marriage, family or gender roles.--Journal of Social History


Through most of history, people worked in their marriages, not on them. This highly readable book traces the way that marriage 'experts' developed and changed the 'rules' for marital work over the course of the twentieth century, even as they have continued to make wives more responsible than husbands for getting the work done.--Stephanie Coontz, The Evergreen State College, author of Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage

Shrewd, lucid, and compelling, Making Marriage Work is a revelation. Celello shows how family sociologists and marriage counselors advanced an implicit ideology that virtually every marriage (regardless of its quality) was worth saving, that hard work can make almost any marriage successful, and that making marriage work was first and foremost women's responsibility. This book is a model of the kind of engaged history that can inform contemporary debates.--Steven Mintz, Columbia University


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; First Edition edition (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807832529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807832523
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,802,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By chol perez on November 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My doughter use thi book in the colleges and she think is great and help the students to learn the class.
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