- Paperback: 295 pages
- Publisher: University of Chicago Press (December 15, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0226469042
- ISBN-13: 978-0226469041
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,872,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Modernization of Fatherhood: A Social and Political History Paperback – December 15, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
In his study of changing attitudes toward fatherhood during the 1920s and '30s, LaRossa, a sociology professor at Georgia State, offers some compelling material and an interesting and important thesis?but both are buried under unnecessary details. LaRossa argues that what most people perceive as new attitudes toward fatherhood actually date back decades. His prologue quotes letters and articles from fathers in 1932 that could have been written yesterday, including one from a father who described the hard work and special joy of taking on 2 a.m. feedings. The book is studded with moving raw material in the form of letters that parents wrote to the government seeking advice in caring for their children: "I nursed my baby mornings and night at night time after working all day then nursing my child. every drop it swallowed it would throw up... while my baby starved and my husband refused to provide for us." However, as LaRossa labors on, the reader learns more about collections of letters housed at the National Archives than about the changes they illustrate: he even describes the coding system used by the U.S. Children's Bureau to route the letters it received. Scholars who care about writing often say that research should be like an iceberg: only the tip should show. LaRossa, unfortunately, presents the entire mass?peak, slope and base.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Outstanding . . . . This solid and scholarly work is an essential item for the reading list of family sociologists and family historians." (Choice)
"LaRossa sifts his evidence with a subtlety that all of us involved in the fatherhood debate would do well to emulate." (American Journal of Sociology)
"[A]n important book that significantly advances our understanding of developments of fatherhood in a crucial period." (Journal of American History)
"[A] fine achievement. LaRossa has assembled for us a veritable treasure trove of anecdotes and analyses regarding fatherhood in the years between the wars." (Social Forces)
"[A]n important, carefully argued account of transformations in American fatherhood . . . ." (Contemporary Sociology)
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