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Raising America: Experts, Parents, and a Century of Advice About Children Paperback – April 13, 2004
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Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
With painstaking detail and with considerable wit, Hulbert takes us through the century and helps us to see that parents have been anxious about how their kids would turn out for decades. She also shows that they frequently turn to the experts for guidance; experts who have an annoying habit of contradicting one another. Throughout the centry there has always been a "hard" approach to parenting advocated as well as a "soft" approach advocated usually by two separate experts. Many experts have, and continue to make exaggerated claims about the results of taking their advice. James Watson the famous behaviorist was the paragon of this sort of wild claim, deciding based on a few experiments with white furry things and a scared infant that he knew the secrets to take any sort of child and raise them for a career of his selection and with the character of his choice.
A century later, much is the same though there are some important differences. We continue to have an array of voices with a good deal of overlap as well as with a number of contradictions. The difference now perhaps is that there are approaches all along the continuum from soft to hard, rather than one or two at either end.Read more ›
Hulbert provides interesting biographical anecedotes about the prominent child-rearing theorists of this century and places them in the social and political climate of their time. Her pen is wise, graceful and truly humorous.
While I hesitate to give advice -- in this century inundated with it -- I recommend that you put aside for a while Spock, Brazelton, Leach and Greenspan. Instead, settle down with Raising America -- a thoroughly information-packed, thought-provoking read.
Hulbert structures her history around five key parenting and family conferences, from 1899's National Congress of Mothers to 1997's Conference on Early Childhood Development and Learning, pausing in each case to reflect on the state of parenting philosophies and advice at the time. To further illustrate the evolution of expert advice on children, she profiles two key experts in each generation, each of whom falls into a distinct "camp." One exemplifies "child-centered" or "soft" parenting, a proponent of letting "nature take its course in childhood" and an advocate of parent-child bonding. The other, "parent-centered" expert instead advises strict discipline, believing in the power of parental nurture to shape child behavior for good or ill.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book lost my interest by including way too much detail. It spent too much time on the back story and not enough time talking about the changes in ideas I can see how this may... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Cameron Ball
If you find yourself overrun with child raising advise, reading this may help you step back and discover the history of some of tha advise, and how childhood has changed in our... Read morePublished on September 11, 2013 by S. Williams
Child development or "raising" is not something that is done either by child (The Nature) *alone*, or by parent (The Nurture/er) *alone*, we are just parts. Read morePublished on March 2, 2004 by Sam
Our parent education book group agrees that advice-giving to parents has been complex and inconsistent. Read morePublished on November 14, 2003
Well, first of all, if I were reading a book about kids, wanting to know about the society of children, I would want to know the author has done the work of raising kids, instead... Read morePublished on October 27, 2003
As parents, we have all been told how to feed an infant; how to ensure he or she sleeps; how to discipline a toddler; and how to talk with and listen to our children. Read morePublished on May 30, 2003
This book is a joy to read--funny, level-headed, full of great and sometimes damning stories about the men (and they're all men)who have, since the turn of the last century, been... Read morePublished on May 23, 2003