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I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage Hardcover – Bargain Price, July 22, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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"Fascinating... Valuable insight into an institution that has recently been transformed yet again."--The Boston Globe
"Very amusing...[A] passionate intellectual manifesto."-- Library Journal
“Squire archly reconsiders the disobedient Biblical helpmeet Eve (‘Shouldn’t the buck stop with the senior officer, not the assistant?’), as well as witches, bitches, nymphomaniacs, concubines, clerics, cuckolds, and others … Take this potent, hugely entertaining book to bed.”—O Magazine
“Lively and a pleasure to read”—Kirkus Reviews
"In breezy, irreverent prose, Squire catalogues the history and religious significance of the institution of marriage ....as if gossiping with a girlfriend...."—Publishers Weekly
“A sardonic and delightful romp through the history of conjugality, from day zero on. An illuminating book for those who want to know their history, rather than just repeat it: anyone in a marriage or just contemplating the possibility will want to take notes. Also perfect for couples therapists’ waiting rooms, throwing at your spouse, and Valentine's Day.”—Laura Kipnis
“Written with an incisive wit and an unshowy audaciousness, I Don’t is an absolutely compelling read—a must for anyone, man or woman, who has wondered about the war between the sexes and the truce that is marriage. Steeped as her book is in historical detail, Susan Squire proves herself to be that rare breed: a scholar with a light touch, writing with a deftness and fluency that lifts her comprehensive knowledge and closely informed readings to the level of literature. This is a book that informs while it entertains the reader—a truly original take on its subject.”—Daphne Merkin, author of Enchantment and Dreaming of Hitler
Top Customer Reviews
- First of all, the title is certainly catchy, but not a fair representation of the content. Which could better be described as "A Brief Survey of Western Marriage in Select Societies from Biblical Times to Martin Luther." To frame western history as "History" is rather unbelievable at this moment in said history.
And the cover image is an odd gimmick.
- It ends about five chapters short. Squire essentially concludes: Martin Luther changed the value of wedlock, now people get married for romance, The End. What a bitter disappointment. With a book like this a reader commits to the more mundane pieces expecting a payoff in the end: How does this apply to the world I know? What does all this dazzling historical detail say about debates on gay marriage on the Senate floor?
... Silence ...
Not even a prologue to suggest maybe a few things have changed between 1546 and 2008, or how striking it is some of our parliamentarians sound a lot like those in 80 A.D.
- Reviewers are dubbing this a feminist text but I disagree. Historical, yes. Feminist? Not really. It is also called "funny" and that rather points to the problem. Yes, ascerbic wit is a fitting approach to misogynist texts. But the tone does not change with other material, such as what reads to me the very sad story of Margery Kemp, and also a brief and glossed over treatment of the witch trials.
At which point the writing really betrays the tragedy. The tragedy is not lost on me: I had to read this book in small pieces to be able to consume it at all.Read more ›
putative witnesses on the "stand". Her chapter on the virgin birth is uniquely well-documented. The story flows to Martin Luther and the religious re-acceptance of marriage without female authority. Looking forward to the sequel from Luther to modern times when relationships change dramatically at least in the Western world.
The mismatch of the title to the content let me down, and that's a shame for the author. Publishers love to make headlines that sell. It worked, I bought the book. Well, I bought the headline and read the book which couldn't feel more dissimilar. There's nothing really contrarian about relaying the facts of the matter.
Squires does a good job documenting the Madonna/Whore complex in Classical Greece and the important influence of Martin Luther on the modern idea of marriage as a romantic union. Who knows where this love train may lead us next, but I Don't is an interesting take on where marriage has been.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Drily humorous and highly informative, I am having a really good time reading this and keep wanting to read passages out loud to my mate.Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
A thoughtful and hilarious presentation of male perspectives on women starting with the story of Adam and Eve.Published 23 months ago by P. M. Griffin
I was a little disappointed by the angry tone of the book --- more so at the beginning of the book than later. Read morePublished on June 16, 2013 by Karen Brown
Book arrived in excellent shape and in a timely manner. The book is very helpful in my research on marriage for my book in development..Published on May 24, 2013 by Joseph G. Langen
I have enjoyed reading this book a lot. The author has done a lot of research, and has a snarky and caustic wit about the results of that research that makes this a lot of fun to... Read morePublished on April 17, 2013 by Cissa
This book was long, drawn out and really boring. I would not recomend this book unless you are reading to bring on a nap.Published on January 3, 2013 by Kristen Williams