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Childhood in World History (Themes in World History) 1st Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415352338
ISBN-10: 0415352339
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Editorial Reviews


'Reviewers praised the first edition of this book as a "primer in the field," and the same could be said of this updated edition, published five years later. Expanding his book to include more material on different parts of the world (Africa and South Asia, for example), Stearns (George Mason Univ.) has compressed an encyclopedic perspective on global childhood into a concise, readable 14 chapters. The book is organized more or less chronologically, moving from agricultural and classical civilizations through "modern" childhood, the colonial era, and the 20th century. Thus, the organization is traditional (and somewhat uninspired), as are the topics covered, though Stearns also takes an occasional foray into thematic topics, including a fascinating chapter on the history of children's happiness. The inclusion of a thorough selection of further readings enriches the book's value. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Undergraduate and general collections.' -- K. Dubinsky, Queen's University, CHOICE

'Stearns updates his earlier study of the global history of childhood with…a lucid analysis of new research and synthesis of previous secondary works in the field…Scholars researching the history of play and childhood will find Stearns’ work an interesting survey of how attitudes towards children and child rearing have evolved over time and very valuable to those who study the nature of play.' ―Ellen M. Tsagaris, Rock Island, IL

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

George Mason University, USA
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Product Details

  • Series: Themes in World History
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (January 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415352339
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415352338
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,269,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The subject matter is fascinating, and it is presented in a digestible fashion. Curiously, though, the author does not cite any sources for his facts, general information, or even direct quotes! There is a meager list called "references" in the back of the book, and each chapter has a list for further reading. Neither if those help me when I want to look up the source for a fact or a quote. Even if he has the information memorized and is simply writing based on his broad knowledge base, certainly he should still have used citations for quotes. I am puzzled because of the author's high credentials and the reputation of the publisher. Could someone explain to me why these omissions are justified?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is a very readable survey of the historical context for the evolution in child life. I liked the fact that it examined a range of cultures from East to West, and the breadth of social practice from elite life to the poor and working classes. Occasionally the book betrayed the author's generalist history perspective brought to this field, but this actually underscored the social, industrial, economic and political history of childhood, and the forces acting on parents and communities to place their children within the life of the times, to instill, preserve and cultivate ethics and values in the collective interest, and the modern emergence of individualistic parenting and education practice. If you are a parent or work with children, and want to raise your eyes above your own exposures and experiences, you could do worse than read this book!
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