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THE SUBVERSIVE FAMILY Hardcover – November 9, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Reprint edition (November 9, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0029219922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029219928
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #843,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Iconoclastic, revelatory, this study attempts to right the perceived historical record about why people married through the ages. Mount, editor of the Times Literary Supplement in London, accuses Christianity of forcing individuals to place God above family; we have been deceived, he charges, by religions, governments, historians, Marx and Engels and misguided feminists, who deny the essentially romantic nature of the nuptial bond. Armed with bawdy tales, urn inscriptions, diary entries, letters and court papers, he makes a convincing case that marriages have traditionally been contracted because of romance. History, Mount concludes, was revised to suit the ideological needs of church or state. Many will not like the way Plato, Jesus, Lenin, Mao and Hitler are lumped together here as orthodox thinkers who have beclouded the facts about marriage. Nevertheless there's considerable scholarship and entertainment in the historic sources proffered.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

At a time when "family values" are on everyone's mind comes the first U.S. edition of this fascinating social history of marriage by an editor for the Times Literary Supplement . Originally published in England in 1982, this work is no less provocative today: It argues that the family as we know it--nuclear, two-generational, and bound by affection and commitment--has existed and, indeed, triumphed throughout recorded history despite attempts by church and state to discredit and control it. Many widely held notions are refuted, including the belief that romantic love is a relatively modern concept, that arranged marriages were the norm until the 20th century, and that parents in earlier societies were indifferent to their children. Mount's contentions are supported by a convincing array of histor ical source material and contemporary scholarship. Essential for all academic and large public libraries.
- Linda Cul lum, Lake Superior State Univ. Lib., Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DKC on April 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book so influenced when I first read it 20 years ago that it permanently and indelibly changed my view of the world, history and politics. I think of it often.

Mount's (well documented) premise that the nuclear family has always been the greatest threat to public organizations, be they religious or political, is insightful and important. Public organizations, in and of their nature, do and will try to suppress the loyalty of individuals to their immediate family.

This short and important book deserves to be widely read and to exert the influence it merits.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A unique view of marital history that should be read, absorbed and discussed by all with political or religious ambitions.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert P. Mcguinn on May 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
An amazing tour in common sense. You will know his thesis about the family is right after the first few pages and you will drift gleefully across the remaining pages, forever changed. Read this!!! Now.
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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Franklin Schmidt on November 15, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book, the author rambles endlessly attacking almost everyone for their beliefs without offering a shred of evidence in support of his own beliefs. He attacks Christians, Marxists, and various academics. The author claims that the nuclear family, based on love, was common throughout history. Is this true? I don't know and I won't know until I find another book that actually contains historical evidence. I only read the first 4 chapters of this book, so maybe it improves, but I don't have the patience to find out. I think the history of the family is an important topic, worth reading about, but this is not the book to buy on this subject.
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