What Is Marriage For?: The Strange Social History of Our Most Intimate Institution
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"A thought-provoking review of the vicissitudes of this ancient institution." -Joseph Glenmullen, Boston Globe
"A font of fascinating information . . . Graff marshals an array of sources and anecdotes dating back to the ancient Hebrews into a narrative that is . . . vivid and accessible." --Anne Kingston, Toronto Globe and Mail
"An enlightening romp through the history of marriage in western Europe and the U.S." -Cassandra West, Chicago Tribune
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The only thing that I didn't like about the book is that some of the facts that she brings up are not cited, and also, I think there are some factual errors here and there throughout the book. For example, she talks about how married couples would have been growing the same potatoes in the same fields as their parents for thousands of years...but potatoes aren't native to Europe, they were imported from America. Also, it seemed like she dismissed peasant marriages as not important, and yet I think of contemporary artwork (such as Pieter Brughel's painting of the peasant wedding feast) that seems to contradict this.
However, despite these minor flaws, it is still probably one of the best books I have ever read on the subject, and so I still give it 5 stars.
Top international reviews
I wanted a book on the history of this fine institution, but instead got a depressing book by a lesbian promoting gay marriage.